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O'Donnell School of Public Health

The Peter O’Donnell Jr. School of Public Health is the fourth school to be created in the UT Southwestern Medical Center, and the first in the past half-century. It joins the Schools of Medicine, Health Professions, and Biomedical Sciences. UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering research with exceptional health promotion, clinical care, and education. Read full overview

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Message from the Founding Dean

Headshot of Saad B. Omer, M.B.B.S, Ph.D.

“Excellence for impact is the cornerstone of the O’Donnell School of Public Health. It is our commitment to our communities that drives us to utilize the best available evidence, be it through education, policy change, or clinical care. Therefore, OSPH is dedicated to providing world-class training and creating an environment conducive to excellence, mentorship, and meaningful collaboration among cohorts of talented individuals who share our passion for making a difference.”

Saad B. Omer, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., Ph.D.Dean of the O'Donnell School of Public Health

Our Values

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Uphold the highest standards in scholarship, service, and scientific generation of knowledge

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Foster respect, fairness, dignity, and inclusion to maximize health outcomes

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Build relationships and empower teamwork across disciplines to drive science, innovation, and policy

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Enhance understanding by translating data into action and effectively communicating discoveries to the public

Our Goals

Goal 1

Promote science and evidence-based decision-making

Goal 2

Monitor and improve health at all levels

Goal 3

Foster innovation

Goal 4

Inform and equip a diverse and inclusive public health workforce

Explore UTSW

Launch Experience

Advancing Research

The O’Donnell School of Public Health trains the next generation of experts who can identify, predict, and address wide-scale health problems before they occur—and quickly respond to public health emergencies as they arise.

Research Funding


Total Funding


NIH Funding


CPRIT Cancer Funding


Foundations & Other

Community-driven Health & Equity

  • Artificial Intelligence to Identify Cancer

    Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, UT Southwestern researchers have developed a software tool that uses artificial intelligence to recognize cancer cells from digital pathology images – giving clinicians a powerful way of predicting patient outcomes.

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  • Breast Screening and Patient Navigation Program (BSPAN)

    Launched in 2009 with funding from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, the Breast Screening and Patient Navigation (BSPAN) program works with community providers and other local organizations to decrease financial and geographical hurdles that keep women from getting mammograms and timely diagnostic services.

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  • Colon Cancer Screening

    Funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, Colon Cancer Screening is a program that asks patients to mail in stool samples to screen for colon cancer is an effective way to expand screenings to underserved and underinsured communities and offers an alternative to in-person testing during the pandemic, according to a study conducted by UT Southwestern and Parkland Health & Hospital system.

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  • COVID-19 Forecasting for DFW

    To track the course of the virus in North Texas, UT Southwestern researchers have created a sophisticated forecasting model to show the spread of COVID-19 and predict its trajectory.

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  • COVID-19 Prevalence Study

    UT Southwestern’s  COVID-19 Prevalence Study, in partnership with Texas Health Resources, local organizations, and community leaders, seeks to understand how many people have the virus and why some communities are hit harder than others.

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  • Dallas Heart Study ​

    The only single-center heart study of its size and multiethnic composition, the Dallas Heart Study is a scientific resource that becomes more valuable each year as the population ages, providing opportunities to learn more about environmental, social, and genetic factors that contribute to health and disease.

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  • Food Pantries Need to Address Food Insecurity

    Food banks should be used more consistently rather than only during emergencies to better address food insecurity and related health issues, a joint study by researchers at UT Southwestern and economists at the University of Dallas shows. The research is funded by multiple foundations and community organizations.

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  • Life Expectancy by Zip Code in Texas

    An interactive map developed by UT Southwestern researchers reveals populations and places in Texas where people can expect to live longer—or shorter—lives. Life expectancy in Texas is 78.5 years, but varies greatly by populations and places. Users can navigate the map down to the ZIP Code level to learn about specific communities and explore differences between women and men, or between Blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites.​

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  • Population Science and Cancer Control

    UT Southwestern’s Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Population Science and Cancer Control (PS) Program generates research discoveries addressing cancer burden and disparities in our catchment area and beyond. With over $5 million in funding each year from the National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, program members conduct research to generate discoveries across the cancer continuum from prevention and early detection, through treatment and survivorship.

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  • PROSPR Study

    Partnering with the Dallas County’s Parkland Health & Hospital System, UT Southwestern’s Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers are deploying funding from the National Cancer Institute to address challenges of helping individuals complete the cervical and colorectal screening processes. As leaders in this large consortium of researchers, they are setting an agenda nationally for cancer prevention and detection in the neediest of populations.

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  • Texas Online Population Health Assessment Tool (TOPHAT)

    TOPHAT provides access to multiple, interactive, layers of population health statistics, such as morbidity rates and life expectancy. The public can easily assess the health of neighborhoods, cities, towns, and counties for populations defined by race/ethnicity and sex across the state.

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UT Southwestern Affiliated Health Systems

Children’s HealthSM Children’s Medical Center Dallas
A 300-bed facility in southern Dallas
Scottish Rite

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