ISAMB is a young research institute embedded in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon. It was created in 2013 and it took only one year to be recognized by FCT as a R&D unit of the Portuguese Research and Innovation System. I was honoured to be appointed Director of ISAMB in July 2017.
The scientific backgrounds of ISAMB create the opportunity for synergies between research areas: environmental health, public health, preventive medicine, human biomonitoring and epidemiology. ISAMB has a wide perspective of environments, going further than those traditionally considered (physical, chemical and biological), entailing also psychosocial (including economical and policy-driven environments) and artificially built environments, with a special focus on the interactions between urban and digital environments and health.
Although centred in human health, our scientific and training activities follow a Planetary Health approach, considering several environmental contexts: from studies at community level, focusing on active ageing, to healthcare contexts (e.g., patient safety, therapeutic negotiation), from school to labour or institutional settings.
We recognize the need to endorse human behavioural change in order to achieve sustainable environments associated with health and quality of life – this is the most distinctive feature of ISAMB as an Environmental Health research and training unit. We acknowledge the need to take action through adaptation and mitigation of modified and human life-threatening environments (e.g., climate change, air pollution, obesogenic contexts), but we are also strongly invested in behavioural change at individual and community levels, as means to achieve environmental health promotion at a global scale.
Our Institute has a short history. But we are strongly committed to produce, integrate and share knowledge that, ultimately, might contribute to both human and Earth prosperity.
António Vaz Carneiro, MD PhD FACP FESC