The National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE) was established on July 2, 1999 by merging the Central JALMA Institute for Leprosy (CJIL Field Unit), Avadi with the Institute for Research in Medical Statistics (IRMS), Chennai. The broad objectives of the Institute cover Development of human resources in epidemiology and bio-statistics, Networking of the various ICMR and non-ICMR Institutes at the national level for epidemiological purposes, and Consultancy.
The Institute has the distinction of being the WHO Collaborating Centre for Leprosy Research and Epidemiology and identified as a Technical Resource Group for Epidemiology of HIV by National AIDS Control Organization.
The Institute carries out a variety of research activities which include areas such as interventional studies, disease modeling, health systems research, evaluation of health schemes and disease control programmes, issues of statistical methodology, epidemiological investigations and clinical trials of traditional remedies.
The Institute is recognized by the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (Deemed University), Thiruvananthapuram for the 2-year Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP-INDIA) leading to Master of Applied Epidemiology (MAE) degree. The Institute has been conducting training programmes annually in bio-statistics, controlled clinical trials and basic epidemiology for medical doctors, PG medical students and para-medical workers. It also conducts WHO-SEARO 10 day regional workshops on Surveillance, Epidemic preparedness and Response periodically.
The Institute is recognized by the University of Madras for research leading to Ph. D degree in the areas of epidemiology and bio-statistics.
The Institute has expertise in the areas of bio-statistics, epidemiology, epidemiology of communicable diseases namely leprosy, tuberculosis and other diseases, controlled clinical trials, maternal and child health, health surveys, data processing etc. The Institute has a good library, a well equipped computing facility and a field practice area covering well characterized 5,00,000 population.