Summer 2024 - HSCI 484 D100

Senior Seminar in Population Health Research (3)

Class Number: 2860

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Jun 3, 2024: Mon, Wed, Fri, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Bruce Lanphear
    Office Hours: By appointment
  • Prerequisites:

    90 units, including HSCI 230 (or 330) with a minimum grade of C- and either STAT 302 or STAT 305, with a minimum grade of C-.



Scientific research in population health. Developing and evaluating research protocols, taking a general research question and turning it into an analysis plan, carrying out the analysis, and writing up the findings for presentation and publication.


The course is delivered as an interactive, in-person seminar. Students are expected to attend all classes and participate in discussions. During classroom sessions, students will collaborate with their peers to design a randomized controlled trial to test the benefits of an organic diet and deliver class presentations on readings in population health. Students are expected to read the assigned reading material and contribute to the learning of others though group discussions during class. Students will also be given the opportunity to communicate the knowledge they have gained through individual and group written assignments.



Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

1. Identify key concepts in population health, such as shifting the curve and prevention paradox
2. Create a storyboard for a succinct 5-minute video on a population health concept
3. Take a research question or hypothesis and design a study on a population health problem.
4. Be familiar with population attributable fractions and global burden of disease.


  • Final Class Project 25%
  • Reflection on Strategy for Preventive Medicine 25%
  • Attendance and Class Participation 25%
  • Video Script and Storyboard 25%


Class participation and attendance (25%): Students will be evaluated on their participation in class, as well as the degree to which their participation enhances discussion in the class. They will also be graded on their participation in class activities, such as creating a video storyboard and discussions about their readings.

Book reflection (25%): Students will write a one-page reflection about how Geoffrey Rose's book, Strategy for Preventive Medicine, changed their view of medicine and public health.

Final Class Project (25%): Students will collectively write a research proposal to conduct a randomized controlled trial of an organic diet in pregnant women. The purpose of this exercise is to become familiar with the elements of a research proposal; enhance their craft of writing; and refine their organizational skills.

Video Storyboard (25%): Students will contribute to a class project to create a video storyboard on a population health concept from Geoffrey Rose's book, Strategy for Preventive Medicine.


REQUIRED TEXT: No textbook is required for this course, but students will need to access to the online version of Geoffrey Rose's Strategy for Preventive Medicine. Rose's book is available in the SFU library. The course instructor will provide other articles.



Students will read select articles provided by the instructor and Geoffrey Rose's Strategy for Preventive Medicine, which is available online from SFU's library.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.