Retired Faculty


Below is a list of retired department faculty who were instrumental in the development of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics over the years. We honor and thank them for their research, teaching and mentoring.


  • Jim Pivarnik, PhD | Retired 2022

    Jim Pivarnik

    Professor Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Kinesiology
    Former Director Center for Physical Activity and Health
    Director, Human Energy Research Laboratory

    Expert on physical fitness, special interest in fitness related to women and pregnancy.

    Retired 2022 |

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  • Nigel Paneth, MD, MPH | Retired 2021

    Nigel PanethEmeritus University Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Pediatrics

    Retired: 2021 |

    Although Dr. Paneth retired in May 2021 from his full-time faculty position, he remains active in our department as a part-time faculty member.  He continues to mentor students and post-doctoral fellows who are completing their work, but is not taking on new students.  He is supported by his involvement as co-principal investigator on Prenatal Exposures and Child Health Outcomes (UH3 ODO23285), one of the two NIH ECHO program grants in the department, as well as serving as a co-investigator and/or consultant on other NIH initiatives.

  • Janet Osuch, MD | Retired 2018

    Janet OsuchProfessor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Surgery 

    Retired: 2018 |  Email:

    Dr. Osuch, a professor of Surgery and Epidemiology. Janet limited her surgical practice to diseases of the breast from 1987-1998, and founded the Comprehensive Breast Health Clinic at MSU in 1992. She obtained a Master's degree from this department in 2000.

  • Mahdi Saeed, DVM, MPH, PhD | Retired 2017

    Mahdi SaeedEmeritus Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

    Retired: 2017 | E-mail:

    Dr. Saeed has been conducting research on food safety and prevention of foodborne diseases, zoonotic diseases and their impact on human populations. Assesment of the role of exposure to animals in the developmnent of zoonotic diseases such as Campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis. Developing, with other professionals, state-wide programs in food safety epidemiology and emerging infectious diseases. Development of new courses in food safety epidemiology for a new food safety specialty degree at Michigan State University.

  • Naomi Breslau, PhD | Retired 2016

    Naomi BreslauEmeritus Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics 

    Retired: 2016  / Deceased: 2018

    Dr. Breslau was a highly cited psychiatric epidemiologist and PhD-trained sociologist who made major contributions and scientific advances in the epidemiological study of numerous psychiatric conditions and behavioral disturbances, most prominently post-traumatic stress disorder and tobacco dependence. Learn more about the life and career of Dr. Breslau.

  • Julie Wirth, PhD | Retired 2015

    Julie WirthAssistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics 

    Retired: 2015 / Deceased: 2020

    Dr. Wirth was a PhD microbiologist with graduate training in epidemiology, whose current primary research focus was the study of exposures to organochlorines and male reproductive health. She also was an expert in research on environmental chemicals and human health generally, and studying gene-environment interactions using epidemiological and microbiological research approaches. Learn More about the life and career of Dr. Wirth.