Message from the Dean and Institute Director

Welcome to the Institute for Population and Precision Health (IPPH) website. With the recent revolution in genomics, exposomics, and precision medicine, it has become increasingly evident that every patient is unique concerning his or her disease processes. Thus, each patient requires unique, “personalized” treatment and other clinical services. Across the nation, the clinician community has begun to embrace the idea of ‘precision medicine’ in managing their patients through individualized treatment plans. The scientific community and policy makers caution against delimiting research to the selected patients within specialized care settings, and thereby, adopting a more narrow definition of precision medicine. Such a biased approach would likely further widen the disconnect between medical discovery and practical application for the greater population. This is especially true for populations with the highest burden of disease, who have been historically underrepresented in genetic and clinical research. The research and practice of precision medicine need to be integrated within the context of population health. Furthermore, generating valid and generalizable findings can only be achieved if the traditional therapeutic medicine discipline is also integrated within the context of population health, which have successfully improved and developed research methods and tools to deal with broader settings representing the general population.

In this context, the IPPH has been established at the University of Chicago. The IPPH draws upon the University of Chicago’s strengths in the biological, physical, and social science departments, supporting this trans-disciplinary Institute that will discover new ways to assess disease risk in terms of an individual’s genetic and behavioral profile. It is my vision that this emerging knowledge will be translated into pharmacological and behavioral interventions, improving the health of populations in Chicago and beyond. To achieve this, the IPPH serves as a focal point for population-relevant precision health research, educational infrastructure, and collaboration.

I invite both long-term and new collaborators, students, interested community partners, patients at the University of Chicago Medical Centers and elsewhere, to join me in revolutionizing our current understanding of disease causation and prevention through this interdisciplinary Institute.   Together we can identify, evaluate and implement new approaches to disease prevention and management and improve population health.


Habibul Ahsan

Dean, Population and Precision Health



Dean, Population and Precision Health, at the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division; Director, Institute for Population and Precision Health; Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Public Health Sciences, Medicine, and Human Genetics.