About Us

What are Population and Public Health?

Population and public health look at the big picture.

Rather than treating one patient at a time, public health works to find what causes disease and health issues, and then finds solutions for a community as a whole. Examples of public health measures range from Dr. John Snow removing a pump handle to stop the spread of cholera through contaminated water in London, to obesity prevention programs, policies to improve the cost-effectiveness and patient outcomes of health services, healthy city design, social and emotional learning programs for children, and asbestos removal from homes and workplaces.

As the Public Health Agency of Canada describes, public health “is the organized effort of society to keep persons healthy and prevent injury, illness and premature death. It is a combination of programs, services & policies that protect and promote the health of all Canadians.”

Population health focuses on specific populations, or communities, looking at the broad range of factors that influence health, called ‘social determinants.’ These factors include things like economic status, early childhood development, gender, and social structure. The World Health Organization refers to these as the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.

Our School has a strong history in population and public health

From faculty and students working on the front lines of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, to those working on the overdose crisis here in British Columbia, to researching the deadly effects of air pollution, and investigating the cost and benefits of universal coverage for pharmaceuticals, our faculty, students, and staff work every day to help everyone achieve their best possible health, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much they earn.


  • 2008The School is created by the UBC Senate
  • 2009The inaugural strategic plan is released
  • 2010The School moves to own building at 2206 East Mall
  • 2011The School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (SOEH) merges with School
  • 2012Several centres and units, such as Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, the Human Early Learning Partnership, the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, and Population Data BC become part of the School.
  • 2014The Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health is created.


Looking for policies, forms or committee information?

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Director’s Message


Welcome to the School of Population and Public Health, where we are known as one of the best places in Canada for our next generation of public and population health experts to train, learn and grow.

Our School is dedicated to excellence and integrity across our full range of academic programming, paired with world-class research that spans and bridges multiple disciplines. (Learn more about our Divisions and Centres.) Our ground-breaking work positively impacts population and public health practices and outcomes in communities here in British Columbia and around the globe.

I have worked in different capacities at the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) since its inception in 2008. Prior to that, I was part of UBC’s Department of Healthcare and Epidemiology, the School’s predecessor. It has been amazing to see how we have evolved, becoming much greater than the sum of the many different groups and disciplines that came together to form SPPH.

Dr. Aslam Anis

The School’s success is impossible without our learners and graduates. Our programs have produced distinguished population and public health leaders and scholars in our community and worldwide.  Our graduates include Medical Health Officers across the country who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response and professionals who are instrumental in ensuring our work and community environments are safe and healthy places for all through the implementation of equitable and evidence-based best practices. Our researchers are at the forefront of generating impactful scientific evidence to respond to key population and public health challenges locally and globally.

Equity and inclusion are integral to everything we do at SPPH. We embrace the diversity of all our learners, staff and faculty. Further, we are committed to reconciliation for past harms and enhancing Indigenous cultural awareness at all levels. These are fundamental pillars of effective population and public health for the optimal well-being of our society. Key to this is ensuring we provide a safe environment for all our learners. In addition, we are proud to offer career-building opportunities to promote the advancement of individuals from historically marginalized and racialized communities in leadership positions.

For me personally, it is a privilege and honour to lead the School. I am committed to continue enhancing and improving the academic experience for our learners and always welcome your feedback. My hope is that our world-class faculty and staff will help instill a life-long passion in you for improving the health of your communities and the world at large, and provide you the tools to create a meaningful and lasting impact in your field.


Dr. Aslam Anis  PhD, FCAHS (He, Him, His)

SPPH Leadership



The School is organized in four Divisions, each acting as a nexus for SPPH faculty who share common research and interests, and also for internal governance and accountability.

Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health Practice

This Division addresses the fundamentals and practice of biostatistics and epidemiology, and contributes to the understanding of the etiology and prevention of disease through excellence in research. It also integrates public health teaching, research and practice with a focus on improving well-being and preventing disease at a population level.

Division head: Amee Manges

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Health in Populations

This Division addresses population health perspectives on improving the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples, women, children, youth and their families; and, the determinants of population health, including social, biological, and developmental forces, throughout the life course from birth to death.

Division head: Martin Guhn

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Health Services and Policy

The Health Services and Policy Division addresses the organization, regulation, accessibility, utilization, and allocation of health care resources, and the resulting costs and health effects.

Division head: Boris Sobolev

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Occupational and Environmental Health

This Division focuses on health effects and prevention measures related to chemical, physical, biological, and psychosocial hazards, and to the design of buildings, workplaces and communities.

SPPH’s Strategic Framework for 2020-2025 is presented below.

View upcoming and previous OEH Seminars

Division head: Chris McLeod

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Our Strategic Plan

The School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) is developing a new strategic plan. The strategic planning process began in Summer 2019 with key stakeholder interviews among students, faculty and staff. These were followed by a small group retreat, which resulted in a draft Strategic Framework that has guided our subsequent strategic planning. Engagement with the School community continued throughout the first half of 2020, and culminated in a virtual retreat in September and October 2020 to which the whole community, including all faculty, staff, and student representatives were invited. SPPH will release a draft strategic plan consultation in early 2021. More information will come as it is available.

