In 1981 the Rockefeller Foundation awarded a grant to the University of Newcastle for the establishment of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Clinical Epidemiology as part of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN).

During 1986 the Centre received an Australian Government grant under the Public Health Education Research Programme (PHERP) designed to expand programs offered to Australians. The Centre redefined its role to provide training for Australian as well as International clinicians, biostatisticians, social scientists and other health professionals. In acknowledgment of this the name of the Centre was changed to the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. In 1994, 1995, and 2000 the Centre successfully competed for renewal of PHERP funding.

Today the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics is committed to expanding and reviewing its programs in response to the needs of the health services professions. The Distance Learning program is a vital function of the CCEB and will continue to flourish in the future along with expanded use of technology, including Internet-based learning resources to supplement educational objectives and improve access to Library and other facilities.