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Nancy J. Ellish, DrPH, MSPH

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:

Epidemiology & Public Health

Secondary Appointment(s):



660 W. Redwood St., Howard Hall 103B

Phone (Primary):




Education and Training

  • State University of New York at Albany, BA, Mathematics, 1973
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, MSPH, 1974
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, DrPH, 1981


Dr. Ellish has worked as an epidemiologist in both non-academic and academic settings. She has successfully collaborated with other epidemiologists, biostatisticians, physicians, laboratory workers, support staff, and students on a wide range of projects.  She was the recipient of a Prevent Blindness America Investigator Award to conduct focus groups to examine eye examination behavior, the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded grant to compare tailored and targeted interventions to increase eye examination behavior, and the Principal Investigator of a CDC-funded grant to examine early pregnancy detection and reproductive loss.

Dr. Ellish has been teaching the introductory epidemiology course taken by master’s and Ph.D. students for several years, and has mentored several MPH students with their capstone experience. Dr. Ellish is very active in the MPH program in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, where she chairs the Curriculum Committee and leads the workforce development initiative within the program.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Workforce development, health behavior, health communication, health disparities, ophthalmic epidemiology

Highlighted Publications

Ellish NJ, Royak-Schaler R, Higginbotham EJ. Tailored and targeted interventions to encourage dilated fundus examinations in older African Americans.  Archives of Ophthalmology 129:1592-8, 2011.  (PMID: 22159679) PMCID: PMC3534730

Ellish NJ, Scott D, Royak-Schaler R, Higginbotham EJ.  Community-based strategies for recruiting older, African Americans into a behavioral intervention study.  Journal of the National Medical Association 101:1104-1111, 2009. (PMID: 19998638) PMCID: PMC3534732

Ellish NJ, Royak-Schaler R, Passmore SR, Higginbotham EJ.  Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about dilated eye examinations among African-Americans.  Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 48: 1989-1994, 2007. (PMID: 1746025) PMCID: PMC1978096