Public Health at UC San Diego

Public Health at UC San Diego is a passionate, innovative and multidisciplinary effort. The Department of Family Medicine and Public Health is comprised of expert Faculty and motivated students and clinicians, who integrate research, education and clinical care. The diversity of the overall field is well represented by this Department, with seven Divisions focused on:

  • Behavioral Medicine faculty integrate behavioral and medical sciences to improve health behavior research and interventions for application to prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

  • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics faculty are skilled in statistical and computational research, to effectively address the central role of statistical inference across the medical sciences.

  • Epidemiology faculty conduct observational studies and clinical trials to better understand the mechanisms of the development of disease at multiple stages of life, to provide insights for the development of preventive and treatment programs.

  • Family Medicine faculty perform practice-based research in medical, behavioral and health services areas that impact the health of our patients, their families, and the community.

  • Global Health faculty focus on prevention and control of chronic diseases internationally, particularly cancer, mental health, and respiratory illness, as well as on alcohol and tobacco behavior change.

  • Health Policy faculty seek to improve public health through research that informs and improves the organization, financing and delivery of health care.

  • Preventive Medicine faculty focus on cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention, information technology in disease prevention, and cancer, nutritional, molecular and statistical genetic epidemiology and prevention.


    Research is a top priority in the UC San Diego Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (FMPH).  It therefore supports collaborative research through seven Centers of Excellence with these focus areas:

    Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Prevention - investigates the impact of body composition, diet, physical activity, biomarkers, and genetic factors on subclinical cardiovascular disease, physical functioning, and quality of life in healthy persons and those with cardiovascular disease.

    Energy Balance, Obesity and Cancer Prevention - examines the association of energetics and obesity with cancer carcinogenesis; health behavior theories on links between obesity and cancer; and insights about prevention and control of disease.

    Research and Intervention in Tobacco Control - focuses on etiology and patterns of tobacco use, neurobiology of nicotine dependence, tobacco cessation interventions, and analysis and recommendations for tobacco control policies.

    Health Behavior and Equity - brings together multidisciplinary UC San Diego researchers and community collaborators to focus on health behavior change as a means of diminishing or eliminating health disparities.

    Women’s Health - explores methods for improving population health and health care for women of all ages, and supports effective translation and dissemination of beneficial findings.

    Integrative Health - advances research on integrative health approaches and the integration of effective approaches into traditional health care models.

    Wireless and Population Health Systems - examines the role of wireless and networked technologies, ubiquitous computing and system-level clinical and community interventions, to improve the health of individuals, families, communities, social networks, and populations. 


    Education at the UC San Diego Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (FMPH).

    Degree Programs. The Department offers a doctoral program in Public Health jointly with San Diego State University (with Epidemiology, Health Behavior, and Global Health tracks), a PhD in Biostatistics, a Master of Advanced Studies in the Leadership of Healthcare Organizations, and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health.  A Master of Public Health (MPH) program is currently in the approval stages.

    Medical Student Education. Both our research and clinical faculty play key roles in preparing the next generation of physicians with skills ranging from how to do a comprehensive physical to critically reading the medical literature.

    Training Programs. With Residency training in Family Medicine, Family Medicine/Psychiatry, Preventive Medicine, and Preventive Medicine for Underserved Populations, and Fellowship training in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology, Behavioral Medicine, and Underserved Medicine, our physician colleagues are busy training the next generation of clinicians. Another 250+ currently practicing physicians from around the nation have also trained in our Faculty Development Training Program in Addressing the Health Needs of the Underserved.