The Institute of Public Health and our members are working to enhance our scientific capacity, both through internal development of staff and students and through external recruitment. We foster an environment that attracts talented young researchers and integrates training with high-quality research.
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Our Research Objective
Our overall objective is to generate evidence to inform:
- The prevention of premature death and disability.
- The promotion of health and well-being throughout the lifespan, including a good death.
- The reduction of health inequalities.
- The formulation of evidence-based health policy.
Our distinctive approach
Our distinctive approach is the deep integration of quantitative, clinical, social and life sciences in specific areas to help address major public health problems.
Our research output is characterised by:
- Cutting-edge methodology that underpins our applied work, such as major contributions to methods for analysing and interpreting complex epidemiological and public health data.
- The discovery of knowledge to lay the foundations for new disease prevention efforts by better understanding the natural history and causes of disease. For example, with the identification of interleukin-6 (IL-6) signalling as a causal risk factor for coronary disease, and the characterizing of the neuropathology of dementia.
- The development of new tools to predict disease, for example, the BOADICEA risk model for familial breast and ovarian cancer risk, which has been incorporated into NICE and other guidelines.
- The development of new interventions to prevent disease, for example, demonstration that ultrasound screening in men for abdominal aortic aneurysm reduces mortality and is cost-effective, culminating in a new national screening programme by the Department of Health in England.
- Policy-relevant work to promote health and well-being that has a direct impact on policy and practice. For example, our work contributing to UK strategies and guidelines for physical activity and dementia, and to international cardiovascular guidelines.
From long-term projects to rapid response activities
The large bulk of our research activity is long-term in nature. As an important example, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC, a pan-European study of 520,000 people which Cambridge scientists helped establish in the 1990s) has become even more valuable to our research as large numbers of new-onset cases of particular chronic disease outcomes have been accruing in recent years. At the other extreme of time-frames, we produce rapid-response reviews to advise the UK government, for example, regarding policies on alcohol and tobacco control.
Strategic coordination at the Institute
A key part of our function is to coordinate the rapidly-expanding population health research activities throughout Cambridge. The rationale is to maximise synergy and opportunities for interdisciplinary research. Several University-wide initiatives are stimulating interdisciplinary collaboration in public health across all six Schools of the University, including the Centre for Science and Policy, with cross-cutting themes of well-being and evidence-based policy, and the PublicHealth@Cambridge Strategic Research Network, which is hosted here at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health.
Applied Health Research
Our applied health research programmes are typically organised as cross-departmental centres that are “mission-oriented” and interdisciplinary. Read more
Integrating Population Studies with Quantitative Sciences
We promote the development and application of innovative statistical methods and deepen their integration into our population health studies. Read more
Integrating Clinical and Life Sciences
We work to integrate aetiological epidemiology deeply with clinical and life sciences. Read more
Partnership with External Organisations
We work with key external (including international) partners in academia, the NHS, industry, the not-for-profit sector and the general public. Read more