The field of public health addresses a wide range of issues, making it a natural for interdisciplinary collaboration. UCLA faculty members and students reach beyond traditional academic boundaries to promote cooperative exchange across disciplines. The following interdisciplinary centers are sponsored by or associated with the Fielding School of Public Health.
Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health
The Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health was established in 2001 at the Fielding School of Public Health as the result of a generous gift from the Fred H. Bixby Foundation, and has grown since then with the support from additional Bixby Foundation gifts. The center promotes and supports research, training, and applied public health in the areas of population, reproductive health, and family planning. The principal focus is on reproductive health issues in developing countries, where population growth rates remain high and reproductive health services are poor or inaccessible. The center also works in reproductive health-related issues in the U.S.
Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research
The Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research is a joint program of the Fielding School of Public Health and the Geffen School of Medicine’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Since its inception in 1976, the center has been recognized in Los Angeles community, nationally, and internationally. It conducts rigorous peer-reviewed research in two major program areas — the Healthy and At-Risk Populations Program and the Patients and Survivors Program.
The Healthy and At-Risk Populations Program focuses on research in primary prevention and screening/early detection among healthy populations and persons at increased risk for developing cancer. Its research portfolio includes cancer epidemiology; gene-environment interaction; tobacco control; nutrition and exercise; and breast, cervix, prostate, and colon cancer screenings; as well as risk counseling and genetic testing of high-risk populations. The Patients and Survivors Program has as its major goal the reduction in avoidable morbidity and mortality among adult and pediatric patients with cancer and long-term survivors of cancer.
Center for Environmental Genomics
The Center for Environmental Genomics was established in May 2003 in partnership with the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The goal of the center is to bring together experts from a variety of fields — including cancer, environmental health, epidemiology, biostatistics, human genetics, pathology, and pharmacology — to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which environmental agents, such as air pollutants and radiation, interact with genetic predisposing factors to cause disease. A better understanding of these processes paves the way not only for targeted drug therapies, but also for targeted public health efforts to reduce environmental exposures in high-risk populations. Environmental genomics helps prevent diseases rather than waiting to cure them once they have occurred.
Center for Global and Immigrant Health
The UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health was established in 2008 and includes faculty members from departments in the schools of public health, medicine, dentistry, and nursing, and the California Center for Population Research, all of whom have research or teaching interests in global and/or immigrant health. Participating faculty members have active research collaborations in more than 50 countries, and several work both with immigrant communities in California and in the countries of origin of these communities. The center offers a regular seminar series and a Global Health Certificate available to students in any UCLA degree-granting graduate and professional program.
Center for Health Advancement
The UCLA Center for Health Advancement supplies enhanced analysis and evidence-based information to help policymakers decide which policies and programs can best improve health and reduce health disparities. The center analyzes a wide range of timely health improvement opportunities, identifying those supported by strong evidence. It presents and disseminates the results of these analyses in plain language to those who make and influence public- and private-sector policies and programs, and offers training and technical assistance to facilitate implementation of recommended approaches.
The center brings together faculty from multiple departments of the Fielding School of Public Health and other UCLA schools with a wide range of subject matter and methodological expertise, including expertise in nonhealth sectors such as education, transportation, housing, environmental protection, community planning, agriculture, public welfare, and economics. It has strong collaborations with government public health agencies, foundations, academic institutions, and other not-for-profit organizations. Within the health sector, its work is focused on how alternative investments to wasteful expenditures in health care can yield greater returns.
Center for Health Policy Research
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research was established in 1994 to apply the expertise of UCLA faculty members and researchers to meet national, state, and local community needs for health-policy-related research and information, and to accomplish three missions: conduct research on national, state, and local health policy issues; offer public service to policymakers and community leaders; and offer educational opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Sponsored by the Fielding School of Public Health and the Luskin School of Public Affairs, the center offers a collaborative health policy research environment for the leading professional schools and academic departments of UCLA. One major project is the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), one of the largest health surveys in the nation. The center also sponsors major public service programs supported by extramural grants.
Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities
The Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities (CHCFC) was established in 1995 to address some of the most challenging health and social problems facing children and families. The center’s mission is to improve society’s ability to provide children with the best opportunities for health and well-being, and the chance to assume productive roles within families and communities.
Through a unique interdisciplinary partnership — between UCLA departments including Psychology; schools including education, law, medicine, nursing, public affairs, and public health; and providers, community agencies, and affiliated institutions — a critical mass of expertise has been assembled. This allows CHCFC to conduct activities in five major areas: child health and social services; applied research; health and social service provider training; public policy research and analysis; and technical assistance and support to community providers, agencies, and policymakers.
Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
The California State Legislature mandated that the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) be formed in 1978, when a group of chemical workers became sterile from exposure to the pesticide DBCP, a known carcinogen and reproductive toxin. With branches in northern and southern California, COEH trains occupational and environmental health professionals and scientists, conducts research, and offers services through consultation, education, and outreach. The centers constitute the first state-supported institutions to develop new occupational and environmental health leadership in the U.S.
The UCLA COEH branch is housed in the Center for Health Sciences and involves the schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Nursing. Specific COEH programs within the Fielding School of Public Health include environmental chemistry, occupational/environmental epidemiology, occupational/environmental medicine, occupational ergonomics, occupational hygiene, toxicology, gene-environment interactions, psychosocial factors in the work environment, occupational health education, and pollution prevention.
