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SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

Green icon with graphic of EKG waves and heart to represent UNSDG Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being.

Health emergencies such as COVID-19 pose a global risk and have shown the critical need for preparedness

From world-leading vaccine research to the investigation of the social, cultural and environmental determinants of health and wellness, Dalhousie’s approach to health research is grounded in an understanding that the health of individuals, communities and populations are interconnected and interdependent.

High-impact research

Channeling the power of natural killer cells to beat cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat successfully, and one of the chief targets of the natural killer cell research Dr. Boudreau and her graduate students and post-doctoral fellows pursue. Read the Dal News story about how Natural Killer (NK) cells cells can kill pancreatic cancer tumours.

Harnessing the power of viruses to kill cancers
Dalhousie's Dr. Shashi Gujar, along with pioneers at the Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers in Paris and the University of Ottawa, has just released a paper in the journal, Nature Protocols, that provides standardized guidance on oncolytic virus design, production, and testing in cancer immunotherapy, a treatment that helps the body's immune system fight cancer. Read the Dal News story about this next step in the development and use of viruses to fight cancer.

Back pain impacts many. A new Dal‑developed tool offers promise of relief to those who need it most
Dalhousie resarchers have developed a sleek, high-resolution probe that can travel to the site of the spinal compression and provide a clear view of the surgical area before and after the procedure is done to make sure the nerve has been decompressed. Read the Dal News story about the potential for this imaging probe.

Food as medicine
Ranked among the world’s top 2 per cent of researchers by the AD Scientific Index, Dr. Rupasinghe’s food bioactive research program is globally recognized for increasing understanding of dietary flavonoids in human health and the innovation of value-added food from cool climate fruits. Read the Dal News story about the food bioactive research program.

Dal researchers design powerful tech to help fight deadly cancer
Researchers and students from Dalhousie’s School of Biomedical Engineering have pushed the boundaries in brain cancer treatment, designing the world’s first high-resolution endoscopic surgical and imaging probe. The 3mm-by-3mm device is inserted through a small keyhole created in the skull and allows surgeons to follow an exact path to the tumour so that it can be surgically removed. Read the Dal News story about this cancer-fighting technology.

Dal postdoc wins Mitacs entrepreneurship award for world’s first at‑home test to measure muscle health
The ground-breaking technology behind Dr. Andrade’s fast-growing company Myomar Molecular Inc. identifies unique will equip medical practitioners and their patients with the information needed to predict the risk of musculoskeletal disease and improve quality of life by catching muscle loss early. Read the Dal News story about Myomar Molecular.

Dal Dentistry launching clinical trials with ground‑breaking study on oral‑cancer prevention
In one of the Faculty of Dentistry’s first clinical trials, researchers will study whether a drug used to treat diabetes could prevent an oral cancer that affects people in Atlantic Canada at disproportionately higher rates. Read the Dal News story about this research into oral-cancer prevention.

Dal psychiatry researcher discovers unique treatment for bipolar disorder
A Dalhousie researcher is making waves in the global medical community after a discovery that could help improve outcomes for people suffering from treatment-resistant bipolar depression. Read the Dal News story about this psychiatry research discovery.

Dalhousie researchers discover existing drug can disrupt coronavirus replication
"One of the major outcomes of treating with this drug is it inhibits the ability of virus to make lots of spike proteins and incorporate them into new progeny or baby viruses, so the baby viruses that are made are spike-less and as a result cannot initiate infection," says Dr. McCormick, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Read the Dal News story about this research into coronavirus treatment.

Driving focus and momentum
Dalhousie Medical School is home to 28 research chairs (top scholars in their field). These research chairs are transforming scientific thinking, clinical practice, and health care policy—locally and around the world. Read about the current Dalhousie Medical School research chairs

Dalhousie University researchers develop silk‐based material that could be used to regenerate nerve cells in people with central nervous system injuries, paralysis
This innovative material will be further developed into forms that could be applied directly to an injury site and help stimulate nerve regeneration, filling an important gap in the treatment of nerve injuries. Read the media release about the discovery of this innovative material.

