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Old and new pandemics — Our people

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Red meat consumption and breast cancer risk

October 9, 2014 — Maryam S Farvid, a visiting scientist and Takemi fellow at Harvard School of Public Health, was first author on two recent studies that found that young women who ate higher amounts of red meat had a higher risk…

A critical voice on biosafety

Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, has become a leading critic of experiments creating dangerous flu strains that are transmissible between mammals. Earlier this year, he co-authored an…

Big data's big visionary

[ Fall 2014 ] As cholera swept through London in the mid-19th century, a physician named John Snow painstakingly drew a paper map indicating clusters of homes where the deadly waterborne infection had struck. In an iconic feat in public health history,…

Q & A: When lab research threatens humanity

[ Fall 2014 ] Is bench research that creates a lethal, contagious bird flu virus worth the risk that the virus could escape the lab? Not according to Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. With Alison P.…

Off the cuff: What can microbes teach us about cancer?

[ Fall 2014 ] Wendy Garrett, Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases Wendy Garrett specializes in studying the human gut— the part of our anatomy that carries the greatest number of microbes—and the possible links between these hordes of bacteria and…

Combating Ebola by gaining trust

Mosoka Fallah, MPH ’12, who grew up in Monrovia, Liberia, has returned to the capital city to help contain the spreading Ebola epidemic. An epidemiologist and immunologist, Fallah has been systematically leading teams of volunteers through the city’s slums to identify victims,…

Why Public Health? Anthony Covarrubias

May 2014 — In our video series “Why Public Health?” we ask Harvard School of Public Health students and alumni to talk about what drew them to the field. Anthony Covarrubias, a doctoral student in the Biological Sciences in Public Health program,…

The Impact of Financial Aid

Emmanuel Akintoye, MPH '14 Many ambitious Nigerian children aspire to medical school, but while he had reached this goal, Emmanuel Akintoye wanted something more. He found it in public health. "I knew from the first moment that this is what I want…

Cure for ‘silent killer’ remains elusive

April 30, 2014 — Barbara Burleigh, associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases, studies Chagas disease, a leading cause of infectious heart failure. The disease is a major health and economic burden in Latin America, where it’s endemic, with roughly 8 million…

Student profile: Christina Nieves, SM '14

Q: Why did you choose HSPH? A: I chose HSPH because I wanted to go to a school with a strong epidemiology program and exceptional students and faculty. HSPH is one of the best public health schools in the country and the…

New findings in battle against drug-resistant tuberculosis

Sarah Fortune, Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases, on why some people infected with some "bad actor" strains of M. tuberculosis are at very high risk of getting drug resistant TB, regardless of whether they…

Paving the way to the polio vaccine

The iron lung, invented by HSPH’s Philip Drinker in 1928, pulled thousands of polio sufferers back from the brink of death. But with polio still ravaging the world, scientists in the 1930s and 1940s were frantically working on a polio vaccine. The…

Prostate cancer: Clearing up confusion

February 19, 2014 — Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), studies the factors that influence prostate cancer risk and progression. She answers three questions about recent research findings in the field that have generated confusion…

Polio

[Winter 2009] Remembering the late HSPH Nobel Laureate, Thomas Weller As the polio virus swept across the United States in 1948, 32-year-old Thomas Weller was logging long hours in a Harvard Medical School laboratory, working to develop a new way to culture…

Making the leap

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Veterinarians and public health Mark Schembri, MPH ’11, never met James Steele, MPH ’42. But in his passion for understanding animalborne epidemics, Schembri is carrying on Steele’s powerful legacy. Steele—the lone veterinarian in a class of physicians at…

The art of eradication

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] E•rad•i•cate: 1. to pull or tear up by the roots, to remove entirely, extirpate, get rid of. 2. in public health, to achieve zero disease globally as a result of deliberate efforts. Its formal name says everything: dracunculiasis,…

Chasing epidemics in real time

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] As the AIDS epidemic tragically demonstrated, public health has usually been a step behind infections on the run. But today, with sophisticated molecular and communications tools, practitioners can virtually keep up stride for stride with emerging epidemics. In…

Off the cuff: Michelle Williams

[ Winter 2012 ] Is epidemiology a beautiful science? “I started to see beauty in science as an undergrad, looking at embryonic development. There is nothing more beautiful than watching a single cell turn into an organism. It contains all the signals needed to…

The hard science of saving lives

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Understanding the basic biology of infectious disease has been a constant at HSPH since its inception. “We’re one of the few schools of public health that has integrated laboratory science and more classical public health disciplines, such as…

Alumni award winners: What we know now

[ Winter 2011] We asked this year’s winners James Dalen, Fernando Guerra, Lynn Rosenberg, and David Schottenfeld: What do you know now about improving the public’s health that you didn’t when you started out in your career? James Dalen, SM '72 “The people are ahead of their doctors.”…

