Biomedical life sciences
Analysis of food composition and quality in relation to nutrition. Nutritive value of foods, food microbiology, food safety, food contamination.
Drug resistance/susceptibility and virulence studies in clinical isolates. Biology of fungal pathogens, parasites and associated vectors.
Pharmacological effects of medicinal plant products, antimicrobials and antiparasitic drugs. Nutrient-drug interactions. Clinical trials and safety and efficacy studies. Antiparasitic and antifungal drug development.
Biochemistry and physiology of nutrients and food components in humans, animal models and at a cellular level. Includes bioavailability, nutrient absorption and uptake. Physiology of taste and appetite. Physiological effects of nutrient deficiencies and starvation.
Toxicity and other adverse effects of pesticides, drugs, medicinal plants, radiation. Toxins and venoms of snakes and arthropods including biochemistry and physiology. Biology and metabolism of toxins in food.
Patterns of cancer, heart disease, allergy and other chronic diseases in the general population.
Managing chronic disease in resource poor settings. Use of traditional medicine
Epidemiology, risk factors, prevention and screening of mental disorders. Management in resource poor settings. Promotion of good mental health. Mental health impacts of disasters.
Prevention and treatment:
Preventing disease by e.g. diet and lifestyle or behavioural changes. Health promotion activities and screening.
Studies of risk factors for chronic diseases including genetic factors and risk behaviours such as smoking. Diet influences on chronic diseases.
Diagnosis and therapy of disease
Clinical infectious and parasitic diseases:
Clinical diagnosis of infectious and parasitic diseases; screening for chronic diseases and latent infection including development of new methods.Treatment of infectious and parasitic diseases including clinical trials of safety and efficacy of drugs, use of drug combinations. Clinical aspects of infectious diseases. The body’s response to infection and immunization. Adverse and side effects of treatment.
Nutritional therapy and phytotherapy:
Use of medicinal plants and nutrients in treatment of disease. Clinical nutrition: parenteral and enteral feeding, therapeutic diets, nutritional assessment and nutritional support. Food supplements.
Environmental and occupational health
Environmental health and climate change:
Human diseases caused by environmental factors, poor environmental conditions or environmental destruction. Public health pests and allergies to fungi and insects, water-borne and soil-borne diseases, monitoring and effects of exposure to environmental factors including pollution, effects of climate change on health.
Food fraud, safety and hygiene:
Protection of the food supply from microbial, chemical and physical hazards or contamination that may occur during food production, handling, harvesting, processing, transport, preparation, distribution or storage. Includes any agent that enters the body through ingestion of food or beverage as well as hazard control systems.
Occupation as a risk for specific diseases. Safety and hygiene, infectious diseases related to occupation. Work-related accidents/injuries, exposure to hazards in the work place, ergonomics for low-income and transitional economies. Health and safety and disease prevention in rural occupations.
Sanitation and water supply:
Water supply and quality. Water treatment methods and quality monitoring to reduce contamination and prevent spread of disease.
Epidemiology and biostatistics
Statistics applied to infectious diseases, epidemiological and nutritional research including modelling and methods. Health data such as mortality and morbidity rates. Population and demographic statistics. Life expectancy and disability adjusted life years (DALYS).
Aetiology, incidence and disease- or sero-prevalence of diseases in the general population or larger population groups, such as women or the elderly. Causes, incidence and prevalence of diseases. Molecular epidemiology and studies of risk factors for disease including genetic risk factors. Outbreak investigations.
Health promotion and wellness
Community health programmes:
Community interventions directed at reducing chronic diseases by improving exercise, diet and lifestyle and reducing infectious diseases by improving immunization uptake.
Disease surveillance and prevention activities in the general population including screening for disease, immunization and disease prophylaxis. Outbreak control and infection control.
Disseminating health messages:
Improving public health by use of communication programmes and materials to change behaviour via schools, mass media, extension services, universities and the community. Regional and national programmes.
Economic impact of illness/specific diseases at individual/national level, economics of safety/hygiene at work, food safety, economics of public health and disease prevention/control, health service costs, socioeconomics, health insurance, traditional medicine costs, rural health economics, economic impact of crises/epidemics, development aid, emergency aid.
Health policy and planning:
All public health policy, planning and decision-making for health services at the regional, national and international level.
Low-income and transitional economy health services: research, management, access to care, monitoring, delivery, organization, efficiency, use and cost. Health services in rural areas and for infectious diseases.
Infectious and vector-borne diseases and parasitology
Bacterial and viral diseases:
Epidemiology, transmission, diagnosis, clinical management and prevention of bacterial and viral diseases in humans.
Fungal and parasitic diseases:
All aspects from biology of the parasite or fungus to clinical management and prevention of diseases, and testing of antiparasitic and antifungal drugs. Includes reservoirs and intermediate hosts.
Medical entomology and mycology:
All aspects of medically important insect and arthropod vectors and arthropod parasites and diseases transmitted by them. From biology to clinical aspects.
Diseases acquired in hospital. Epidemiology, diagnosis, clinical aspects and management. Disease transmission and prevention. Outbreak investigations, infection control and hand hygiene.
Zoonotic disease and veterinary public health:
Zoonoses in animals, transmission to humans, diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment, clinical studies and prevention in humans. Monitoring of wild animal reservoirs, and studies of disease vectors. Includes emerging diseases such as SARS, avian influenza, West Nile virus and foodborne zoonoses.