Dal dentistry researcher wins Mitacs Award for work that could help patients spend less time in the clinic
Dr. Maucoski received this prestigious award for her research on new high-powered curing lights and their ability to harden the over 800 million white composite fillings dentists place each year. Read the Dal News story about this dentistry research.

Dal partnership looks at evaluating local supports for older adults
The ACTing Collectively Research Project, led by researchers in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Health, involves working with three communities in Cape Breton to understand and evaluate what programs older adults need to live at home longer, healthier, and more actively. Read the Dal News story about the research project.

Exceptional student experience

Bucking the national trend: More Dal med grads opting for careers in family medicine
Half of the graduating class will begin their residency training in family medicine this summer, marking a significant increase since 2018 when only 25 per cent of the class chose to enter a career path in family medicine. Read the Dal News story about how Dal is advancing family medicine education and recognizing family medicine as a specialty of choice.

Dal launching Atlantic Canada’s first Master of Nursing program in mental health and addictions
Registered nurses looking to gain advanced skills and education in mental health and addictions care now have the opportunity to do so in Nova Scotia through a new Dalhousie program. Read the Dal News story about the new program.

Looking to bring a little wellness into your life? Dal’s got you covered
Dal’s 2023-2024 Group Wellness Sessions are divided into four different categories — mental health, professional development, book clubs, and holistic well-being — each of which offers its own unique lens on staying healthy. Read the Dal News story about the wellness sessions.

Dalhousie set to launch new physician assistant training program for Nova Scotia
The first of its kind in the Maritime provinces and only the fourth in the country, the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program will provide graduates with the competencies needed to provide compassionate, evidence-based care and significantly contribute to interprofessional health-care teams. Read the Dal News story about the new training program.

Medical school curriculum refresh prepares students to meet ever‑changing healthcare needs
The new changes were motivated by the changing realities of the world and the practice of medicine in Canada, and others by the Medical School’s responsibility to better address equity, diversity and inclusivity in the education of physicians, as well as the care of patients. Read the curriculum refresh story in Faculty of Medicine News.

Dal medical students give back in the spirit of social accountability and community engagement
The Community-Engaged Service Learning Program at Dalhousie Medical School is creating opportunities for students to partner with not-for-profit groups serving communities that may have limited access and experience with health care. Read the Dal News story on community-engaged learning.  

Killam scholar seeks new ways to make medical implants better for patients
Biomedical engineering graduate student Brenden Wheeler looks to develop new materials for implantable medical devices that can impact the way immune cells behave, harnessing his chemical engineering foundations to improve outcomes for patients receiving devices. Read the Dal News story about Brenden Wheeler's research.

Parent Tot program engages Dalhousie’s youngest employees
One of the many programs developed and implemented by the C3LR in collaboration with the Faculties of Medicine and Health, the Parent Tot program provides learners with the opportunity to learn, develop, and practice critical pediatric skills by working with real children, adding authenticity to simulated pediatric experiences and interactions that learners may face in clinical practice. Read the Dal News story about the Parent Tot program.

Dalhousie family medicine clinics receives funding to accept and retain more patients
Recent graduates of Dalhousie family medicine will gain valuable hands-on experience as a result of a $6.3-million investment over the next four years to  build on the partnership between Dalhousie family medicine clinics and Nova Scotia Health, which has helped hundreds of people without a family doctor receive faster care from the appropriate providers. Read the release on the partnership from the Premier's office.

Civic university with global impact

Equity in medical education: Black Health Primer aims to build inclusive health care
The health needs and experiences of Black Canadians are vastly underrepresented in medical and health-sciences curricula. Led by Drs. OmiSoore Dryden at Dalhousie and Dr. Onye Nnorom from the University of Toronto, a community of Black scholars and practitioners is committed to changing this. Read the Dal News story about the the Primer, which is the first of its kind in Canada.

Dal and Nova Scotia launch Centre for Psychological Health for vulnerable populations
The centre will only serve low-income clients, particularly Nova Scotians who face barriers in accessing mental health services. Currently, the centre is partnering with specific community organizations to identify individuals who are most in need of their services. Read the Dal News story about the centre's launch.

