The Slone Epidemiology Center was founded in 1975 by Drs. Dennis Slone and Samuel Shapiro at the Boston University School of Medicine as the Drug Epidemiology Unit. Following Dr. Slone’s death in 1982, his colleagues honored his memory by renaming the group the Slone Epidemiology Unit. In 2001, the University’s Board of Trustees elevated the group to become the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University.
Over the years, Slone investigators have been supported by grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), other government agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, and private foundations. Slone works in partnership with hundreds of hospitals and thousands of health care providers, both nationally and internationally. Among the many studies conducted by the Slone Epidemiology Center, examples include:
- The Pregnancy Health Interview Study / Birth Defects Study, which for 39 years assessed the risks of birth defects in relation to medications taken during pregnancy; the database has information on 51,448 mother-child pairs.
- The Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS), which began in 1995 and assesses risk factors for cancers and other major illnesses in black women, in a prospective follow-up study of 59,000 African-American women from across the U.S. Follow-up of the participants every two years has yielded a rich database for prospective analyses of the effects of a variety of factors.
- A multicenter case/control study of illnesses requiring hospital admission in relation to medication use (Case-Control Surveillance), which collected data from over 80,000 adults from 1976 to 2009.
- The Accutane and Thalidomide Surveys, studies designed to assess the effectiveness of the respective manufacturers’ risk management programs focused on pregnancy prevention.
- The Slone Survey™, an telephone survey conducted from 1998-2007 that provides population-based information on the use of all medications in the United States – including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and minerals, and herbal preparations and other natural supplements.
To see a complete listing of studies conducted at the Slone Epidemiology Center, both active and complete, please visit our page for Research Studies.
For information on our directors and staff, please follow the links below: