Groups and Units

From understanding the many facets of addiction to promoting optimal weights, and from managing diabetes to providing evidence for influencing health policy, our faculty members are tackling some of the most complex health issues facing our communities. Here are a few examples of their work.

  • Addiction and Mental Health Research Lab

    The Addiction and Mental Health Research Lab (AMHRL) was established in 2000 and supports programs of research on psychosocial aspects of addiction and mental health. 

    Lab projects adopt an interdisciplinary population health approach and include prevalence studies, secondary interventions, phenomenological and ethnographic methods, psychometrics and randomized controlled trials. The strong community focus of our research involves collaboration and knowledge mobilization (Know Mo) with health policy makers, health practitioners, and other stakeholders outside the research arena.

    AMHRL completed the Gap Analysis of Public Mental Health and Addictions Programs (GAP-MAP) for Alberta Health, which was the first ever comprehensive enumeration and costing of all Alberta addiction and mental health services funded by the province. 

    Current work includes Phase 2 of a three-part program of studies to develop an omnibus screener of substance and behavioural addictions. This involves collaborating with a consortium of researchers at the Universities of Calgary, Lethbridge and Ottawa. In addition, the fifth iteration of Alberta data collection for the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs Survey (formerly Youth Smoking Survey) is underway. This is a biennial survey funded by Health Canada that gathers information from students in grade 6 through 12 from 30 schools across the province. Finally, data collection is underway with interviews of 350 inner-city injection drug users for the Edmonton Drug Use and Health Survey as part of a project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on evidence-based harm reduction policy.

    P: 780-492-6752

  • Alliance for Canadian Health Outcomes Research in Diabetes

    The Alliance for Canadian Health Outcomes Research in Diabetes (ACHORD) is an established team in diabetes research, in Canada and internationally. ACHORD Investigators and collaborators have been involved individually and in collaboration in various sectors of health research, namely the clinical, health services and population health sectors.

    P: 780-248-1010

  • Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse

    The Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) is a national initiative, created created in response to growing concerns about the impact of substance misuse—ranging from alcohol use to prescription and non-prescription drugs.

    The Prairie CRISM node includes the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Saskatchewan, and involves partnerships with over 50 researchers, service providers, consumer advocates and policy-makers from across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. University of Alberta professor Cam Wild is the nominated principal investigator for the Prairie node.  

    P: (780) 492-0135

  • Community Health and the Built Environment

    Have you ever stopped to look at the neighbourhood you live in? Does it have pathways that actually lead you somewhere? Are there green spaces where you can take the kids or, perhaps, play one-on-one basketball with a friend?

    These are some of the factors that help to make a community environment one that supports healthy choices. They are the same factors that are assessed in the Community Health and the Built Environment (CHBE) project.

    P: 780-492-4109

  • Ecosystem and Participatory Approaches to Health

    Ecosystem and Participatory Approaches to Health (Eco-PAtH) uses participatory action research approaches to address public health issues.

    Led by Jane Springett, director of the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, the Eco-PAtH team focuses on a range of health issues including peer support and health literacy, climate change and health equity, and the ability of participatory methods in health research and practice to support social change. 

    The Eco-PAtH team recognizes the interrelatedness of humans and the natural world when approaching improvements in health. Aligning with this holistic perspective, the Eco-PAtH way of working promotes community-engaged scholarship, and incorporates participatory and reflexive approaches to health research. The team works with people, rather than on them. They value, but also question, all forms of knowledge.

    P: 780-492-9279

  • Environmental Health Sciences Group

    Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) is devoted to protecting and improving the health of human populations by characterizing and limiting their exposure to chemical, biological, and physical hazards in the environment. This involves interdisciplinary knowledge from both the basic and applied chemical and biological sciences to develop assessment and management strategies.

    P: 780-492-8502

  • Health Technology and Policy Unit

    The Health Technology & Policy Unit (HTPU) is creating knowledge to support fair, evidence-informed decision making around the introduction and use of health technologies in Canada.

    P: 780-492-4791

  • Indigenous Health and Resilience through Disaster
    Indigenous Health and Resilience through Disaster (IHRD) is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded study that began in January 2017 by a University of Alberta research team, in partnership with the Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre in Fort McMurray.

    Together, this group of Indigenous service providers and leaders and non-Indigenous university-based and community-based researchers are working together to understand how Indigenous peoples in Wood Buffalo have been affected by the wildfire. The aim is to identify ways to reduce negative impacts on their health and well-being.

    Learn more.

    P: 780-492-6013
  • Law and Risk Communication in Health
  • Policy Location and Access in Community Environments Lab

    The purpose of the Policy, Location, and Access in Community Environments (PLACE) research lab is to contribute to a better understanding of the people-policy-place relationships in chronic disease interventions and prevention initiatives. Work in the PLACE lab involves community-based participatory research, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and GIS mapping.

    P: 780-492-4109

  • Population Health Intervention Research Unit

    The Population Health Intervention Research Unit (PHIRU) conducts research related to nutrition, lifestyle, socio-economic factors and intervention programs  to influence new health policies and programs for chronic disease prevention.

    P: 780-492-2565

  • Power Up

    POWER UP! represents a team of researchers, practitioners and policy makers who have come together to gather and share evidence on chronic disease prevention with Canadians. They provide leadership, tools and support to decision makers, researchers, practitioners and the public with the aim of supporting policy change for a healthy Canada. 

    The team is co-lead by researchers Kim Raine and Candace Nykiforuk.


  • Return on Investment for Kids' Health

    In an effort to curtail the growing issue of overweight and obesity among Canadian children, schools have been the setting of choice for health promoting strategies. While the need for effective child health promotion programs and policies is well recognized, details on the implementation and cost-effectiveness of different policies and programs are still unclear.

    The Return on Investment for Kids' Health (ROI4Kids) group aims to evaluate and improve school health programs, estimate program and avoided healthcare costs, explore broader academic and health benefits, as well as understand how to optimize program implementation.

    P: 780-248-1863

  • Swimmer's Itch Team

    In partnership with Alberta Health Services, the Swimmer's Itch Team is working to provide updated and detailed information on swimmer's itch outbreaks for visitors and residents of Alberta and across Canada.


  • The Alberta Patient Reported Outcome Measures and EQ-5D Research and Support Unit

    The Alberta Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and EQ-5D Research and Support Unit—known as APERSU—is an intermediary office that connects the EuroQol Foundation with non-commercial users of EQ-5D instruments and other patient reported outcome measures in Alberta. This unit secures licensing for the use of EQ-5D instruments and supports research and use of other PROMs in the province.