Per-Olof Östergren is a physician who also holds a degree in sociology. He is currently professor in social medicine at Lund University. His research has been in the area of social epidemiology, with a particular interest in health equity and the importance of social relations for health. Focus has been on chronic disease, mental health and sexual and reproductive health and rights. He has taught epidemiology for many years but shifted his teaching and research focus to health policy issues, during the recent years. He has participated extensively as an expert in health policy formulation and implementation processes in public organisations as well as in cooperation with the voluntary sector, on the local, national and international level.