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Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

The institute’s aim is the pursuit of cutting-edge research. The specialties of our professors are diversified which creates an inspiring learning environment for the students. Through the effort of teachers and students, the Institute conducts outstanding research. In order to facilitate the characteristics of diversity in our pedagogy, we arrange flexible course offerings and student activities. For example, we set the required course credits at the lowest limit, and suggest students take more elective courses. To increase research interaction among teachers and students we publish annual research reports which assemble the abstracts of published papers of our faculty members for editing and indexing. Though the Institute has a long history, there is room for further academic development. With the increasing number of students, maintaining interaction between professors and students is a challenge we are dealing with. In addition, the rapid progress of the human genome research has substantial impact on epidemiology, biomedical statistics and preventive medicine. In the past few years, many professors have adjusted their research direction to genetics. We face the challenge of interacting and mastering some vital topics in the field. The research community in Taiwan has passed beyond the stage of pure quantitative assessment; our next goal is to deepen the research topic and achieve innovative research results. From the point of view of public health, we will face greater challenges to actively and effectively convert the research results into relevant policies. These challenges are also our future prospects.

The goal of the Division of Epidemiology is to train students to be advanced epidemiologists, to investigate community diseases and detect outbreaks, to study risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms of disease, and to provide effective methods of disease prevention, health promotion, and life prolongation. Due to the international competition in epidemiological research and the changes in state of illness, the future directions of the division include developing methods of epidemiological and genetic epidemiology, epidemiological research of infectious diseases, psychiatric diseases and chronic diseases.

In addition, the directions of the Division of Biomedical Statistics are to train the students to have sufficient knowledge in development, design, statistical principals, methods, and practices needed to carry out biomedical and heath protection research, and to give them experience in cooperating in biomedical and relevant fields. The major themes of current research include genetic statistics analysis, general linear models, factor analysis, path analysis, survival analysis, LISREL models, longitudinal evaluation, Bayesian analysis, clinical trial, statistics in epidemiology, statistical modeling, and transmission model of infectious diseases.

The course design of Division of Preventive Medicine is based on promoting the entire concept of preventive medicine. Using the knowledge and theories of Biomedical Statistics, Epidemiology, Disease Prevention, Health Economic Evaluation, Health Education, Health Policy and Management, to theoretically and practically develop evidence based preventive medicine in research design and decision making. It will help to adequately diagnose the health problems in communities, participation in public health, and guide specialists in community preventive health care. Therefore, we have mapped the following future directions:

  1. Prevention in chronic disease: to study the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cerebrovascular disease, other chronic diseases, and life style changes that prevent these diseases.
  2. Screening of cancers and cost effectiveness, economical evaluation: to study different screening methods, analyzing and evaluating their costs for economical effectiveness.   
  3. Mental health care in community: in community medicine, studying the prevention of mental illness and promotion of mental health in communities.
  4. Surveillance and control of infectious disease: encourage students to develop the ability to control emerging infectious diseases.   
  5. Promotion of woman and child health care: reduction in the incidence of premature birth, prevention of fetus death, nutrition of new born babies, control of childhood abuse, and prevention of disabilities.
  6. Preventive policy and management in chronic diseases: encourage students to develop new preventive medicine policies and management.