Main research areas
All members of our working group are passionate about Global Health. We work closely with partner institutions in low- and middle-income countries, particularly through the Collaboration for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (CEBHA+) and the FoodSAMSA project. Our global health portfolio also includes projects on air pollution from household solid fuel burning and other environmental health issues, as well as maternal and child health. Linkages between human health and planetary health are primarily addressed in the Munich Science Communication Lab (MSCL) on Planetary Health.
Air pollution is among the main risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, in particular cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As a group we are involved with research activities related to ambient air pollution as well as household air pollution from solid fuel use. These focus on interventions to reduce air pollution exposure and include both systematic reviews and primary research to evaluate the impacts of specific measures.
Nutrition and Physical Activity
Unhealthy dietary patterns and physical inactivity are among the most important risk factors for disease and premature death in Germany, Europe and the world. Our research activities focus on population-based interventions. These include the implementation of INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable Diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support) tools in Germany under the PEN project and in South Africa under the FoodSAMSA project. The Food Environments for Planetary Health (Food-PlanetH) junior research group is dedicated to the relationships between food environments, health and the environment.
Public Mental Health
The importance of mental illness in the burden of disease is increasing worldwide. Social and environmental factors are among the factors contributing to this. In addition to pharmacological and psychotherapeutic management concepts, public health interventions are becoming increasingly relevant in this area. We identify influencing factors, adapt and evaluate measures for mental health interventions in different settings (e.g. schools, communities, health systems), with a focus on childhood and adolescence. We apply concepts and methods of clinical epidemiology, public health evaluation and implementation, including evidence synthesis, quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches.
Public Health Service
The public health service (Öffentlicher Gesundheitsdienst – ÖGD) plays an important role in improving the health of the population with its diverse areas of responsibility, from health protection, health promotion and prevention to health planning. In various areas, the chair deals with the structural strengthening of the public health service, especially in the context of education, further education and training (e.g., through involvement in the training of public health officers), in health promotion and prevention, environment and health as well as knowledge translation. Members of the chair are also actively involved in projects and debates on public health in Germany from a junior researcher perspective in the Nachwuchsnetzwerk Öffentliche Gesundheit (NÖG, https://noeg.org).