Public health

The Institute works on facilitating and coordinating the activity of research teams who develop studies on public health or clinical research.

Scientific challenges

To facilitate the decisions of all healthcare system professionals, it is essential to analyze all health determinants.
Three dimensions should be taken into consideration:

Some of these analyses call for cohort studies to be carried out on a large section of the population (statistically representative of the analysis subject). For example, the ELFE cohort will take account of 20,000 children born in 2010 in France and follow them up from birth to adulthood using a multidisciplinary approach. This type of epidemiological survey is an invaluable source of information that might guide public health policy decisions.

Which scientific strategy should be followed?
A recent analysis of the research potential has revealed a certain number of French public health and clinical research strengths, including multidisciplinary development, close interface between production of knowledge and intervention, undeniable qualities of expertise in the teams.

By contrast, this analysis has also highlighted clearly identified weaknesses: the relative dispersion of teams which is hampering not just the national and international visibility of their research findings but also their capacity to take action on emerging health risks, and still not enough interaction between fundamental and clinical approaches in human and social sciences and public health, despite its necessity for an integrated understanding of the different factors involved in the population’s health.

The Institute of Public Health has made supporting the development of what we now call “large research infrastructures" its first priority in the field of public health research and clinical practice. These infrastructures are a powerful incentive for research teams to group together.

The Institute is responsible for stimulating the development of research in three fields in particular: