Johns Hopkins school fills Comstock professorship

November 30, 2012

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has named Dr. Josef Coresh the inaugural recipient of the George W. Comstock Professorship in Epidemiology.

The professorship honors the legacy of Dr. George Comstock, a physician and professor emeritus at the Bloomberg School, according to a news release from the school.

Comstock was a distinguished epidemiologist who conducted seminal research on tuberculosis control and treatment, in addition to cancer, heart disease and lung disease. He served as a captain in the U. S. Public Health Service for 21 years and taught at Johns Hopkins University for more than 50 years.

Comstock was 92 years old when he died in 2007. He lived in Smithsburg.

Coresh was installed in the Comstock professorship on Wednesday.

He holds joint appointments as professor in both the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Biostatistics at the Bloomberg School. He also currently serves as the director of the Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology Training Program and the director of the George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention.


Coresh has led prominent investigations on the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the United States.

His main research objective is to decrease the burden of cardiovascular and kidney disease by developing the scientific basis for behavioral and pharmacologic interventions, the news release says.

“George Comstock was the quintessential ‘shoe leather epidemiologist’ who made profound contributions to our understanding of the epidemiology of many common health conditions,” David D. Celentano, the Dr. Charles Armstrong Chair in Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School, said in the news release. “His landmark studies were in the field of tuberculosis, but he left major marks on cancer epidemiology, hypertension and a raft of other health conditions. Joe Coresh is continuing this major line of research with his studies on atherosclerosis risk in elderly populations, where he is directing a 25 year follow-up of a population of older residents in Washington County.”

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