Population Health Observatory

The School of Public Health and Health Professions' Population Health Observatory (PHO) at the University at Buffalo is a public health research, training, and informatics center, which was founded in 2003.

PHO faculty and students apply biostatistical and computational expertise to analyze large population based data sets, mining information from them to enhance knowledge and practice of public health. The PHO data warehouse houses local, statewide, national, and international data sets that provide a foundation for population based research. Our goal is to provide policy makers, program managers, public health professionals, and regulatory agencies with information that promotes data driven health policy and decision making, evidence based program management, scientifically sound program evaluation, and accurate information for regulatory decisions.

The PHO has collaborated with the School of Public Health and Health Professions, the Western New York Public Health Alliance of county health departments, the State Department of Health, the State University of New York at Binghamton, the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute, the Hunter’s Hope Foundation, the Erie County Medical Center, the Community Health Center of Buffalo, and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, Japan.


  • To facilitate the protection and improvement of public health by generating knowledge from data.
  • To conduct research in the context of projects that first require development of data collection and storage, management and linkage system and then in depth statistical analysis.
  • Other research efforts focus on already existing databases available from other sources, such as the National Center for Health Statistics, Hunter James Kelly Research Institute Krabbe World Wide Registry, or the Radiation Effects Research Foundation.
  • Students from the School's Biostatistics and MPH programs work in research apprenticeships to contribute significantly to center objectives. Under the guidance of PHO faculty, students are involved in projects that provide motivation for PhD dissertations and master’s practical training projects.