Center for Public Health and Disasters
The Center for Public Health and Disasters was established in 1997 to address critical issues faced when a disaster impacts a community. The center promotes interdisciplinary efforts to reduce the health impacts of domestic, international, natural, and human-induced disasters. It facilitates dialog between public health and medicine, engineering, physical and social sciences, and emergency management. This unique philosophy is applied to the education and training of practitioners and researchers, collaborative interdisciplinary research, and service to the community. The multidisciplinary center staff and participating faculty members have backgrounds that include emergency medicine, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, gerontology, health services, social work, sociology, urban planning, and public health.
The center is one of 15 Academic Centers for Public Health Preparedness funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of these national centers is to improve competencies of front-line workers in public health to respond to public health threats.
Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice, and Health
The Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice, and Health is a multidisciplinary, collaborative research center housed in the Community Health Sciences Department. This new center launched in October 2017.
The center is distinguished from other disparities-related research units at UCLA by its primary focus on the health implications of racism for diverse populations. Public health is both an academic discipline and an applied one. Therefore, the center encourages the translation of research findings for use by public health professionals, community organizations, and policy makers in their ongoing health equity efforts. Many center affiliates are working to identify, investigate, and explain the specific mechanisms by which various forms of racism may produce local, national, or global health inequities. Others are advancing critical racial theories or building community partnerships to guide their anti-racism, health-equity work. The center supports a community of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research, scholarship, public health practice, and community engagement to tackle questions such as how racism affects the physical and mental health of diverse populations, what tools are available to improve the rigor with which researchers study racism and its relationship to health inequities, which intervention strategies most effectively address contribution of racism to specific health inequities, and what are effective ways to teach public health students about racism. Affiliates represent disciplines of public health, history, medicine, urban planning, sociology, and other areas.
Global Media Center for Social Impact
The Fielding School of Public Health has established an innovative center to increase awareness of important health issues and improve the well-being of people throughout the world by harnessing the storytelling power of television, film, music, and new media.
By collaborating with the entertainment industry and news media, the Global Media Center for Social Impact (GMI) helps content creators and reporters craft compelling stories that accurately address a full range of public health issues — from the social determinants of health to climate change and early childhood health — with the goal of impacting global health.
The center is ideally poised to engage the entertainment industry in creating storylines by linking filmmakers, writers, and other industry types with the experts and extensive resources of the school. The center also collaborates with media organizations and producers around the globe to promote exceptional storytelling, effective reporting, and interactive new media content that can help move research on population health from evidence to impact.
Southern California NIOSH Education and Research Center
The purposes of the Region IX Southern California NIOSH Education and Research Center are to: educate professionals in the various disciplines of occupational health and safety; provide continuing education for professionals and others in occupational safety and health fields; proliferate occupational health and safety activity through outreach to regional institutions and organizations; foster research on issues important to occupational health and safety; be an occupational health and safety resource to organizations and agencies that need our expertise; facilitate marshaling of community resources to address and solve occupational health and safety problems; respond through educational programs and research to the changing range of occupational safety and health problems; and educate non-academic stakeholders including business, labor, and vulnerable worker populations.
The characteristics of the center are embodied in a coordinated, interdisciplinary set of professional education, continuing education, research, and outreach activities that have a positive impact on the region’s and nation’s occupational health and safety practice.
The center has five programs at UCLA, one at UC Irvine, and two center-wide programs. The UCLA programs are Industrial Hygiene, Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, Center Administration and Planning, Continuing Education, and Outreach. UC Irvine hosts the Occupational Medicine Program.
UCLA Center for Prevention Research
The UCLA Center for Prevention Research conducts prevention research that addresses the needs of children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. The center is a partnership of the Fielding School of Public Health, Pediatrics Department, and a wide range of community partners. The center is innovative in its approach to community service, partnering with ethnically and economically diverse communities in Los Angeles County to identify opportunities for the center to provide technical support to community groups for program implementation and assessment. In addition, the center has partnerships with the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and other local groups.
UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity
Academic studies and current events have converged to highlight the magnitude of potentially preventable health disparities among various population groups, and the urgency of addressing these disparities. The UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity identifies, investigates, and addresses these differences in health status and disease burden. A key feature of the center is its heavy focus on community-based intervention research to mitigate observed disparities.
The center aims to advance understanding of health disparities across the lifespan and to foster multidisciplinary research to improve the health of underserved communities. With focus on Los Angeles County, the center facilitates community and academic partnerships in research, trains new investigators in health disparities research, and assists community partners in implementing effective programs and advocating for effective policies to reduce disparities. The center also endeavors to erode the barriers preventing more effective collaboration with local health departments and other key community partners engaged in the practice of public health. It is a collaborative center without walls that includes associates from academia, government, foundations, and private/nonprofit organizations.
World Policy Analysis Center
The World Policy Analysis Center aims to improve the quantity and quality of comparative data available to policymakers, citizens, civil society, and researchers around the world on policies affecting human health, development, well-being, and equity. To date, the research team has gathered detailed information on public policies in all UN member states — including labor laws, poverty reduction policies, education policies, and constitutional rights — with the goals of increasing access to this data and translating research findings into policies and programs at the global, national, and local levels. The center is committed to enhancing global health and public policy research and policy capacity across universities, governments, and international organizations.