Provincial Key Discipline “Public Health and Preventive Medicine”

Last updated:2016-03-21 17:37:49

The discipline, “Public Health and Preventive Medicine,” was established in 1976. After the formal foundation of the School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University in 1986, the discipline became part of the School and now consists of six second-level disciplines: Epidemiology and Health Statistics; Occupational and Environmental Health; Nutrition and Food Hygiene; Toxicology; Maternal and Child Health; and Social Medicine and Health Service Management. The discipline has made great progress in student education, scientific research, talent cultivation, and discipline construction over the past 40 years. At present, the discipline of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has become a doctoral education station and a post-doctoral research center; it was rated as a Key Discipline by Guangdong Province. Toxicology was evaluated as a States Key Discipline. The program of Preventive Medicine was honored as a National Specialty by the Ministry of Education and a Famous Specialty by Guangdong Province. Medical Statistics was awarded a National Excellent Course award. This discipline has established four key labs including the Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Food, Nutrition and Health; the Guangdong Provincial “Twelfth Five-year Plan” Key Laboratory of Health Informatics; the Guangdong Provincial “Scientific and Educational Development for Health Care Project” Key Laboratory of Toxicology; and the Guangzhou Municipal Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and Health Risk Assessment. In addition, the discipline has established the Guangdong Provincial Demonstration Center for Experimental Teaching, and several research centers and bases (the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Preventive Medicine; the Sun Yat-sen Center for Migrant Health Policy; the Sun Yat-sen Research Center for Global Health; the Rehabilitation Education Center for Child Autism; the Food Safety and Public Health Research Platform; the Key Lab of Health Technology Assessment; the One Health Research Center; and the Mental Health and Behavioral Medicine Research Center). Among the teaching and scientific research bases is one established together with other health care departments of Guangdong Province, the Zhongshan Institute (School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University) which provides great support in cohort studies, chronic diseases prevention and treatment, health policy, policy for disease prevention and control, and practical teaching.

The discipline possesses an energetic academic team of high-quality comprised of 65 full-time teachers, of which there are 22 professors, 24 associate professors, and 19 lecturers. The discipline has 18 doctorial supervisors, 36 full-time master tutors, and 39 part-time master tutors. Among them, there are two winners of the Distinguished Young Scholar of NSFC; one teacher selected in the “One Thousand Youth” Plan; one nationally recognized teacher; one State Academic Degrees Committee member; three New Century Excellent Talents approved by the Ministry of Education; one Pearl River Scholar; one winner of the National Excellent Doctoral Dissertations award; two winners of the Guangdong Pearl River Science Technology New Star award; and twelve introduced talents in the One Hundred Plan of Sun Yat-sen University.

Based on high-level scientific research platforms, six preponderant secondary disciplines have been formed after years of development and resources integration including Nutrition, Food, Health and Chronic Disease Prevention; Environmental and Occupational Exposure and Health Effect; Social Psychological and Behavioral Factors and Mental Health; Prevention and Control of Severe Infectious Diseases and Emergency Warning; Health Informatics and Policy Research; and Global Health. These secondary disciplines take a leading position in domestic affairs and make great contributions to the development of public health. Details about these secondary disciplines are described as follows:
1.   Nutrition, Food, Health and Chronic Disease Prevention
A)   According to the characteristics of the genetic background and dietary patterns of Chinese residents, and the results of population-based cohort studies, the effects of dietary patterns, vital nutrients, and phytochemicals on metabolic diseases and their mechanisms have been elaborated.
B)   The contributions of the interactions between genetic or epigenetic factors and nutrients to the occurrence, development, and relapse of metabolic diseases have been explored.
C)   Sensitive and effective nutrient-related biomarkers for metabolic diseases have been researched.
D)  Systems for nutrition quality evaluation and risk assessment, as well as technologies and methods for nutritional intervention, have been established.
E)   A platform for hazardous health effects evaluation and risk assessment of hazardous substances in food has been established.
F)   Reasonable dietary patterns and nutrition promoting measures have been provided to promote population health and to prevent and control chronic diseases.
2.   Environmental and Occupational Exposure and Health Effects
A)   Research on exposome of environmental pollutants, mechanisms of health effects of environmental hazardous factors, and toxicity related pathways have been carried out.
B)   Great progress has been made in various aspects of exposome research of environmental pollutants including screening, verification, and evaluation for biomarkers of environmental and occupational exposure and bioassay for environmental exposure based on systematic toxicology and model organism.
C)   Based on environmental and occupational exposure research, risk assessment of health effects has been explored to provide technology support for pollution control, health protection, and policy-making.
3.   Social Psychological and Behavioral Factors and Mental Health
A)   Research related to the joint effect of smoking and genetic factors on metabolic diseases, and birth cohort studies have been carried out.
B)   The application and extension of health promotion patterns in the workplace have been introduced.
C)   Measurement and application research on health-related life quality have been undertaken..
D)  Research has been conducted on the characteristics of cognition and neuropsychology in children with developmental and behavioral defects and related brain mechanisms; interventions for correcting children’s behavioral problems have been undertaken and the biological mechanisms of the relationship between children’s physique and health have been studied.
E)   Women’s healthcare, family psychological consultations, and related researches are also in progress.
4.   Community-based Surveillance, Prevention and Control of Severe Infectious Diseases and Emergency Warning
The emphasis is on methodology research on surveillance, risk assessment and emergency warning models for infectious diseases; on epidemiology, prevention and control models and effect evaluation of community-based important infectious diseases such as AIDS and viral hepatitis; and on zoonosis research.  The One Health Research Center has been founded to boost the formation and development of new interdisciplines.
5.   Health Informatics and Policy Research
The research emphases are as follows: migrant health policy and the key technologies of health services; healthcare services and health economics; health policy making, implementation and effect evaluation; hospital management; healthcare insurance; health information technology and construction of health information platforms; and methodology research on medical statistics and big data analysis.
6.   Global Health
The emphasis is on research on health problems with global influence including health policy and system research (especially effect evaluation of health policy and system intervention projects); global migrant health problems; global disease burden; a study of China’s medical aid in foreign affairs; as well as research on climate change and health and implementation science. By focusing on domestic health problems with global influence, emphasizing alliances with developing countries, and launching collaborations with world first-class universities, the secondary discipline has carried out cooperative research crossing disciplines, regions and cultures, and made comprehensive progress in global health study.
Following the development of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, the discipline aims to serve population health and cultivate high-quality public health talent. Through integration and use of various resources, multidiscipline cooperation, undertaking major health projects and the output of research achievements with significant influence, the discipline is leading the area of domestic public health and marching on the road to become a world first-class discipline.