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What is Environmental and Public Health

Environmental and Public Health: Gene-Environmental Interactions

In the past, biomedical scientists studied diseases one gene at a time, an approach that has been successful in understanding genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Alternatively, other scientists measured how environmental factors lead to disease, an approach that has been successful with occupational diseases like asbestosis.

workersToday modern investigations emphasize how the combined influence of host and environmental factors modulate individual susceptibility to complex disease. At the nexus of nature and nurture lies environmental health, the science that seeks to find the clues to how the genome responds to environmental adversity. Such studies are likely to provide new insights into cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and various other common diseases.

To better understand the links between environmental contamination and disease, environmental health uses a multidisciplinary approach of exposure assessment, Environmental Genetics and Molecular Toxicology , clinical medicine, population genetics, and epidemiology.

Environmental and Public Health at the University of Cincinnati


The Department of Environmental and Public Health is part of the College of Medicine and is housed in a state-of-the-art research facility equipped with the latest technologies in environmental chemistry, aerosol physics, genomics, and molecular genetics. The department offers graduate degrees and medical residencies. Its graduate programs are Environmental Genetics and Molecular Toxicology, environmental and Occupational Hygiene, environmental and occupational medicine, and epidemiology, and biostatistics.

Graduates find careers ranging from the practical, such as occupational medicine and environmental hygiene, to basic research into how genetic and environmental factors affect susceptibility to disease. Our graduates share a common goal: to improve the quality of life by understanding the causes of environmental damage and identifying the effective methods of prevention.

Environmental and Public Health: The study of human health in the environment


Environmental and public health is the study of the role of environmental factors in adverse human health outcomes and how to recognize and prevent these effects. The field concerns itself with:

  • charactering human exposures
  • assuring air and water quality
  • controlling of workplace hazards
  • discovering the genetic factors that influence disease
  • diagnosing and treating occupational illnesses
  • assessing disease incidence across large populations

Environmental and public health focuses on the human health significance of every day exposures with a lessen emphasis on environmental quality and the health of ecosystems.

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Department of Environmental & Public Health Sciences
Kettering Lab Building
160 Panzeca Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056
Mail Location: 0056

Phone: 513-558-5701