John Murray Last, OC; MB, BS, MD (Adelaide); DPH (Sydney); MD (Hon) Uppsala; MD (Hon) Edinburgh; FRACP, FRCPC, FFPH (UK), FACPM, FACE, FAFPHM
Room: RGN 3105
John Last is an emeritus professor at the University of Ottawa and was appointed as an Officer, Order of Canada, in 2012. Born and educated in Australia, he graduated from the University of Adelaide medical school in 1949. After 5 years of hospital training, 5 years in general practice, and intercontinental voyages as a ship's surgeon, he trained in epidemiology and public health at the University of Sydney and as visiting fellow in the MRC Social Medicine Research Unit in London. He has held academic positions at the Universities of Sydney, Australia, Vermont USA, and Edinburgh, Scotland and has been professor of epidemiology and community medicine at the University of Ottawa since 1969. He is the author or editor of 21 books, chapters in 50 books, articles in several encyclopedias, 80 original articles in peer-reviewed journals, over 200 other articles and editorials, and numerous reports and official documents for the World Health Organization, the Governments of Canada and Ontario and other official agencies. He is the author of Public Health and Human Ecology (1987, 1996) and a Dictionary of Public Health (2006). He edited four editions of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (1980, 1986, 1991, 1998), eponymously known as "Maxcy-Rosenau-Last" and is editor-emeritus of the latest edition in 2007; four editions of the Dictionary of Epidemiology (1983, 1988; 1995, 2001); he co-edited the Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine 3rd edition (2001) and the Encyclopedia of Public Health (2002). He is contributing editor on public health sciences and practice for Stedman's Medical Dictionary (1990, 1995, 2000, 2005) and the New Oxford American Dictionary (2001). He was the scientific editor of the Canadian Journal of Public Health 1981-1991, editor of the Annals of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada 1990-1998, and interim editor of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 1988-89. The Dictionary of Epidemiology has been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Farsi (Iranian), Serbian, Slovakian, Russian and Ukrainian, and is used by epidemiologists throughout the world. He led the initiative of the International Epidemiological Association to develop guidelines on ethical conduct of epidemiological research, practice, and teaching, was a member of the Working Group of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences that drafted International Guidelines for Ethical Review of Epidemiological Studies (1991) and has contributed substantially to other national and international discussions about ethical conduct in public health sciences and practice.
Dr. Last's honors include MD Honoris Causa of Uppsala University, Sweden, 1993, and MD Honoris Causa of Edinburgh University, Scotland, 2003. He was Wade Hampton Frost lecturer, Epidemiology Section, American Public Health Association in 1989; Scholar in Residence, Rockefeller Foundation's Villa Serbelloni Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy, in 1992. His 'lifetime achievement' awards include the Duncan Clark Award of the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine in 1994, the Abraham Lilienfeld Award of the American College of Epidemiology in 1997, the Defries Award, the highest honour of the Canadian Public Health Association i n 2006 and the Sedgwick Memorial Medal of the American Public Health Association (for distinguished service to public health) in 2008. He is an honorary life member of the International Epidemiological Association, the American College of Epidemiology, the American Public Health Association, the UK Society for Social Medicine, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the British Medical Association.
His principal research interests are studies of the interactions of ecosystem health with human health, and ethical problems arising in public health sciences and practice.
- Preventive Medicine
- Environmental Epidemiology
Personal Interest Links*
- A conversation with John Last. Epidemiology. 2010;21:748–752
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