Human and Planetary Health
The health of the planet and the health of our communities are inextricably linked.
Without a healthy biosphere, there is no thriving human future. This emerging field of applied research, policy, and practice represents an intentional and catalytic effort to take on one of the greatest challenges the world faces. It seeks to characterize the health impacts of human-caused disruptions of Earth’s natural systems, bridging disciplines and sectors in an integrated, solutions-oriented approach.
Action Lab for Human and Planetary HeAlth (ALPHA)
Led by Dr. Michele Barry, Allison Phillips, and Erika Veidis of the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, the Action Lab for Human and Planetary Health (ALPHA) is an evidence-to-action initiative that stimulates change in an emerging field central to sustainability: human and planetary health. Funded by the Sustainability Initiative, born out of Stanford’s Long-Range Planning Process, ALPHA supports Stanford researchers with translating their findings to impact through changes in policy and practice.
Post-doctoral Fellowship in Human and Planetary Health
The Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, hosted by Stanford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), cultivates new knowledge at the intersections of health and global environmental change – and corresponding solutions. Throughout the two-year fellowship, fellows focus on conducting ground-breaking research, translating their work into policy and practice, and serving as ambassadors for change in response to human and planetary health needs.
Affiliate Programs at Stanford
Human and Planetary Health Accelerator
Stanford is supporting a bold new initiative to develop capacity in human and planetary health. The Human and Planetary Health Accelerator – based out of the Program for Disease Ecology, Health, and the Environment – is leading a strategic planning process to develop plans for new educational offerings, university programming, research support, and policy impact at Stanford. Especially as Stanford seizes on new opportunities to advance climate action and sustainability, including through the creation of a new school, the university stands to become a world leader in human and planetary health.
Program for Disease Ecology, Health, and the Environment
The Program for Disease Ecology, Health, and the Environment focuses on finding sustainable environmental interventions, or “ecological solutions,” for a range of diseases. It brings together scientists and stakeholders from Stanford and outside the university in a joint initiative combining forces from two preeminent Stanford centers: the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Center for Innovation in Global Health.
Stanford Climate and Health
Stanford Climate and Health provides a space for the Stanford healthcare community to take action on climate change, planetary and environmental health, and sustainable health care by engaging in advocacy, education, dialogue, and research. Run primarily by Stanford students, several projects are currently underway, including climate change integration into medical and residency education; sustainability at Stanford hospitals and clinics; researching and employing safe, cost effective, and sustainable reusable gowns; holding an annual symposium on climate and pandemic resilience; and local and state policy advocacy.
Much university research is curiosity driven, generating knowledge for its own sake. By contrast, the Luby Lab is a public health research laboratory that seeks strategic knowledge to improve health in communities. The lab’s approach uses a framework outlining the stages of research that work progressively towards generating impact at scale. The Luby Lab is working to advance solutions across a broad array of human and planetary health problems, including: reducing air pollution from brick manufacturing in Bangladesh, reducing exposure to lead, advancing vaccine evaluations for typhoid and Nipah virus, and providing safe water to low-income communities while also preserving the environment.
Stanford Existential Risks Initiative (SERI)
The Existential Risks Initiative is a collaboration between Stanford faculty and students dedicated to mitigating global catastrophic risks. Created by Stanford Global Health’s Director of Research Steve Luby and Professor Paul Edwards, the goal is to foster engagement from students and professors to produce meaningful work aiming to preserve the future of humanity by providing skill, knowledge development, networking, and professional pathways for Stanford community members interested in pursuing Global Catastrophic Risk reduction. SERI is hosted by the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.