Alexander C. Wagenaar, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology in the University of Florida College of Medicine has been named associate director of a major new initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program is directed by Scott Burris, J.D., a professor of law and director of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Practice at Temple University, and includes collaborating faculty from Harvard and Duke universities. Specifically, the $19-million program will support research examining legal and regulatory solutions to current public health issues such as infectious and chronic diseases, and health emergencies such as floods, bioterrorism and various health epidemics. Research sponsored by the program will address how current laws influence health and human behavior and explore how laws may be amended to be more effective. Universities and research institutions around the country are being invited to submit research proposals examining how laws can improve public health.
“Our nation faces urgent public health challenges every day — from the safety of our food supply to the capacity of health departments to respond to the next health emergency, leaving many unanswered questions about the effective application of laws, statutes and regulations to improve health,” said Michelle Larkin, senior program officer and director of the public health team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We expect this program to build the evidence that can answer those questions now and in the future.”
Additional information is available at www.publichealthlawresearch.org.