Province funds new medical school campus in Cape Breton
The campus, the province’s second and the third campus for Dalhousie Medical School, will train 30 new doctors every year. It will include a new collaborative care clinic at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), and an expansion of Cape Breton University’s health and counselling centre. Read the Dal News story about the planned campus in Cape Breton.

UpLift Partnership empowers children and youth to take the lead in creating school communities that are healthy.
The UpLift Partnership is a School-Community-University partnership supporting the health and learning of school-aged children and youth using a Health Promoting Schools approach. Hosted within Dalhousie’s Healthy Populations Institute, Uplift operates in partnership with government, Nova Scotia Health, school communities, non-profits and the private sector. Read the Dal News story about the UpLift Partnership.

Athletics & Recreation youth programming
In addition to a full slate of summer, March break and PD day camps, Dalhousie Athletics & Recreation often works with community partners to offer opportunities for kids in our communities. For example, we have an ongoing partnership with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education that provides 22 free spots to ensure students from low socio-economic households are able to participate in summer camps.

Become a better informed health consumer!
Dalhousie University Medical School offers a free, public offering known as Mini Medical School. More than 1000 people attended last year.

Bringing PrEP prescribing into community pharmacies: Dal Health professor leads first of its kind project in Canada
Dr. Wilby says having pharmacists prescribe PrEP brings it into the communities, and reduces the amount of contact time with the health care system, as you are being prescribed and given medication during one visit. He says it will also release burden on primary care. Read the Dal News story about PrEP.

Restorative Approach to Harm in Healthcare in British Columbia
In collaboration with the Indigenous Health Authority and two other BC Health Authorities as well as UBC Okanagan, The Restorative Lab will examine taking a restorative approach to patient safety and healthcare harm. Read more about the collaboration in Health Research BC.

Department of Family Medicine set to offer comprehensive Indigenous health education
The Wije'winen Health Centre opened its doors to the urban Indigenous community in Halifax, providing future opportunities for medical learners interested in Indigenous health. An initiative of the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre, the new health centre will boast a full-time academic physician position, becoming the first of its kind in Nova Scotia to host learners formally. Read the Dal News story about the opening of Wije'winen Health Centre.

Student‑run HOPES Clinic seeks better health care for society’s most vulnerable
The HOPES (Halifax Outreach Prevention Education & Support) initiative has been tackling health disparity since 2014, when students from several different health-related programs at Dalhousie, Mount Saint Vincent University and the Medavie Health Education Program organized a clinic to tend to the unmet health needs of the low-income, vulnerably housed and homeless population in Halifax. Read the Dal News story about the HOPES initiative.

Foundation for inclusion and distinction

Ready, set, tune‑up: Bikers gather for maintenance day on campus
Bike Tune-Up Day was made possible through Dalhousie’s Workplace Wellness Grants Program. The program funds more than a dozen projects each year that promote workplace wellness. Read the Dal News story about this wheelie-great wellness initiative.

Dalhousie to offer free menstrual products in campus restrooms
This project recognizes that menstruation affects individuals regardless of their gender identity, making these products accessible in women's, men's and all-gender restrooms. Read the Dal News story about the project.

Dal reinforces commitment to health promotion by signing the Okanagan Charter
Dalhousie joined more than 30 Canadian universities and colleges from coast to coast in signing onto the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. The charter represents a formal commitment to being a health-promoting university. Read the Dal News story about the signing of the charter.

Take care of your whole health
Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness offers students many resources to help keep mind and body in shape. A variety of mental health resources are available for students, including same-day counselling, group counselling, access to Dal’s social worker, online resources and peer support. And while not all university students choose to have sex, there are resources available to Dalhousie students so they can take care of their sexual health.

What you need to know about Dal's Mental Health Awareness Week
For the third year in a row, the university will be hosting its own Mental Health Awareness Week to promote mental health and help build a sense of belonging and holistic well-being for all students through events, activities, and conversations. Read the Dal News story about Mental Health Awareness Week.

Join the dialogue and share your ideas on how to support mental health at Dal
The Dalhousie Mental Health Forum (DMHF) is an open forum for students, faculty and staff to inspire and unite stakeholders in mental health and wellness. The DMHF provides a platform for sharing ideas and collaborating on mental health related events, programming and campaigns.