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Our mission is to develop, foster and sustain research and academic excellence and innovation, while promoting and instilling the values of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and cultural humility, to address 21st century public and planetary health needs, and advance wellbeing for all.


To best serve the public good, the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health emphasizes research in seven high priority areas: climate and environmental health, health equity and global health justice, healthy births and aging and longevity science, health services research, mental health and substance use, women's health and reproductive justice, and quantitative methods in public health. 

To remain nimble to a shifting environment and health concerns over time, the school has established seven research programs that focus on these areas, which reflect collective strengths within the school and key areas of public health need.

Climate and Environmental Health

Climate and Environmental Health studies the relationships between people’s health and their environment. This priority area aims to promote healthy environments and mitigate the negative effects of climate change and noxious contaminants in air, water, soil,and food, with the goal of protecting communities and promoting people’s wellbeing.

Health Equity and Global Health Justice

Health Equity and Global Health Justice studies how to broaden conceptions of well-being, redress histories of inequitable knowledge valuation and advance systems-level change to advance global justice and equity.

Health Services Research and Health Policy

Health Services Research and Health Policy studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and health and well-being.

Healthy Aging and Human Longevity Science

Healthy Aging and Human Longevity Science studies how to improve public health indicators, health span, longevity with preserved physical and cognitive function, and health care for aging populations in the United States and globally.

Mental Health and Substance Use

Mental Health and Substance Use studies etiology, risk factors, and impacts of mental health conditions and substance use as well as prevention, promotion and maintenance of mental health, behavioral health, substance use disorder treatment and harm reduction services to improve population health.

Quantitative Methods in Public Health

The scope of Quantitative Methods in Public Health is broad, ranging from biostatistics to bioinformatics to biomedical data science, as well as experimental design, and other quantitative methods as applied to public health and biomedicine in general. We aim to become a hub of these focuses on the UC San Diego campus.

Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice

The mission of Women's Health and Reproductive Justice is broad and includes mandates to improve women’s health across a lifespan ranging from reproductive and gynecologic issues to chronic diseases of aging. Of particular interest is to study conditions where there are significant biological differences between the sexes in rates of susceptibility, symptoms and response to treatment.