WHERE DO WE COME FROM?
Researchers in public health and epidemiology look at disease causation using conceptual models that comprise heterogeneous, interacting actors at multiple ecological levels, from pathophysiologic pathways to societal contexts. Despite this qualitative recognition of complexity, the ‘exposure-outcome’ paradigm has clearly dominated quantitative approaches in public health research. This reductionist approach has provided key insights on how to improve some aspects of population health, but many systemic problems cannot be fully understood or changed using fundamental models alone.
WHERE ARE WE AT?
Today, one of the major challenges that public health research faces is the translation of qualitative conceptual models of disease causation into formal quantitative modeling that can successfully incorporate complexity. In the past decades, complex systems modeling and simulation have evolved substantially and they now take advantage of increasingly diverse methodological tools and powerful computational resources. Recently, such models have been applied to issues as complex and diverse as infectious disease transmission and surveillance, non-communicable diseases epidemics and health systems policies. They provide a promising framework to deal with many of the current and future challenges in population health research and to fuel the production of true translational knowledge.
WHAT IS OUR AIM?
By inviting leading systems researchers, we aim to promote the presentation and discussion of integrative approaches that combine increasing amounts of information produced within and between levels of scientific inquiry into an objective and reproducible framework that can be used for public health research. Specifically, by the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Formulate public health issues as complex systems;
- Recognize key systems methods for public health research (agent-based modeling, system dynamics, network analysis);
- Understand how complementary systems methods have been used to address public health issues as diverse as HIV/AIDS and tobacco control;
- Identify, within their own research interests, questions that might benefit from formal complex systems approaches.
- Douglas Luke (Professor; Director at the Center for Public Health Systems Science, Washington University in St. Louis)
- Jeffrey Lazarus (Professor at Copenhagen University, founding secretariat director at Health Systems Global)
- João Claro (National Director of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, Head of the Innovation and Technology Transfer Unit at INESC TEC)
- Abílio Pereira Pacheco (Researcher at the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, INESC TEC)
- José Pereira Leal (Principal investigator, Head of Bioinformatics Unit and Computational Genomics Laboratory at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência)
Henrique Barros (Professor; President of the Institute of Public Health, University of Porto)
Raquel Lucas (Researcher at the Institute of Public Health, University of Porto)
We will admit up to 40 participants. Registration is free of charge but mandatory. Registrations should be sent by e-mail to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and must include: name, affiliation and a short motivation statement.
ISPUP – Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto
Rua das Taipas, 135
4050 600 Porto
The course will be held in English.