Elizabeth Chrischilles, PhD

Associate Director for Biomedical Informatics

Professor and Head, Department of Epidemiology

Pomerantz Chair in Public Health

Director, Health Effectiveness Research Center

Personal Statement

I am Professor of Epidemiology specializing in pharmacoepidemiology and comparative effectiveness of medical products and care management interventions. In my role as an Associate Director in the UI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) I oversee and contribute to the data science portfolio of ICTS.

In Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design I am responsible for comparative effectiveness, pragmatic trials and medical product safety research leadership. In Biomedical Informatics I am responsible for ICTS leadership in national networks and for expanding rural networks, especially using people-centered tools such as the Iowa Personal Health Record (PHR).

In addition, I serve as Associate Director for Population Sciences for the Holden NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. I also direct the UI Department of Epidemiology Health Effectiveness Research Center which is the home for the PCORnet Greater Plains Collaborative Iowa Research Core and the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Population Research Core as well as several prospective observational studies and intervention trials.

Within PCORnet, I am intimately involved with developing and validating electronic algorithms and phenotypes for exposures, covariates and outcomes using the PCORnet Common Data Model and I lead the PCORnet Cancer Collaborative Research Group.

Finally, in my role as Applied Surveillance Core Co-Lead for the Food and Drug Administration’s MiniSentinel program I am familiar with very large distributed data systems and common data models. These activities provide a rich environment and resources for pharmacoepidemiology and comparative effectiveness research, particularly using electronic healthcare data and prospective EHR-derived registries.

I have mentored many pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students in epidemiological and clinical research over the past 30 years. I currently serve as mentor for four junior faculty members, one postdoctoral fellow and four doctoral students in pharmacoepidemiology and health services epidemiology at University of Iowa (UI)


  • Pharmacy BS - The University of Iowa 1979
  • Pharmacy MS - The University of Iowa 1981
  • Pharmacy PhD - The University of Iowa 1986


  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Clinical/Hospital Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, The University of Iowa (1982 - 1984)
  • Clinical Pharmacy Faculty, Cedar Rapids Medical Education Program, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1982 - 1984)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, The University of Iowa (1986 - 1987)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa (1987 - 1994)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa (1994 - 1999)
  • Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa (1999 - 2000)
  • Associate Head for Admissions and Curriculum, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa (2000 - 2010)
  • Co-Director, BERD Key Function, Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (2007 - 2010)
  • Professor, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa (2000 - Present)
  • Associate Director for Population Sciences, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (2007 - Present)
  • Department Chair, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa (2017 - Present)

Professional Memberships

  • Member, Society for Epidemiologic Research (1989 - Present)
  • Member, American Public Health Association (1989 - Present)
  • Member, American Society of Clinical Oncology (2004 - Present)
  • Special Emphasis Panel to review AHRQ DeCIDE grants (2006 - Present)
  • NIH Grant Reviews for Health Services Organization and Delivery (HSOD)Study Section (2008 - 2014)


  • Burroughs Wellcome Scholar in Pharmacoepidemiology (1987 - 1992)
  • The University of Iowa Collegiate Teaching Award (2000)
  • Marvin A. and Rose Lee Pomerantz Chair in Public Health (2007)
  • College of Public Health Distinguished Faculty Lecturer (2007)
  • College of Public Health Research Award (2014)


Ongoing Research Support

2 P30 CA086862 (Weiner, George)



Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG)

This grant provides funding for the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and its six research programs, one of which is the Cancer Epidemiology Program.

Role:  Associate Director for Population Science

FDA HHSF2232009100061 (Chrischilles, Elizabeth A.)


Harvard Pilgrim Health Care/FDA

Detection and Analysis of Adverse Events Related to Regulated Products in Automated Healthcare Data.  Efforts to Develop the Sentinel Initiative

The goal of Mini-Sentinel is to develop infrastructure and conduct targeted surveillance and protocol-based evaluations of the risk of adverse events related to regulate medical products using automated healthcare data.  Dr. Chrischilles serves as Co-Lead of the Applied Surveillance Core, and as a workgroup leader.

