Dalla Lana School of Public Health

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health is the school of public health at the University of Toronto. It was founded in its first form in 1927 as the University of Toronto School of Hygiene, and was home for 50 years to Connaught Laboratories, a manufacturer of vaccines, insulin, and many other pharmaceutical products.

DLSPH is part of a trifecta of academic institutions that make up the core of the modern public health establishment, alongside the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

It was been characterized as Canada's wing of the public health globalist training ground, due to the large number of graduates who go on to hold influential advisory or government positions (particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.1)


University of Toronto School of Hygiene (1927)

In 1927, the Rockefeller Foundation gave a large donation (either $1.5 million or $650,000) to the University of Toronto to found the University of Toronto School of Hygiene.2) It began operations in the FitzGerald Building, which had long housed Connaught Laboratories, founded by Dr. John Gerald FitzGerald.3)

Global Health Relaunch (2008-present)

In 2008, Paul Dalla Lana followed in Rockefeller’s footsteps and provided a $20 million donation to relaunch the University of Toronto’s public health program as the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.4)


Notable Affiliates

Name Position Advisory Role Public Health Role Research Role Other
Adalsteinn Brown Dean Co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table On the Board of Directors of Ontario Health Served as an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) On the Premier's Council, which was created in 2018 to “provide the Premier of Ontario and the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care with strategic priorities and actions”
Rob Reid Professor Co-chair of the Evidence Synthesis Network (ESN) - Chief scientist at the Institute for Better Health and Senior Vice President of Science at Trillium Health Partners -
Brian Schwartz Associate Professor Co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table Canadian Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Task Group, Vice-President of Public Health Ontario - Served as Vice-chair of the Ontario SARS Scientific Advisory Committee in 2003 and was Chair of the Scientific Response Team for the 2009 H1N1 pandemic
Forbes, A. (2021, June 8). Unelected HO running the Province. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJw_X7-c7Cg
Bodnar, N. (2014, May 2). Origin story: how the Dalla Lana School of Public Health began. University of Toronto News. https://archive.ph/dv8Qt
Burrows, M. (2019, May 16). Canada’s Greatest Impact Donation. All about Estates. https://www.allaboutestates.ca/canadas-greatest-impact-donation/
Paul Dalla Lana commits second $20-million gift to the University of Toronto’s Boundless Campaign. (2018, February 1). University of Toronto News. https://www.utoronto.ca/news/paul-dalla-lana-commits-second-20-million-gift-university-toronto-s-boundless-campaign
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