The DLSPH and its associated divisions, academic units and centres have a long-standing, deep focus on an unparalleled range of public health issues, including:
|addictions (smoking, alcohol, gambling and illicit drugs)||clinical public health||health economics||health services||infectious disease epidemiology and modeling||social determinants of health|
|child and adolescent health||gender and health||health informatics||health ethics||methodological research in biostatistics, demography and epidemiology|
|chronic disease epidemiology||genetic epidemiology & statistical genetics||health policy||health promotion, implementation-based science||occupational & environmental health|
The DLSPH has also identified new and emerging areas of focus that capitalize on the strength and diversity of its expertise. These themes are aligned to the School’s goal of impact on public health and health systems.
Using Big Data for Health
Population Health Data Sciences “Big Data” is the rapid integration and analysis of large-scale information from diverse sources (“volume, velocity, variety, and validity”), which has been increasingly touted as a revolutionary development in the health sciences, as well as for science in general. Although Big Data for health has tended to focus mostly on genomics and the use of deep biological data on individuals to identify better targets for treatment (personalized medicine), Big Data for population health is a theme the DLSPH has chosen to pursue that expands the data sets captured to include marginalized populations, biological data, data on upstream determinants of health such as environmental exposures, nutrition, socio-economic status, race and ethnicity, physical and social environments, and data on health system utilization, costs and other impacts on individuals as well as society. The overarching goal of Population Health Data Sciences is to use Big Data to develop insights into preventable causes of ill health and improvements in health systems performance.
The Health of Indigenous Communities
The Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health is among the first of its kind in the world and is facilitating and learning from enhanced engagement with Indigenous communities in research and training aimed at the full range of health needs of Indigenous people. Led by Indigenous scholars, guided by a national advisory committee of respected Indigenous leaders, and fully supported by the full spectrum of University expertise and resources, it will support Indigenous faculty and trainees and seed-fund pilot projects that promote the health of Indigenous peoples. This work will be founded on respectful, sustainable and equal partnerships between Indigenous communities and the University of Toronto.
Integrating Public Health and Primary Care
The DLSPH is home to the only Clinical Public Health division of its kind in the world that is integrating primary care, preventive medicine and public health. From immunizations to nutrition and physical activity, the School is defining a sustainable health system for future generations by producing delivery-oriented research, educating health professionals and providing services that elevate the health of people and populations.
Healthier Cities and Communities
The DLSPH is located in Canada’s largest and most diverse city. With rapid urbanization changing patterns of disease and health equity, there is a need to address complex urban problems that impact health. In coordination and partnership with an expanding group of voluntary service and community-based organizations, public agencies and local organizations such as Toronto Public Health, the Wellesley Institute and St. Michael’s Hospital, the School community is increasingly focused on scholarship, education and learning to tackle inner city health, health equity, resilience, climate change adaptation and the built environment.
Exploring trans-national and globalized health issues, determinants, and solutions, and involving many disciplines and stakeholders within and beyond the health sciences, is crucial to promoting greater health equity worldwide. The Office of Global Public Health Education & Training trains scholars and leads research into the sociopolitical dimensions of global health. The Institute for Global Health Equity and Innovation acts as a learning and activity hub to enable the creation of a pandemic of health through collaborative social innovation and entrepreneurship.