Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Public Health
Dr. Cook’s current research is focused on identifying better measurement strategies and epidemiological methods for addressing common environmental exposures which have the potential to excite multiple immune system, stress and inflammatory pathways relevant to both physical and mental health conditions. Thomas is particularly interested in the role of chronic exposure to air pollution and aeroallergens in cardiorespiratory diseases, asthma, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and suicide.
Dr. Thomas Cook is an epidemiologist and biostatistician with over fifteen years of experience in public health spanning community-based program development and evaluation to epidemiological studies. Thomas has served as the lead statistician on multiple applied and clinical research studies. Dr. Cook earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, with a Master’s of Public Health and PhD in Epidemiology & Biostatistics, both from Case Western Reserve University in his native Cleveland, OH.
Dr. Cook has also develop methods for addressing social, psychological and economic stressors in court and criminal justice settings and their role in predicting suicide risk. Dr. Cook is also involved in research on the role of alcohol exposure in the exacerbation of asthma and other inflammatory diseases, particularly among adolescents and young adults, and their synergistic role in suicidal behavior and mood disorders. Thomas has been published in both clinical, psychiatric and epidemiological journals and is currently working on a study of aeroallergen and air pollution exposures on premature death in Hungary. Dr. Cook has also developed numerous public health outreach programs and education campaigns, primarily targeting inner-city youth to promote active lifestyles, community safety and prevent injury. Thomas has served as a volunteer coach and organizer in the sport of cross country skiing for ten years and also enjoys running, cycling and hiking. Thomas’ wife, Emily, works in community development and non-profit project management. Thomas’ daughter Olivia will be attending college next fall and is an avid cross country runner and skier