Skip to main content
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Medical Social Sciences

Supporting highly multidisciplinary, collaborative research efforts.


In the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, we leverage the social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and economics, to create and apply innovations that improve the health of our community and our society. We are leaders in health measurement, quality-of-life measures, outcomes science and statistical tools to support clinical research.

Incorporating social science into biomedical research, mobilizing patients to participate in their care and acknowledging the emotional component of treatment are becoming more common practices as the value of these elements becomes more apparent.”

David Cella, PhD
Director, Department of Medical Social Sciences

Read a message from our director

Explore Our Department


Our faculty members participate in classroom teaching and research training at Feinberg, as well as professional and public education efforts locally, nationally and internationally.

Learn More

Research Hubs

Our research portfolio is grouped into four defining scientific hubs; explore the hubs and our faculty members' diverse research interests.

Learn More

Core Services

We offer core services and expertise in outcomes research, including questionnaire and survey development and technical design. 

Learn More

Our Institutes

The Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing and the Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences are university-wide institutes led by our faculty. These institutes serve as scientific and community hubs for cultivating talent, collaboration and innovation at the intersections of traditional disciplines.

Faculty Spotlight

Voss, Joel Lawrence

Joel Lawrence Voss

Associate Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Neurology - Ken and Ruth Davee Department and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

My laboratory uses human neuroscience methods (fMRI, EEG, TMS, eye tracking) to investigate mechanisms of learning and memory and their impairment in neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders. We also use noninvasive stimulation methods to modulate distributed networks of the human hippocampus in order to test their roles in memory and to develop novel treatments for memory impairment.

Rini, Christine M

Christine M Rini

Professor of Medical Social Sciences

As the recently appointed Director of the Cancer Survivorship Institute, Dr Rini furthers her work in as a Program Leader of Cancer Control and Survivorship. Her background is in social/health psychology and behavioral medicine research, and she is interested in the various ways interpersonal relationships can interact with medical factors and patients’ social environment to influence their health decisions, behaviors, and outcomes. She is the PI of an NCI R01 evaluating a behavioral intervention for cancer patients undergoing bone marrow/stem cell transplant and co-PI of a NHGRI U01 study investigating use of genomic (exome) sequencing for diagnosis in a diverse population of children with suspected genetic conditions.

Franklin, Patricia D

Patricia D Franklin

Professor of Medical Social Sciences and Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Patricia Franklin is the newest addition to the Department of Medical Social Sciences. We are pleased to have Dr. Franklin join our team as the Co-Director of the Outcomes and Measurement Science Hub. Dr. Franklin serves as the Principal Investigator of the FORCE-TJR research registry, which established an international reputation for implementing patient-reported outcomes (PROs) as the primary outcome following total joint replacement surgery. She is currently leading a multi-center trial of real-time, PRO-based, shared decision reports to guide treatment decisions for  knee and hip osteoarthritis


View All Faculty

Your generous support helps us reach our educational and scientific goals.

Contribute Today
Back to top

Follow MSS on