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Sustainable health and well-being

Université Laval perceives health and well-being as a global and transdisciplinary approach. Discover how our professors and their teams are contributing to the creation of a society where health and well-being are sustainable.

Background and issues

Achieving sustainable health requires a comprehensive approach that relies on contributions not only from every field of health research, but from virtually every other field of research as well, including the human and social sciences, arts and literature, the natural sciences, and engineering.

The correlation between lifestyle and environmental factors and human health and well-being is now widely accepted, so it is crucial to further our understanding of these links to develop health promotion and prevention strategies. Université Laval is home to leading researchers in population health, best health practices, and food security, which is now a global geopolitical issue. Understanding the impact of psychological, sociological, and spiritual factors on health and well-being and the ethical dimensions of disease treatment have also become increasingly prominent concerns. That’s why Université Laval strives to develop complementary and alternative participatory, patient-oriented care approaches both participatory and civic, no matter the target patient group.

While some diseases are on the decline or are increasingly under control, others have emerged that pose new challenges for faculty members and clinicians. Université Laval is a leader in the study of chronic societal diseases, as shown by the international scientific community’s response to its many publications on the causes, effects, and prevention of cardiometabolic diseases. This groundbreaking work bodes well for research projects planned for the next 5 years.

Strategic priorities

  • Understand the connections between environment and human health
  • Make decisive progress in the treatment of physical and mental diseases
  • Leverage the positive impact of nutrition research and improve food security
  • Contribute to the smooth and efficient functioning of the healthcare system
  • Develop innovative strategies for preventing disease and promoting health
  • Harness the power of science and technology to improve health at every phase of life
  • Develop healthcare approaches centered on individuals and their well-being

Expertise at Université Laval

The will to make decisive progress in understanding and treating diseases remains strong. Using state-of-the-art technology, Université Laval has advanced our understanding and diagnostic capacity in the area of mental and neurodegenerative illnesses and is leading the way in neuroscience and neurophotonics. Top research teams are also exploring the treatment of disease from a pharmacogenomic perspective and by examining patient adherence to treatment.

The university is recognized for excellence in the study of infectious and immune diseases, respiratory diseases, and oncology. It is home to leading authorities doing fundamental and clinical research in pulmonology, endocrinology, nephrology, and reproductive and mother and child health. Regenerative medicine is another fast-growing field and a source of hope in the treatment of severe burns and other conditions.


The link between oral health and general health is increasingly well documented by researchers around the globe. UL dentistry faculty members have made substantial contributions to understanding this relationship.

Rehabilitation is yet another field where well-regarded work is being done by multidisciplinary research teams, demonstrating the remarkable potential when research professors collaborate to find solutions that are both valuable to individuals and highly effective from a societal perspective.

Université Laval is also a recognized leader throughout the francophone world in research on integrating spirituality into healthcare.

We live in a complex society where the organization of institutions is a key factor in promoting health and well-being, and where the university has a role to play in optimizing healthcare system management. UL professors are cognizant of the economic, logistical, legal, ethical, and management issues in healthcare, as well as questions of equity and access to care.

Close to 800 UL professors and their research teams in ten faculties are helping build a society where health and well-being are sustainable. The university works in partnership with close to 100 strategic investors and is a key member of Alliance santé Québec (AsQ).

AsQ is a concrete expression of Université Laval’s vision and institutional strategy for sustainable health.

A UL initiative, AsQ was launched on October 1, 2013, and grew out of the desire of key actors in the Québec City area to pool their expertise, resources, creativity, and innovation capacity to tackle the major healthcare and social services challenges we are facing in Québec and around the globe.
AsQ’s mission is to maximize the impact of research and innovation on individual and population health and well-being, the healthcare and social service ecosystem, and economic development.

By turning its attention to sustainable health, AsQ is laying the groundwork for bold and original collaborations between healthcare researchers and innovators and those who apply their research. Collaborations are multidisciplinary and based on a holistic vision of health that involves ongoing dialogue with the public. AsQ approaches health and social services issues from a social health perspective, as well as from the standpoint of ethics and responsible and effective use of resources—a perfect fit with Université Laval’s focus on interdisciplinarity and sustainable development.

AsQ plans include a longitudinal cohort study of the health of individuals and their ecosystems examining multiple factors associated with health, including lifestyle habits and living conditions. This major study will bridge the gap between fundamental research, clinical research, population research, and research on the organization of care. It will draw on the ability of individuals to take preventive action with respect to their health in order to significantly reduce the risks and cost associated with chronic diseases. Its findings will serve to accelerate changes in healthcare practices and services to boost healthcare system performance and improve the care pathway.

AsQ founding members, including Université Laval and 10 UL faculties, are leveraging both regional assets and international partnerships to cement the Québec City area’s reputation as a welcoming and fertile environment for research and innovation in health and social services.


  • Accelerate the transfer of research findings
  • Raise Université Laval’s profile
  • Diversify funding sources
  • Multiply international partnerships
  • Strengthen interdisciplinary ties