Director: Dick Daynard, Professor of Law
PHAI is an interdisciplinary research and advocacy institute created by the Northeastern University School of Law and Graduate Programs in Public Health at Tufts University School of Medicine. The Institute seeks to increase the legal field’s understanding of public health and help ensure that legal decisions take into account public health goals. It provides co-op opportunities for law students to conduct interdisciplinary research and work with faculty and other professionals on advocacy projects.
PHAI’s nine faculty from law and medicine are introducing public health issues into law school curricula (looking at how laws and legal decisions affect the health of populations); advocating for the disclosure of information uncovered in legal proceedings that affects public health (e.g., Ford-Firestone tire cases, tobacco industry liability suits); developing an archive about automobile hazards for public health professionals, attorneys and legislators to use to push the automobile industry to manufacture safer vehicles; publishing articles and filing legal briefs that infuse public health perspectives into public policy deliberations and arguments in important legal cases; and exploring the potential of legal strategies to reduce the food industry’s processing and marketing practices that encourage excessive food consumption and lead to obesity. PHAI was founded in 2001 with a core grant from the Bauman Foundation.