Improving health through upstream social interventions

Research, education, and policy change

Get Involved Research

The Upstream Lab is a non-profit research lab based at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We are dedicated to improving health and well-being of the population through addressing issues related to social determinants of health.

Who We Are

What are the social determinants of health?

According to WHO, social determinants of health (SDOH) are non-medical factors that have an influence on our health, particularly the social and economic conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age. Some examples include income and social status, job insecurity, food insecurity, and education. SDOH also includes the wider system that can foster health inequity, such as discriminative policies and social norms, and historical trauma.

Our Research Streams

Integrating Health and Social Care

Interventions addressing social needs of individuals in healthcare settings.

Population Health Management

Interventions addressing social needs at community and policy levels.

Data to Enable a Learning Health System

Leveraging data and technology to improve the health systems.


Our scientists lead research initiatives that tackle social determinants of health at multiple levels. Driven by our shared mission to advance health equity, we incubate novel interventions by integrating health and social care, population health management, leveraging data to enable proactive care, and conducting trials.

Our Collaborators

Community Members

Our lab works with many incredible and diverse individuals who provide valuable insights on our projects. Get to know some of our community advisory members.

Abstract submission for the Adaptive Platform Trials Scientific Meeting is open! We welcome research covering a broad range of topics, including trial design, implementation, statistical methodologies, and findings of APTs.

➡️ #APTMeeting2024

🎙️ Our latest podcast episode, "Primary care network tackling social determinants of health: launch of Deep End Canada," is now available on our website! If you missed the live webinar, catch up here:

Black people are more likely to have severe complications from diabetes in Canada. Dr. Azza Eissa (@DrAzZa110), family physician & @upstreamlab researcher at St. Michael's Hospital, says delayed diagnosis & lower screening rates add to the risk. @CBCNews

We are looking for a full-time permanent Epidemiologist to support one of our large studies, PREPARED, which aims to enhance acute respiratory infection surveillance across Canada.

Apply by July 10:

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