Social Epidemiology Unit

The Social Epidemiology Unit conducts research on health inequity by investigating its causes as well as developing and testing approaches to reduce inequity. In order to achieve this goal we analyze the influence of the causes of causes – social determinants and policies – on expositions, health behaviors and health status across the life course.

Complexity and diversity are of key concern when analyzing causes of inequity and potential remedies. The co-occurrence and entanglement of different dimensions of inequality (especially socioeconomic status, gender, and migration status) is hereby central for the attainment of an extended understanding of health inequities. To this end we draw on concepts such as intersectionality and superdiversity and analyze how the said concepts can contribute to our understanding of health inequities in epidemiologic research. As well as analyzing causes of health inequity, we aim to develop and evaluate sociocultural sensitive concepts of healthcare and preventive services that reflect the existing complexity and diversity. In our research we use both qualitative and quantitative methods. Addressing aspects of diversity (especially gender and migration sensitivity) during the different stages of the research process and in the development of preventive interventions is one of our core competencies.

Selected publications

    Articles with peer-review

  • Gansefort D, Princk C, Brand T, Zeeb H. Community readiness for the promotion of physical activity in older adults - A cross-sectional comparison of rural and urban communities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018;15(3):453.
  • Jahn I, Börnhorst C, Günther F, Brand T. Examples of sex/gender sensitivity in epidemiological research: Results of an evaluation of original articles published in JECH 2006-2014. Health Research Policy and Systems. 2017;15:11.
  • Brand T, Samkange-Zeeb F, Ellert U, Keil T, Krist L, Dragano N, Jöckel K-H, Razum O, Reiss K, Greiser KH, Zimmermann H, Becher H, Zeeb H. Acculturation and health-related quality of life. Results from the German National Cohort migrant feasibility study. International Journal of Public Health. 2017;62(5):521-529.
  • Adjei N, Brand T, Zeeb H. Gender inequality in self-reported health among the elderly in contemporary welfare countries: A cross-country analysis of time use activities, socioeconomic positions and family characteristics. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(9):e0184676.

Current projects


Brand, Tilman, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56917
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Forberger, Sarah, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56907
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Frense, Jennifer
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56926
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Gencer, Hande
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56911
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Heise, Thomas
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56920
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Hübner, Wiebke
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56918
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Ochterbeck, Doris
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56925
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941

Samkange-Zeeb, Florence, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56981
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56901

Schepan, Marie Lisanne
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56928
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56941