Halcyon Skinner, Ph.D., MPH

Associate Professor
(610) 758-2595
Office: STEPS 416


Halcyon (Hal) Skinner is an epidemiologist whose work spans the full spectrum of population health research from cell to society. Dr. Skinner received a PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MPH from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Wesleyan University. Dr. Skinner completed post-doctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Skinner’s work has focused on the genetic and environmental determinants of cancer risk and progression with a particular emphasis on pancreatic cancer. His contributions include early investigations of the relationship of telomere length and shortening to the occurrence of colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Later work successfully identified combinations of common serum analytes and clinical information that proved useful for developing novel decision support tools to predict the risk for and severity of prostate and ovarian cancers. More recent work included methodological development and evaluation of health quality measures including a novel harms-based weighting approach for the composite hospital patient-safety measure PSI-90. Prior to joining Lehigh University, Dr. Skinner was Director of Epidemiology and Director of Data Strategy for IBM Watson Health. Dr. Skinner aims to bring a translational approach to research and education for Lehigh’s College of Health by taking novel discovery and insights through design and development to the implementation of impactful solutions to improve the health of the population.


  • Post-doctoral training | Harvard School of Public Health
  • PhD in Epidemiology | Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • MPH | University of Miami
  • B.S. in Environmental Science | Wesleyan University

Areas of Research and Publications

Epidemiology, Health Services Research, Cancer, Molecular Epidemiology, Genetic Epidemiology, Computational Models, Predictive Modeling, Quality Measurement, Epidemiologic Methods, Measure Development and Evaluation

Dr. Skinner’s research aims to understand the determinants of health spanning the range from cell to society. Current work includes investigations of novel diagnostic and screening techniques for ovarian cancer, health care quality and safety measurement using electronic health information, and developing population health research infrastructure at Lehigh University.

View Halcyon Skinner on Google Scholar >

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Instructor - Program in Population Health - University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Best Poster - American Society of Preventive Oncology 2012 National Meeting
  • Delta Omega Student Research Award - Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Alpha Epsilon Lambda, National Graduate Honor Society


  • POPH 012: Seminar: Ethics in Population Health
  • EPI 304: Methods in Epidemiology
  • EPI 3xx/4xx Causal Inference