Every June, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Dean Linda Fried recommends to the faculty a few articles or books that stood out for her over the past year. Her goal is to highlight an issue that she believes is foundational to the next generation of public health science and impact, and is applicable to faculty in all departments.
This year Dean Fried recommends “Putting the patient back together – Social Medicine, Network Medicine and the Limits of Reductionism,” a December 2017 article by Jeremy Greene and Joe Loscalzo. Greene and Loscalzo argue that re-integrating biology and environment in the context of understanding their complex dynamics is the next generation of medicine. Dean Fried believes these new methods are also relevant to public health science, prevention, and health promotion for populations and for individuals.
Dean Fried also recommends two articles, both related to incoming faculty, that recognize that the full picture of the effects of biological changes – whether driven by environmental exposures or intrinsic processes – needs to incorporate multisystem biologic dynamics that affect health outcomes. An article on metabolomics, in the International Journal of Epidemiology, relates to the work of incoming vice dean for research strategy and innovation, Dr. Gary Miller, an international leader in exposome science. Research by incoming professor Dr. Dan Belsky is highlighted in a PNAS piece on modeling biological age and the pace of aging.