The Institute of Health and Environment was established on August 30, 1966 under SNU Ordinance No.58 of 1966.
The purpose of the Institute is to contribute to the improvement of national health through scientific research and health education. Since its establishment, the Institute has performed health-related research and statistical studies and disseminated the results.
Headed by a Director, the administrative office of the Institute consists of an associate director, three committees, and four divisions. The three committees are the Steering Committee, the Editorial Committee and the Human Subjects Ethics Committee. The four divisions are the Research Liaison Division, the Health Management Research Division, the Health and Information Research Division and the Environmental Health Research Division.
The Health Management Research Division conducts research on the development of healthcare plans and systems, healthcare workforce utilization, the management of healthcare facilities, and financing. The Health and Information Research Division is involved in the fields of biostatistics, bioinformatics, and disease control. The Environmental Health Research Division analyzes environmental pollution, assesses environmental damage, and plans for the control and prevention of pollution.
Center for Genome Epidemiology
Advances in human genetics enable us to provide genetic information for the prediction and prevention of chronic diseases in medicine and in public health. In the post-genomic era, personalized medicine considering individual genetic susceptibility, lifestyle, and environmental factors is an emerging issue in the field of health improvement. Genome Epidemiology is expected to play an essential role in this effort. The research center for genome epidemiology (RCGE) is involved in various research areas, such as epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, and nutrition studies. This center focuses on interdisciplinary research activities and projects mainly for graduate students and professional researchers. Asian genome epidemiology, twin and family studies for Koreans, and nutrigenomics are major research topics currently studied to identify the association between gene-environmental factors in chronic diseases.
Center for Aging and Health
Rapid population aging, caused by the increase in life expectancy and the sharp decline in fertility, has had profound effects on the socioeconomic and health care system of Korea. The Center for Aging and Health aims to conduct research on the impact of population aging on health systems and policies, including health expenditures, health insurance, pension, labor and work, care-giving, long-term care and the 'silver' industry, and long-term care insurance.
Center for Health Promotion Research
The current effort in health promotion research seeks to establish research on a social ecological foundation and to emphasize community participation and equal partnerships in health promotion research and practice. The Center for Health Promotion Research focuses on assessing community health and asset assessments, community-based participatory empowerment research, and on developing the competency of health promotion specialists. The Center also aims to develop multi-faceted, interdisciplinary, systematic research approaches to investigate social, cultural, and environmental contexts that influence healthy lives in the community.
Center for Economic Evaluation
Resource scarcity in health care delivery and environmental programs, like other sectors of a country's economy, is a fairly common phenomenon globally. The situation is no different in countries in Asia. Policymakers and stakeholders in health care and environmental protection are increasingly interested in the application of the findings of economic evaluations, as one of several tools, to consider the costs and outcomes associated with a given program. The Center for Economic Evaluation (CEE/SNU) of the School of Public Health of Seoul National University was established to perform or help to perform various assessments of the economic aspects of health programs and environmental issues. During the allocation of scarce resources, it is important to pursue good value for money. Through research and training programs, the ultimate goal of CEE/SNU is to help the health and environmental sectors of Korea and other Asian countries to accomplish the rational allocation of available resources.
Center for Environmental Health Risk Assessment
The aims of our center are to perform research on environments and ecosystems, to elucidate various factors associated with human health, and to minimize the human health risk factors in our society. Considering that current environmental issues cover the broad and complex range of topics related to the environment, our centers apply a multi-disciplinary approach to solve these problems. The main topics are various physical, chemical, and biological hazards in both the natural environment and in occupational settings. The specific research topics in our center include air pollution and climate change, environmental health microbiology, environmental chemistry, environmental toxicology, the indoor environment and exposure assessment, biomonitoring, environmental medicine, and occupational health.
Center for Global Health Research
The Global Health Research Center's mission is to promote health and reduce health inequity globally. Research for generating evidence, and human resource development and training are its main activities to achieve this mission. Particularly, it implements actions based on evidence and theories in the fields of health systems, health financing, disease control and health promotion and environmental health, with the support of its global networks. Also, it interacts with various organizations, groups, and researchers and plays a national leadership role in global health research and training.
Center for Smart Technology and Public Health (CSTPH)
Information and Communication Technolgy(ICT) has affected almost every segment of our daily lives. Center for Smart Tecnology and Public Health(CSTPH) examines the possibility that mobile or (so called) Smart Technology and its data can be a profound resource for health promotion and health management from the public health perspective. The Center develops areas that ICT is utilized in public health research and policies as an innovative and useful tool to achieve progressed health promotion and health equity in society.