The Institute of Tropical Medicine, established in 1939, was the forerunner of the College of Public Health. After Taiwan was returned to the Republic of China at the end of the Second World War, the Institute of Tropical Medicine was renamed as the Institute of Public Health. In the early years, the Institute of Public Health aimed at training public health workers and conducting public health research. It was not until 1961 that the Institute of Public Health began to offer master programs. A doctoral program was initiated twenty years later in 1985. Following the inauguration of the College of Public Health, four institutes that were independent of the Institute of Public Health were established: Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene (1993), Institute of Epidemiology (1994), Institute of Health Care Organization Administration (1995), and Institute of Environment Health (1996). Afterwards, the Institute of Public Health was renamed as the Institute of Health
Policy and Management in 1998, and, the sixth graduate department, the Institute of Preventive Medicine was set up in 2001. Recently, the Master of Public Health program was established in 2008. In 2010, there is an organization restructuring in the College of Public Health. The Institute of Health Policy of Management and the Institute of Health Care Organization Administration were merged into the Institute of Health Policy of Management, and the Institute of Epidemiology and the Institute of Preventive Medicine were merged into the Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.
The Department of Public Health and undergraduate program was established in 1972. To increase the versatility of the students, and help them to integrate academic learning into public health practices to meet the increasing societal demands in the future, summer internships and the Public Health Service Team have been offered each year since 1976. Both of these have become the guiding traditions of the College.
The College of Public Health is a mini-National Taiwan University itself, with teaching and research activities involving disciplines not only in natural and biological sciences but also in humanities and social sciences. The essence of public health dictates that we are concerned greatly about the health rights of the people and pursue the ultimate goal of health for all. Our endeavors have been focused on disease prevention and health promotion, environmental protection and sustainable development, and the operating and management of health care industry.
Unique research contributions of the College of Public Health have included: the Taiwan island-wide control of goiter with iodized salt, the control of the black-foot disease, the control of occupational diseases, nasopharyngeal carcinoma research, the prevention and control of hepatitis and hepatoma, the formulation of arsenic standards in water, the surveillance and control of occupational pollutants, the health care of the elderly, tobacco control, gene and environment research, and health reform and National Health Insurance policy.
Besides, the College has seven research centers: Health Promotion Research Center, Center for Environmental and Occupational Health Research, Research Center for Genes, Environment and Human Health, Global Health Center, Center for Taiwan Cancer Registry, DOH-NTU Infectious Diseases Research and Education Center, and National Translational Medicine Resource Center. These centers were established in response to indigenous health needs in Taiwan, and are engaged in activities of research and services provision that focus on specific issues in Taiwan.
The historic doorplate of College. Left:1939; Right: 1951
Prof. Kong-Pei Chen, Director of Institute of Public Health (1955-1972)