SSPH+/ETHZ Lecture Series "This Is Public Health"

Wednesday, 23 February - 1 June 2022, 18:15-19:15; moderated by N.N.

The lectures can be visited on-site (HG D 16.2) or via livestream.

For those who attend online: We recommend to join a few minutes in advance to test the connection. Once in the webinar, you can ask questions with the Q&A-Feature. If you have questions about lectures or webinar, write to N.N.

Find past editions here.

The "This is Public Health (TIPH)" - Europe is the ASPHER-led campaign, available to Association's members and organized in partnership between ASPHER and ASPPH. It is aimed at communicating the importance of Public Health as a field, a well-solicited career path and showing the impact possibilities concerning population health.


Date Title Lecturer
23 February 2022

A public health approach to the COVID-19 pandemic – it’s everywhere, but nobody knows what it is – you will.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the world, and caused fatalities and damage on a global scale. The public health response to it has dominated the scenes. Yet, a comprehensive account of what we mean, and what we do to respond to epidemics is still missing. This lecture aims to fill this gap, illustrating key concepts and strategies of infectious disease epidemiology and policy. Because we are in this together.

Download reading material: will follow

Emiliano Albanese
Full Professor - Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, USI
02 March 2022

Public health research on COVID-19 in Switzerland

The COVID-19 pandemic raises many questions that go far beyond infectious disease. This talk describes how the large Corona Immunitas research program brought together a very diverse consortium of public health researchers to study the spread and impact of SARS-CoV-2 in Switzerland and to inform the public and authorities in balanced way.

Download reading material: will follow
Milo Puhan
Director EBPI, University of Zurich; President SSPH+
09 March 2022

Transportation noise: Health threat or just annoying?

WHO Europe has published new guidelines for transportation noise and wind turbine noise in 2018. In Switzerland, noise guidelines are currently revised by the Federal Commission for Noise Abatement. In this lecture an overview is given about health effects from transportation noise and to what extent the population is protected from current limits.

Download reading material: Transportation noise pollution and cardiovascular disease

Martin Röösli
Professor for Environmental Epidemiology, Swiss TPH
16 March 2022

Changing health behavior: From mechanisms to action

Health behavior, such as eating a balanced diet, or adhering to protective measures during a pandemic are key determinants of personal and public health. Forty percent of premature deaths have been attributed to personal decisions. But how can we promote health behavior change most effectively? I will introduce the audience to the psychological principles of behavior change as the foundation for evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention at the personal and population level. To illustrate this approach, I will present the results of a series of randomized-controlled trials targeting healthy eating, physical activity, and hand hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jennifer Inauen
Institute of Psychology, Department of Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, University of Bern
23 March 2022

Health in the context of the prolongation of working life

This lecture aims at introducing students to the relevant aspects of older workers’ health from a public health perspective. The lecture covers, 1st, an introduction to the current trend of prolonging working lives in Switzerland and other countries, 2nd, theories on the relationship between prolonged working lives and older workers’ health and, 3rd, implications for public health and potential recommendations for policy and practice.

Download reading material: The emerging trend of work beyond retirement age in GermanyIncreasing social inequality?

Isabel Baumann
Senior Researcher and Lecturer, Institute of Public Health, ZHAW
30 March 2022

Job Exposure Matrix, a fascinating way to learn about occupational and environmental exposures and their health effects

The concept of Job Exposure Matrix (JEM) is not new; the development of JEMs reached its peak in 2000s. Thanks to JEMs, it was possible to identify many toxic products and classify them appropriately as carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic based on causal inference. Today, JEMs are widely used and new JEMs are developed to characterize emerging risks, such as ultrafine particles or nanomaterials. This lecture will present the concept and principles of JEM development, based on JEM examples, and discuss knowledge generated thanks to JEMs, ranging from dose-response relationship assessment for physical and chemical hazards to burden of disease estimation.

Irina Guseva Canu
Head of academic sector, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Unisanté Lausanne
6 April 2022

Institutional communication during pandemic threats. Insights into WHO competency framework for infodemic management.

