What is Clinical Epidemiology?

Clinical Epidemiology is the “study of groups of people to achieve the background evidence needed for clinical decisions in patient care” (White, 1996).  It must generate the best possible evidence from groups of individuals regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of various clinical courses of action.  It must also translate this evidence (or the lack thereof) into rational clinical decisions pertaining to the management of individual patients.

Clinical Epidemiology utilizes techniques developed by classical epidemiology and adapts these to the study of individual patients.  It incorporates concepts from related fields such as Biostatistics, Health Social Science, and Health Economics.  It deals mainly with the teaching of clinical research methodology and evidence-based medicine. Clinical Epidemiology is an evolving discipline and is considered as a basic science in clinical medicine. 



A trans-disciplinary center of excellence in the education of health care professionals and application of clinical epidemiology principles towards achieving accessible, equitable, efficient, ethical and culturally sensitive health care for all Filipinos.



Guided by science and compassion, we commit to the education of health care professionals in clinical epidemiology and its related disciplines for improved evidence-based decision making in health care and policies that engages patients, families and communities.



  1. To train health care providers in quantitative and qualitative assessment principles drawn from clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, health economics and health social sciences.
  2. To generate relevant health research addressing the priority health needs of the Filipino people.
  3. To provide technical assistance in the evaluation of the health needs of the country, identification of effective and efficient health interventions, rational allocation of resources and successful implementation and monitoring of health programs.

History of Clinical Epidemiology

In the early 1980s, the Rockefeller Foundation issued a call to major medical schools in the world to participate in a new initiative which would promote clinical practice based on the best evidence of effectiveness and efficient use of resources. The springboard for this new initiative was the training of physicians in clinical epidemiology. Subsequently, other disciplines of biostatistics, clinical economics and health social sciences were introduced to comprise a holistic perspective of health and health care.  The University of the Philippines College of Medicine was one of the first medical schools to respond to this call, and since then, it has been and continues to be the leading center for clinical epidemiology in the Philippines.Training in the field of Clinical Epidemiology started in the early 1980s in three centers – McMaster University in Canada, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and the University of Newcastle in Australia.  The Philippines was among the first countries in the developing world to send trainees in the field.  Training in Clinical Epidemiology involved completion of a Masters’ degree and successful defense of a thesis.  These training programs were funded directly by the Rockefeller Foundation and later, through the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) and Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

The first Clinical Epidemiology Unit (CEU) in the Philippines was established out of firm belief that epidemiological skills and concepts are important in the training, service and research activities of a clinician.  The groundwork for its establishment was laid out in 1982 by Dr. Kerr White, then Associate Director for Health Sciences of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Dr. Ernesto O. Domingo, then Chair of the PGH Department of Medicine.  It became operational in 1984 as a unit under the Department of Medicine led by Dr Mary Ann D. Lansang, the first clinical epidemiologist in the country. In 1990, CEU transferred to its new office at Paz Mendoza Building.

The training of specialist physicians from various departments continued. With the addition of biostatisticians, health social scientists and clinical economists into the unit and with more graduates from other clinical specialties, the CEU eventually became a unit under the office of the Dean of the College of Medicine in 1992.  In a short period of time, a critical mass had been trained and they have since advocated the use of clinical epidemiology in research, education and clinical practice.

Pioneering Activities of the then CEU (now Department of Clinical Epidemiology – DCE:

    • Introduced the discipline of clinical epidemiology to medical residents, fellows and students of the UP College of Medicine through regular short courses/training workshops on critical appraisal of the medical literature and research methodology.
    • Introduced the concept and practice of Evidence Based Medicine to medical practitioners.
    • Created the first Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology program in the Philippines in 1992
    • Started teaching Basic Research Methods courses in the undergraduate programs for Year Levels III, IV, V and VI in 1992
    • Provided methodological and statistical support for research projects

Since 1992, the Clinical Epidemiology Unit has offered the Master of Science in Epidemiology (Clinical Epidemiology), a joint program offering with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the UP College of Public Health, which offers the Public Health Epidemiology track.

In 1998, the unit was one of the key players in the development of the Master in Clinical Medicine program of the College of Medicine. The Master in Clinical Medicine program includes courses in Clinical Epidemiology, plus a Clinical Statistics course, which was specifically created for these programs.

Recognizing the distinct functions of the CEU and the evolving discipline of Clinical Epidemiology in education and research, the Board of Regents (BoR) approved the creation of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology under the UP College of Medicine-Manila on May 27, 1999 in its 1131st meeting. The creation of the new Department was for better coordination of the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs offered by the unit and to further promote the discipline of Clinical Epidemiology. The Department’s primary role is the administration of the academic activities in Clinical Epidemiology while the Institute of Clinical Epidemiology under the National Institutes of Health is primarily responsible for the conducting the research activities of the faculty. As per the BoR resolution — the director of the Institute shall also be the chair of the Department.


