Profiles in Public Health: John M. Last
Professor of Epidemiology and Community Medicine
Born in Australia, John Last graduated from the University of Adelaide medical school in 1949. After five years of hospital training, five 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 position 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 authored or edited 17 books, chapters in 49 books, articles in several encyclopaedias, 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). Dr. Last led the initiative of the International Epidemiological Association to develop guidelines on ethical conduct of epidemiological research, practice, and teaching, and 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). Dr. Last has received numerous awards and honours and received lifetime achievement awards from the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine in 1994, and the American College of Epidemiology in 1997. 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. Dr. John M. Last was given CPHA’s highest honour, the R.D. Defries Award, in 2006, as well as Honorary Life Membership.
(CPHA Health Digest, Vol. 30, No, 2, Summer 2006)