Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), Ecuador

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), Ecuador

The Institute of Public Health (ISP) of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) is a leading institution in public health research and education.
For more than 25 years, the ISP has shaped public health education and research in Ecuador. ISP has prioritised research in local health services and systems with a focus on participatory action research and operations research. Being part of the School of Medicine of PUCE, ISP is in a privileged setting to coordinate actions and research within the health system. The School of Medicine has specific cooperation agreements for research and education with the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Social Security (the two main public health providers in Ecuador); and with many primary, secondary and specialised care centres within the integrated health network (including the Society Against Cancer of Ecuador - SOLCA).

PUCE is a private, autonomous and non-profit legal entity. It is constituted as a single university with headquarters in Quito and five other campuses in five other provinces of Ecuador. The School of Medicine became the first private medical school in the country in 1994. The founders of the medical school advocated problem-based learning (PBL) as a method of teaching medicine.

Two years later, the Institute of Public Health (ISP) was created, born out of a cooperation agreement between the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (Belgium) and PUCE with the aim of training public health professionals who could support the reforms that the health sector needed in Ecuador. Since then, the ISP has developed different master's programmes related to public health. At the same time, PSI aims to contribute to guaranteeing the right to health through research on the main public health problems in Ecuador.


Ana Lucía Torres

Principal Investigator

Is the Director of the Institute of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE). Torres is a sociologist graduated from PUCE, with a master's degree in gender studies from El Colegio de México. She has approached health issues from the point of view of social determinants. From 2013 to 2015 she was director of health promotion and equity at the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador. Her research has mainly focused on health systems and services, social capital and health, health inequalities (including territorial, intercultural and gender issues), and public health policies.

Hugo Pereira


Is professor and coordinator of the Master in Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine of PUCE in Quito. His research has focused on health services aimed at improving access to health care for people with chronic diseases, especially diabetes and hypertension. His participation in the projects "Atención integral de pacientes crónicos en la red de centros prestadores de salud de Quito", developed in 2010 at the PHI of PUCE, and "Propuestas de formación en Salud Pública y Gestión ofertada en Quito" in 2005, has been relevant.

Iván Dueñas

Graduated in Medicine from the Universidad Central del Ecuador (Quito, Ecuador) in 2003, specialised in Family Medicine at PUCE in 2008, and obtained a Master's degree in Public Health from the Universidad Pompeu Fabra / Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) in 2013. He completed his doctoral thesis focused on the scaling of integrated care for chronic patients, obtaining his PhD in Biomedicine at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain) in 2016. She was Institutional Manager for the Implementation of Family and Community Medicine in the National Health System, Ministry of Public Health, during 2016. He currently develops his professional activity as a public health professional and as an associate professor at the ISP of PUCE. He conducts research projects focused on integrated care, health risk assessment and maternal and child health.

Andrés Peralta

PhD in Medicine (Universidad San Francisco de Quito), Master in Public Health and PhD in Biomedicine - Public Health (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)

His work has focused on health inequalities and social determinants of health. Specifically, he has focused on two areas: 1) Housing and fuel poverty as determinants of health; and 2) Social and geographical inequalities in mortality. He was involved in assessing the impact of energy efficiency interventions on cold-related mortality (including mortality from cancers). It also conducted studies on social and geographical inequalities in cause-specific mortality in Ecuador (including mortality caused by some of the most common neoplasms in the country).