Founding Head
Dr. Ernesto O. Domingo, MD
National Scientist

Dr. Mary Ann D. Lansang               1984 – 1987
Dr. Corazon A. Ngelangel               1987 – 1989
Dr. Renato B. Dantes+                     1990 – 1993
Dr. Tessa Tan–Torres Edejer           1993 – 1998
Dr. Mario R. Festin                          1998 – 2000
Prof. Cynthia P. Cordero                  2000 – 2003
Dr. Noel R. Juban                             2004 – 2012
Dr. Marissa M. Alejandria                 2013 – 2018
Dr. Jacinto Blas V. Mantaring III  August 2018 – present

The Faculty

Regular Faculty

Marissa M. Alejandria, MD, MSc (Clinical Epidemiology and Clinical Tropical Medicine)
Director, Institute of Clinical Epidemiology
Clinical Epidemiologist and Infectious Diseases Specialist

Jacinto Blas V. Mantaring, MD, MSc
Professor and Chair
MS Program Director
Clinical Epidemiologist and Neonatologist

Nina T. Castillo-Carandang, MA, MSc
Associate Professor and Assistant Chair for Administration
Health Social Scientist

Cynthia P. Cordero, MSc, MMedStat
Professor and Assistant to the MS Course Director

Maria Lourdes E. Amarillo, MPH (Biostatistics)
Associate Professor

Noel R. Juban, MD, MSc
Clinical Epidemiologist and Community Medicine Specialist

Carlo Irwin A. Panelo, MD, MA
Associate Professor
Clinical Economist

Clinical Professor
Mary Ann D. Lansang, MD, MSc
Clinical Epidemiologist and Infectious Diseases Specialist

Current Cross Appointees (as of July 15, 2018)

Antonio Miguel L. Dans, MD, MSc
Professor, Department of Medicine
Clinical Epidemiologist, Adult Medicine Specialist and Cardiologist

Leonila F. Dans, MD, MSc
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Clinical Epidemiologist and Pediatric Rheumatologist

Mario R. Festin, MD, MSc, MHPEd (on secondment)
Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Clinical Epidemiologist and Obstetrician-Gynecologist

Maria Antonia A. Habana, MD, MSc
Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Clinical Epidemiologist and Obstetrician-Gynecologist

Corazon A. Ngelangel, MD, MSc, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine
Clinical Epidemiologist and Medical Oncologist

Felix Eduardo R. Punzalan, MD, MSc
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Clinical Epidemiologist and Cardiologist

Laurie S. Ramiro, MSc, PhD
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Health Social Scientist

Senior Lecturer
Bernadette A. Tumanan-Mendoza, MD, MSc
Clinical Epidemiologist and Cardiologist

Institute of Clinical Epidemiology Research Faculty with Teaching Assignments in the Department

Emmanuel S. Baja, Sc.D.
Research Associate Professor and Deputy Director, ICE
Environmental Epidemiologist

Emmanuel P. Estrella, MD, MSc
Research Associate Professor
Clinical Epidemiologist and Orthopedic Specialist

Mary Ann J. Ladia, PhD
University Researcher
Medical Anthropologist

Hilton Y. Lam, MHA, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Clinical Economist

Marie Carmela M. Lapitan, MD, MSc
Research Professor

Olivia T. Sison, MSPH (Biostatistics)
Research Assistant Professor

Clinical Associate Professor
John Mark Velasco, MD, MSc
Research Associate Professor
Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Adjunct Professor
Thien Kieu Thi, MD, PhD
Family Medicine and Neuro-epidemiologist

Administrative Officer
Girlie C. Monis

Administrative Assistant
Sandra Lesigues

 Training Workshops

      1. Research Methodology
      2. Evidence-based Medicine
      3. Development of Systematic Reviews
      4. Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines
      5. Good Clinical Practice and Ethics
      6. A Mixed Methods Approach to Health Research
      7. Data Management and Statistics for Health Research
      8. Effective Writing and Presentation of Scientific Researches
      9. Training for Technical Review Board Members


We also offer:

      1. Consultations for research projects/protocols
      2. Mentoring for research projects
      3. Extension services specially for partner agencies such as DOH, PhilHealth, PCHRD and professional medical societies
      4. Statistical consultations and data analysis

Address: Department of Clinical Epidemiology
Room 103 Paz Mendoza Building
UP College of Medicine
547 Pedro Gil St, Ermita, Manila
Telefax: (632) 525-4098
Email address:updce@post.upm.edu.ph

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