“Healthy” and “happy”—these words go hand in hand. Indeed, a growing body of medical and psychological evidence shows strong, mechanistic links between happiness and health.
No wonder, then, that we are preoccupied with health. Stories about human illness are a daily fixture on news broadcasts. Surveys of public opinion frequently place health as our number one concern, and politicians pay heed to this, placing our universal health policy at the core of their election platforms. Indeed, in Canada, health is more than a preoccupation; it strikes at the heart of who we are as Canadians.
A focus on health and a healthy environment permeates the research and academic activities at UTSC. Professor Rene Harrison is among the researchers who explore the microscopic determinants of health, examining the molecules that shape the health status of cells and, consequently, the health of whole organisms. Others are working to elucidate the bases of mental health and how to treat mental illness.
Meanwhile, UTSC scientists like Myrna and Andre Simpson are inventing new ways to ask important questions about how ecosystems function, so that we can best ensure a healthy planet. Consistent with this, UTSC recently partnered with Parks Canada in the creation of the Rouge National Urban Park, solidifying the historical role of our campus as the birthplace of the movement to protect the Rouge Valley, one of Canada’s unheralded ecological gems.
The university’s broad perspective on health also runs through our academic curricula. The latest development in this regard is our unique Health Studies program, as discussed by Principal Franco Vaccarino and Joseph Mapa, President and CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital. All of the health research we do at UTSC informs what is taught in our lecture halls, thus connecting our students to the cutting edge of knowledge in the field.
From healthy cells to healthy people, from a healthy society to a healthy environment, at UTSC we take this all-important issue very seriously, because like all Canadians, we know that health and happiness really do go hand in hand.
Professor Malcolm Campbell
University of Toronto Scarborough