Dean's Welcome

Eric Boerwinkle, Ph.D., dean of
UTHealth School of Public Health

Welcome from Dean Eric Boerwinkle, Ph.D.

I am honored to be the dean of UTHealth School of Public Health. Here, we offer advanced degrees in the diverse field of public health including behavior sciences, genetics, and health care management. Our diverse graduates are professional and innovative leaders of population health programs in universities, the private sector, and government organizations in Texas and across the nation. We are continually challenging ourselves to expand the educational mission to meet the growing demands of the workforce, and to expand our repertoire of excellence to lead the ever-changing field of health care.

What is public health?

Public health is a science that works with people and entire communities to keep them healthy by preventing disease and ensuring better health care outcomes. Public health is also a profession. UTHealth School of Public Health is here to improve the health of Texas and Texans — our faculty and students have been doing so for nearly 50 years.

We are doing some of the most exciting research to identify new ways to keep people healthy and to reduce their risk of future disease. This includes investigating new ways to get young people to eat healthier; new ways to prevent teen pregnancy through better education; new ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases; and new ways to identify the genes that may make some of us more susceptible to or protected from disease. And finally, when you do get sick and you do need to go to a hospital, it is the people from UTHealth School of Public Health who are leading the way through research and education to ensure that best practices are being used to achieve the best possible health care outcomes.

What sets us apart from other public health programs?

Texas is a big and diverse state — both ethnically and economically. UTHealth School of Public Health has six campuses that span the entire state: from Houston to El Paso; from Brownsville to Dallas; and with San Antonio and Austin in the center. We can — and we do — touch virtually the entire population of Texas. At each campus, we have strong ties to health care organizations, but our strongest ties are to the local communities. We are working side-by-side with partners in clinics, schools, and in people’s homes to prevent or delay the onset of disease and to improve health care outcomes.

Research is the engine that drives advanced education and modern health care. Retention and recruitment of the world’s best population scientists are critical. Strong strategic partnerships across The University of Texas System and throughout Texas are also important. We are working to solidify the “third coast” as a leader in advanced biotechnologies, health care, and population sciences.

The Houston Campus of UTHealth School of Public Health is nestled in the heart of the Texas Medical Center — the largest medical center in the world — but, more importantly, it is the best place in the world for biomedical research. The number of great institutions, great people, and patient visits is unsurpassed anywhere. In addition, there is a strong desire to collaborate among the physicians, scientists, and trainees at each of these institutions. Although the Texas Medical Center has grown strong from competition, it will become great through cooperation and collaboration.

I am the luckiest person on earth to have the privilege to work with so many varied, interesting, competent, and smart people. I look forward to working with you to achieve these important and shared goals.

Thank you, and I hope you stay healthy.

Eric Boerwinkle, Ph.D.
Dean, UTHealth School of Public Health