November 8, 2022
GHED - Welcome from the Global Health Chair
Welcome Message from the Chair
Thank you for coming to visit the homepage for the Department of Global Health and Emerging Diseases in the UTMB School of Public and Population Health!
We are proud to be forming a Department that will make a contribution to improving health in Texas and around the planet by leveraging UTMB’s unique strengths in emerging pathogens biomedical research, clinical care, interprofessional education,
and institutional biosafety. We will build upon the UTMB’s extensive network of global health partnerships, which are rooted in the fundamental concepts of relationships, respect, and integrity.
Over the coming months, working alongside our local, regional, and international partners, we will be embarking upon a process to outline our programmatic strategic focus areas and create a novel, transdisciplinary, cutting-edge tripartite academic program
in global health and emerging diseases that recognizes that addressing these conditions in a way that is consistent with our values requires a broad, comprehensive, and inclusive approach. The establishment of our first Division, Aerospace Medicine,
is a testament to our commitment to transdisciplinarity. With backgrounds that include training in clinical medicine, public health, engineering, and research methods, aerospace medicine specialists are uniquely equipped to manage whatever medical,
operational, research, and systems challenges that may affect individuals involved in space travel. And as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic showed us, our health is inextricably interconnected with that of other humans, plants, animal species, microbes, and
our shared environment.
As the world continues through an era of confluent pandemics that exacerbate underlying inequities in health, we will require a public health workforce that understands how and why diseases emerge, the social, economic, political, environmental, and structural
determinants that drive their spread, and how to work collaboratively across professional disciplines to address them both locally and internationally. Public health's fundamental importance must be at the root of the future of modern medical practice.
From UTMB’s start as the first medical school in Texas in 1891, the institution has since been on the front lines of all types of public health challenges. From infectious disease epidemics like yellow fever, bubonic plague, cholera, and now SARS-CoV-2
to hurricanes, freezes, and other climatic events, UTMB has been there, carrying out high impact research, developing cutting-edge training programs, providing outstanding clinical care, and engaging closely with our community to improve the health
of the population.
So in fact, the establishment of a Department of Global Health and Emerging Diseases in our new School of Public and Population Health is not surprising – rather it is the natural continuation of a long story that has placed UTMB at the forefront
of public health, meeting emerging epidemics wherever and whenever they arise.
Please reach out with any questions, follow the School of Public & Population Health and Global Health at UTMB on Twitter, and watch this space for updates!
Matthew Dacso, MD, MScChair, ad interim, Department of Global Health and Emerging DiseasesAssociate Professor
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