Nutrition and food sciences
Diet in treatment of disease. Parenteral and enteral feeding. Therapeutic diets and nutritional support. Nutritional assessment of patients. Deficiency diseases and malnutrition: pathology and treatment.
Surveys of nutritional status of populations, degree of malnutrition and supply of food. Nutritional security. Improving the food supply and dietary diversity. Minimising postharvest losses. Use of fortification, supplements, emergency foods to improve food security. Food policy and economics.
Nutritional physiology and biochemistry:
Effects of nutrients, food supplements and food components on man and animal models. Digestion, absorption and uptake of nutrients, appetite, effects of fasting, physiology of taste. Biochemistry of vitamins and essential trace elements and minerals. Effects of deficiency.
Public health nutrition:
A population approach to the prevention of illness and the promotion of health through nutrition. Includes nutritional epidemiology, nutrition surveys, nutrition education and socioeconomics. Diet influences on chronic and infectious diseases. Nutrition policy, nutrient requirements, food fortification programmes, infant and child nutrition, growth, geriatric nutrition, assessment of nutritional status, and provision of nutrition services and programmes.
Patterns of disease, health inequalities, health determinants, health indicators in a defined geographical area or in particular groups of the population. Community-based interventions to promote health. Community participation in health interventions. Neighbourhood effects on health, e.g. effects of environment, traffic, housing, pollution, poverty, cultural attitudes.
Evidence-based public health:
Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, case-controlled trials and cohort studies in epidemiology, diagnosis and clinical trials.
Changing patterns of disease associated with ageing, disease/injury epidemiology and prevention in the elderly. e.g. fall prevention, nutritional supplements, vaccination.
Implementation and practice:
Practical implementation of public health programmes, guidelines and policies, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Maternal and child health:
Health of mothers and children. Prevalence and incidence of infectious and non-communicable diseases. Newborn screening. Access to healthcare, disease transmission, perinatal and maternal mortality and morbidity. Family planning, disease prevention, nutrition, health education and promotion. Breastfeeding.
Interactions with animals and environment that affect health, especially in the fields of zoonoses, food safety and environmental health. Control of disease in animals and crops to protect human health. Studies of reservoir hosts and disease vectors. Disease surveillance using sentinel populations. Effect of natural and built environment on health. Effects of pollution, climate change.
Refugee and migrant health:
Epidemiology, prevalence and incidence of infectious and noncommunicable diseases, diet and nutritional status, health services for refugees including access to and uptake of healthcare, emergency medicine. Cultural attitudes to care.
Health and disease patterns in rural populations. Health promotion and disease prevention activities. Access to health care and provision of health services. Occupational health and safety of farming, and rural occupations such as forestry. Pesticide safety and poisoning, as well as general farm safety.
Sexual and reproductive health:
Sexual health promotion and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sexual risk behaviours and attitudes to them. Epidemiology, transmission, diagnosis, treatment of STIs. Reproductive health promotion and disease prevention. Pregnancy screening. Antenatal care provision and maternity services in developing countries and rural areas.
Social medicine, behaviour and health inequality:
Relationships between health, disease and social conditions including: causes and patterns of disease, social health. Determinants andcauses of health inequality, e.g. socioeconomic status, education, housing, ethnicity, gender. Substance abuse including tobacco, alcohol, behavioural patterns and behaviour change, influences on behaviour such as advertising, health campaigns, partner violence and injury.
Prevalence and contributing factors to partner violence and injury, health services for women, access to healthcare, health inequalities, education, sexual and reproductive health including female circumcision and fertility rates, mortality/morbidity, infectious diseases, chronic diseases, nutrition.
Public Health Emergencies
In vitro, animal and human studies of potential bioterrorism agents such as those causing anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularaemia, viral haemorrhagic fevers, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, cholera, dengue, botulinum toxin and other toxins. Public health response, emergency preparedness and studies of incidents.
Natural and man-made, e.g. floods, droughts, conflict and wars, injuries, famine or epidemics related to these. Aspects include food aid, sanitation, water quality, emergency medical response, disease outbreak control. The impact on health of a disaster, disaster management and preparedness.
Tropical and international health
International efforts to reduce burden of global diseases and improve health. International programmes in developing countries and transitional economies to improve health and tackle diseases. Includes reports of international agencies on global disease activities.
Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicines involving herbal components. Phytomedicines and phytotherapy. Pharmacological studies. Traditional medicine and its interaction with ‘western’ medicine in low-income countries, including adverse effects, utilization and costs. Use of herbal remedies and traditional healers.
Imported infections from tropical and other regions (bacterial, vectorborne, viral, fungal and parasitic): diagnosis, clinical aspects and prophylaxis. Travel advice guidelines, immunization and vaccination. Global epidemics fuelled by travel.
Medicine in tropical and developing countries; infectious and parasitic diseases including neglected tropical diseases, disease vectors and arthropod parasites. Epidemiology and prevention of chronic diseases in developing countries. Treating disease in resource-poor settings.
Tropical public health:
Public health in developing countries, health promotion, disease prevention, health education, e.g. reproductive and sexual health: provision of family planning and attitudes to it, STI and AIDS epidemic prevention efforts. Maternal and child health, including programmes to combat child malnutrition and prevent disease and improve health of the under fives. Effects of childhood and maternal malnutrition on health. Reducing maternal and perinatal mortality. All aspects of occupational health. Accident and injury prevention, e.g. from road traffic accidents.