SPPH Events

Below is a list of drop down menus detailing the groups that host seminars for SPPH.

**Please note that UBC is currently upgrading the Events calendar at this time, as such we are unable to post events. More details will be provided when we receive them!**

Seminars presenting content about advancing research and teaching of applied ethics. Topics include the application of normative methods to core issues in science and technology ethics and policy, organizational ethics, animal welfare, health, the environment, and research ethics.
CAE Events Page

Seminars presenting content about a sustainable health system in BC and Canada while delivering high quality, effective and accessible care.
C2E2 Events Page

Work in Progress (WiP) seminars provide investigators with an opportunity to present ongoing research, obtain feedback from colleagues and peers, and make new connections for their projects.
CHEOS Events Page

CHSPR hosts a monthly lunch seminar focused on health services research and health policy topics. Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are invited to present their work in progress and give feedback to others. We hold seminars on Tuesdays (usually) from 12-1. Seminars are listed at http://chspr.ubc.ca/events/

Seminars presenting content about improving the health and well-being of children through interdisciplinary research and mobilizing knowledge.
HELP Events Page

This monthly global health event series enriches the global health offerings available to students by bringing expert and diverse multidisciplinary speakers from across the greater UBC community and beyond to share their expertise on global health equity and related topics.
Global Health Event Series Page

The UBC Learning Circle is an ongoing video conference and computer webinar initiative that encourages sharing knowledge about our health and well-being.
Learning Circle Sessions Page

More details will be posted regarding the MPH sessions when available.

The MSc OEH Seminars provides content about occupational and environmental hygiene, policy analysis, health and safety, and more.
OEH Seminar Series Page

The School of Population and Public Health is thrilled to announce a monthly speaker series for the 20/21 academic year called Voices in Health, featuring renowned public and global health experts.
SPPH Voices in Health Seminar Page

Contact Our Staff and Faculty

Academic Program Contact Information

MHA Program email Phone: 604 822-2366
MHSc Program email Phone: 604 822-5405
MPH Program email Phone: 604 822-9207
MSc Program email Phone: 604 822-5405
MSc OEH Program contact Phone: 604 822-2827
PhD Program email Phone: 604 822-5405
Residency Program email Phone: 604 822-7646

SPPH Contact Information

Faculty Directory
Staff Directory

More Contact Information 

UBC Directory
UBC Pt Grey Campus WayFinder
UBC Media Experts Guide
UBC Library


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News and Newsletters



Development of educational programming in global public health gets underway
June 13, 2022The School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) is pleased to support such engagement with the initiation of the planning, consultation and approval process of a new and unique curriculum in Global Health. Read More >

Dr. Gina Ogilvie renewed as Canada Research Chair in Global Control of HPV-Related Disease and Cancer
June 7, 2022Fifteen UBC researchers were announced as new and renewed Chairs in the latest round of appointments. Read More >

National Day of Mourning
April 28, 2022April 28 is a national day of mourning to remember workers who lost their lives on the job. The death of each worker is an immeasurable loss and has devastating consequences for families and friends. Read More >

CCPHE Announces new Co-Directors
April 8, 2022The Canadian Collaboration for Prison Health and Education (CCPHE) is pleased to announce that Dr Amanda Slaunwhite and Dr Sofia Bartlett will become Co-Directors of the UBC’s CPPHE effective April 1, 2022. The CCPHE was formed in 2006 as a group committed to encouraging and facilitating collaborative opportunities for health, education, research, service and advocacy, […] Read More >

Dr. Trevor Corneil named Associate Director, Clinical Faculty Affairs
March 7, 2022Dr. Trevor Corneil has accepted the position of Associate Director, Clinical Faculty Affairs, a newly created leadership position in the School of Population and Public Health. Read More >

SPPH Miniseries
February 25, 2022In these miniseries we are showcasing our SPPH students and their stories! Read More >

Dr. Trevor Corneil appointed Director, Public Health & Preventative Medicine Residency Program
January 24, 2022I’m pleased to announce that Dr. Trevor Corneil has accepted a three-year term position as the Director of our Public Health & Preventive Medicine Residency Program at SPPH. Read More >

Spotlight on Dr. Mark Gilbert
January 20, 2022SPPH Associate Professor (Partner) Dr. Mark Gilbert is the recipient of an Applied Public Health Chair through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Read More >

Remembering Rita Stern
January 12, 2022I’m saddened to announce the passing of our colleague Rita Stern, a long-time clinical faculty member with HCEP and SPPH, and a highly respected member the Board of Directors for the Centre of Excellence in Women’s Health (CEWH). Rita was a trailblazer for women’s health and an outspoken advocate for feminism in relation to population […] Read More >

Investigating the factors contributing to indoor air pollution
December 16, 2021A new paper from recent PhD graduate Dr. Matthew Shupler and others at the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) sheds new light on several environmental and socioeconomic factors that contribute to hazardous air pollution. Read More >