In April 2020 the WHO Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) produced, through an online global consultation, a WHO framework for managing the COVID-19 infodemic. This framework included, among other priorities, the need to create a competency framework for infodemic management (IM) for health institutions. Indeed, specific knowledge and skills are needed to apply infodemic management interventions and practice to promote resilience of individuals and communities to infodemics, and to promote individuals’ self-protective health behaviors. The objective is to present WHO framework for infodemic management, by highlighting the different research steps behind.

Sara Rubinelli
Department of Health Sciences and Medicine / Professor of Health Sciences with a focus in Health Communication, University of Lucernce
13 April 2022

Monitoring SARS-CoV-2: Combining clinical and wastewater surveillance

This lecture will focus on different ways to monitor an ongoing infectious disease outbreak, and inform public health response and interventions. In particular, I will focus our team’s efforts to estimate the effective reproductive number (R) of SARS-CoV-2 in Switzerland and abroad. We used both clinical data (e.g. newly confirmed cases, hospitalizations or deaths) and wastewater measurements to estimate R, which represents a key advance in the translation of environmental data to policy-relevant indicators. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these R estimates directly informed the Swiss government and the Federal Office for Public Health.

Jana Huisman
Researcher at the Department of Environmental Systems Science , ETH Zurich
27 April 2022

Patient Participation – (how) can it work?

The involvement of patients and other service users in identifying health challenges, designing solutions and interventions, and implementing and evaluating is an approach dating back to the past century. It is applied to improve patient experience, access to services and efficacy of interventions. And yet, patient participation is still far from mainstream. The lecture introduces participatory approaches in health care and promotion and then presents selected examples, critically discusses how and why participation worked (or did not) in these cases and concludes by summarizing dos and don’ts as take-aways for your own participatory project.

Heidi Kaspar
Co-lead Competence Center Participatory Healthcare, Department of Health Professions, BFH Bern
04 May 2022

You are what you eat, are you? How to interpret the evidence from nutrition epidemiology studies – PART 1

A healthy diet is the major determinant of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) worldwide. Still, most NCD prevention relies on drugs rather than on lifestyle. This lecture will present evidence that small changes in dietary habits at the population level can produce huge results in NCD incidence. The course will provide a short introduction on the effect of diet on NCD, then on the dietary recommendations to prevent them, then on some examples of successful (in)voluntary implementation of healthy dietary habits at the population level. The course will finish by providing a list of the most effective methods to change dietary habits at the population level and the hurdles to overcome to implement them.

Download reading material: will follow
Pedro Marques-Vidal
Professor at the Department of Medicine, Internal Medicine, CHUV, University of Lausanne
11 May 2022

You are what you eat, are you? How to interpret the evidence from nutrition epidemiology studies – PART 2

Diet is an important modifiable risk factor for several chronic conditions. While there are several biomarkers for specific nutrients, measuring usual overall diet is challenging. In addition, to evaluate the role of diet on chronic conditions, we mostly rely on data
collected from large long-term observational studies. Several potential sources of bias can arise due to study design and measurement of diet, therefore, this lecture will provide the basic tools for interpretation of nutrition epidemiology data.

Download reading material: will follow
Patricia Chocano-Bedoya
Head of Ageing Research, Bern Institute of Family Medicine, University of Bern; Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology at the Population Health Laboratory, University of Fribourg
18 May 2022

Digital revolution and public health

For billions of people across the globe, mobile phones enable relatively cheap and effective communication, as well as access to information and vital services on health, education, society, and the economy. In this lecture, I suggest that boosting mobile-phone access and coverage and closing digital divides, particularly among women, can be powerful tools to attain empowerment-related sustainable development goals, in an ultimate effort to enhance population health and wellbeing and reduce poverty.

Valentina Rotondi
Researcher, SUPSI & University of Oxford
01 June 2022

Life course epidemiology

The life course epidemiology is an interdisciplinary approach to health resulting from the convergence of interest in social epidemiology, natural sciences (biology, genetics) and social sciences (psychology, sociology, history). It examines the origin of chronic diseases in the past of individuals, considering the duration and timing of exposure to different risk factors, throughout the life of people, from gestation to old age. The life course epidemiology is interested the bio-psycho-social determinants as in environmental and societal influences on the trajectories of health and various diseases, either somatic or psychic.

Stephane Cullati
Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Public Health, Population Health Laboratory, University of Fribourg; Medical sociologist at the Division Quality of Care, Department of Readaptation and Geriatrics, University of Geneva