4 R01 HL116311 (Carter, Barry)



Improved Cardiovascular Risk Reduction to Enhance Rural Primary Care (ICARE) Trial

Objective: To conduct a multi-center, cluster-randomized study utilizing a centralized Prevention Health & Cardiovascular Risk Service  to support the efforts of rural medical offices to improve adherence to the Guideline Advantage metrics for reducing cardiovascular risk.

Role:  Co-Investigator

R18 HL116259 (Carter, Barry)



MEDication Focused Outpatient Care for Underutilization of Secondary Prevention: MED-FOCUS

Objective: To conduct a multi-center, cluster-randomized study utilizing a centralized Cardiovascular Risk Service for medical offices with large geographic, racial and ethnic diversity to improve cardiovascular disease guideline adherence using the Guideline Advantage metrics.

Role:  Co-Investigator

CDRN-1501-26643 (Chrischilles, Elizabeth)


Subcontract with University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Inc/Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Greater Plains Collaborative Clinical Data Research Network – PCORnet Phase II

The goal of the CDRN is to create a national data infrastructure for practice-based comparative effectiveness research.  The initiative enhances the clinical decision making around empirical evidence of effectiveness and patient preferences.  The initiative emphasizes engaging patients, practicing clinicians, healthcare IT programs and health system leaders in the design and implementation of comparative effectiveness studies.

5R21 HS023952-01 (Chrischilles, Elizabeth)



Design and Testing of a Mobile Cardiovascular Risk Service with Patient Partners

Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are poorly controlled even for patients who frequently visit their physician, leading to large numbers of preventable cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

Research from integrated healthcare systems suggests that risk factors can be controlled better and treatment strategies for cardiovascular disease can be markedly improved by using a centralized cardiovascular risk service (CVRS) managed by pharmacists. The objective of this project is to develop and test a mobile app enabled, pharmacist managed CVRS for disseminating and implementing evidence-based guidelines in practice.

5 U54 TR0013561 (Winokur, Patricia)



University of Iowa Clinical and Translational Science Program

University of Iowa application for CTSA award

Role:  Associate Director

This award will re-engineer the clinical research infrastructure at the University of Iowa and facilitate interdisciplinary research related to the translation of basic research to clinical products and technologies and the translation of evidence into community-based practices.

5 U1C RH29074 (Ward, Marcia)


U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services                      

Telehealth Focused Rural Health Research Center Cooperative Agreement

The goal of this project will be to conduct and disseminate research on rural telehealth that contributes to building a high performance system in rural America.

Role:  Co-Investigator

HHSN261201300020I (Chrischilles, Elizabeth)



Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD) to Enhance SEER Data Collection

The purpose of this pilot study is to explore options for collecting patient generated health data (PGHD) as an enhancement to its mission of providing national cancer statistics to reduce the burden of cancer within the U.S. population. PGHD can be used to improve the quality of care, to extend research beyond the clinical encounter, to support behavioral interventions, and to add depth to surveillance activities. Patient portals could be used to collect data at multiple points over time, and give value back to patients by providing them with a summary of their own contributed data for management of their own care.

1 R01 MD010728-01 Chrischilles, Elizabeth


(Neuner, Joan project PI)

Subcontract with Medical College of Wisconsin/NIH

Completed Research Support

(Carnahan, Ryan)


Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Extension Connection: Advancing Dementia Care for Rural and Hispanic Populations

HHSF22301006T-0003 (Chrischilles, Elizabeth)


Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc./FDA                        

Protocol-based Assessment of Thromboembolic Events after Immunoglobulin Administration (IVIG)

HHSF2232009100061 (Chrischilles, Elizabeth)


Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc./FDA                          

Mini-Sentinel Prospective Observational Monitoring Program Tools (PROMPT), Rivaroxaban Surveillance (TO12


Contact Information:

Elizabeth Chrischilles, PhD