Tufts University is recognized as a top research university, especially in biomedical research. Medical research at Tufts, including investigations at affiliated hospitals, has grown steadily for more than 30 years. Areas of exceptional depth on the Tufts health campus include infectious and emerging diseases around the world, including HIV/AIDS and water-borne illness; cutting-edge statistical analysis, including meta-analysis and outcomes-based clinical research; nutrition policy and science; and health communication.
- Health Policy and Health Care Delivery
Our research interests are focused on health policy and the delivery and financing of health care services, primarily in the United States. The Unit is currently engaged in research related to the implementation of the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010; health care financing and payment reform; health care quality and medical errors; workforce issues related to the diversity of health care professionals; legal issues related to health care providers, patients, and the delivery of health care; and models for integrating public health into the delivery of medical care services and health professions education.
- Environmental and Occupational Health
Where people live and work has a profound influence on their health and safety. This group teaches about and performs research on the ways in which work, the ambient environment, and the built environment cause injury, illness, disability, and premature death and how these adverse health outcomes can be prevented.
The group researches a range of topics: safety systems in former nuclear weapons production sites, impact of uranium mining, garment factory work in Asia, green construction, the environment and asthma, and air and water pollution in the developing world.. It is the home of Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health study.
- Health Communication
Communication is central to public health practice. Research in health communication is, by necessity, a multidisciplinary undertaking, blending methods and theoretical approaches from the fields of communication, public health, education, psychology, and technology, among others. Our goal is to develop principles and best practices for reaching different audiences to share health-related information that will inform, motivate and empower.
Our health communication projects use both qualitative and quantitative methods, and we engage in research, interventions, and advocacy. Recent projects include: a school-based healthy eating campaign, a website for Latino caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, development of national guidelines for injury prevention among youth on farms, an examination of doctor patient conversations about risky sexual practices, and an analysis of internet health information seekers.
- Obesity and Chronic Disease
Obesity has emerged as a major public health problem with links to major chronic disease and to diabetes, in particular. This thematic group addresses obesity from a broad public health perspective that considers epidemiology, sociology, economics, and health policy. We are engaged in basic and applied research on the epidemiology of obesity across the lifespan, its association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and CVD risk factors; BMI screening in schools; and community-based interventions, the latter with a focus on vulnerable populations. Our research also focuses on the assessment of risk factors for obesity and chronic diseases, particularly those related to dietary practices and physical activity.
An Obesity Journal Club meets biweekly to critically review recent publications in the peer-reviewed literature.
- Global Health
Our global health faculty maintains a diverse and active research agenda focused on addressing some of the global health challenges encountered in the latitudes where we work. This collaborative effort involves partners in many countries, where we together address diseases and inequalities related to health care infectious and chronic diseases, water and development, nutrition and health, and other issues, especially in developing countries. We take a holistic, integrated “OneHealth” approach inclusive of the contribution of animals and the environment to human health, well-being and livelihoods. We have put strong emphasis in the development and transfer of technology, including educational technology that is easily transferred to global settings.
Currently active sites:
Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, India, Nepal, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Liberia
- Nutrition and Infection Unit
Research expertise in the Unit and areas of current research include, among others:
Nutritional and metabolic complications of HIV infection (studies in Boston, India, Vietnam, Kenya, South Africa), cardiovascular risk in HIV infection (Boston), nutritional and metabolic complications in drug users (studies in Boston, Vietnam, India, Providence, Baltimore), factors contributing to adherence to antitretroviral therapy in Vietnam, Namibia and India, alterations in pharmacokinetics induced by hepatitis C and liver dysfunction in drug users infected with HIV (Boston), glucose tolerance in HIV infected adults, body composition changes in HIV infected adults, intervention studies for lipid abnormalities and/or abnormal body composition in adults infected with HIV, growth faltering in children in a birth cohort in Pakistan, micronutrient levels and intestinal microbiota in infants in Pakistan, intestinal microbiota and immune activation in HIV infected individuals with abnormal cardiovascular surrogate markers, diarrheal disease in children in India, nutritional status and HIV outcomes in Kenya, malaria and HIV outcomes in Kenya and neurological complication of HIV infection.
For more information visit our website.
Chris Wanke, Director
- Health Inequality and Social Determinants of Health
Our research is focused on better understanding the social and behavioral determinants of health, as well as the mechanism and processes by which they lead to premature death, excess morbidity, poorer quality of life, and overall disparate health outcomes among disenfranchised and marginalized segments of the U.S. population, as defined by race/ethnicity, sex, income, socioeconomic status, geography, language, immigration/citizenship and disability status. Our research seeks to inform policy and the development of appropriate interventions and programmatic responses to reduce the inequitable burden of disease, prevent the onset of preventable conditions, improve quality of life, and eliminate disparities.