Carrying on the quest for an HIV vaccine

Donald Francis, SD ’79, has been in the front lines of the battle against AIDS since 1981 and was one of the first scientists to suggest that the then-mysterious disease was caused by an infectious agent. In the early 1980s, Francis directed…

A selection of genetic discoveries at HSPH

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] The late Armen Tashjian Jr., chair of the then-named Department of Molecular and Cellular Toxicology, made pioneering discoveries about how toxic environmental chemicals and therapeutic agents induce molecular changes; he also played a key role in the development…

Returning home, with a plan to thwart killer TB

[ Fall 2011 ] In Kenya’s arid Wajir district, across the border from Somalia, attending school is not a given. Though some children learn to read while sitting on the floor in crowded classrooms or gathered on the dusty red ground under…

Why do we age? Surprising revelations from a worm

[ Fall 2012 ] HSPH’s Will Mair hopes his work in worms will identify molecules that have an effect on aging-related diseases—and which could ultimately be tested as treatments for humans. “How old you are is immutable—you can’t change how old an…

Tracking the long-term effects of lifesaving drugs

For more than 20 years, George Seage, associate professor of epidemiology, has explored the behavioral and biological aspects of HIV transmission. In September 2010, he received an $82.2 million, five-year grant—the second-largest award to the School, after the federal PEPFAR grant—to study two…

The cost of South Africa's misguided AIDS policies

[ Spring 2009 ] The human cost of South Africa's misguided AIDS policies AIDS activists and researchers argued for years that the negligent HIV/AIDS policies of former South African President Thabo Mbeki were causing a massive, unconscionable loss of human life. Now, thanks to the doctoral…

Blocking malaria parasites

May 2010 -- In a paper published in the May 14 edition of the journal Science, Harvard School of Public Health researchers Manoj Duraisingh and Jeffrey Dvorin succeeded in locking malaria parasites within infected blood cells, potentially containing the disease's spread. Click…

The Eradicator: Donald Hopkins

August 2013 -- Donald Hopkins, MPH ’70, and currently a vice president at the Carter Center, has spent a career helping to eradicate two major tropical diseases. Beginning in the 1960s he helped lead efforts to vaccinate people in Africa and Asia…

Harvard AIDS Initiative: The Movie

November 2013 -- What starts as a story of death and ignorance becomes a chronicle of discovery and success. To mark its 25th anniversary, the Harvard AIDS Initiative created a short video outlining major accomplishments and the work that remains to be…

Why Public Health? Nicanor Obaldia Rodriguez

April 2011 -- In our new series "Why Public Health?" we ask Harvard School of Public Health students to talk about why they chose to enter the field. Above, Nicanor Obaldia Rodriguez, a doctoral student from Panama, says he hopes to establish…

Hunting for the next pandemic

In his new book The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age, HSPH alumnus Nathan Wolfe, SD '98, describes the origins of deadly viruses like HIV, swine flu, and bird flu, and the link between modern life and global pandemic…

HIV/AIDS: Stories from an epidemic

June 8, 2010 -- They are an odd couple of co-authors. Max Essex, chair of the Harvard AIDS Initiative and a world-renowned research scientist, teamed up with Unity Dow, author of four novels and the first woman to sit on Botswana’s High…

Buckee named an ‘Innovator Under 35’

August 21, 2013 — Caroline Buckee, assistant professor of epidemiology and associate director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard School of Public Health, has been named by MIT Technology Review as one of this year’s Innovators Under 35. The honor…

Jamie Oliver receives 2012 Healthy Cup Award

May 23, 2012 Television personality, food activist, and internationally acclaimed chef Jamie Oliver received Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) Healthy Cup Award on May 22, 2012 at a packed ceremony at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center in Boston. More than…

HSPH researchers help boost public health in India

Harvard’s connections in India—research collaborations, academic exchanges and partnerships, business ventures involving alumni and faculty—have expanded in recent years, in tandem with the country’s rapid growth. Those connections, including efforts spearheaded by Barry R. Bloom, [[Atul Gawande]], and [[Richard Cash]] of Harvard…

William Foege awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

May 10, 2012 Former CDC Director and Global Health Champion Helped Eradicate Smallpox Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) alumnus William Foege, MPH ’65, legendary for his work in the late 1970s to eradicate smallpox, has been named one of 13 recipients…

HSPH’s Curtis Huttenhower honored by President Obama

Curtis Huttenhower, assistant professor of computational biology and bioinformatics in the Department of Biostatistics at HSPH, was one of 96 researchers named by President Obama as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by…

James Robins receives Nathan Mantel Lifetime Achievement Award

August 13, 2013 -- James Robins, whose work at the intersection of statistical science and epidemiology aims to estimate causal effects of exposures or drug treatments—as opposed to just associations—has received the 2013 Nathan Mantel Lifetime Achievement Award in Statistics and Epidemiology. Robins,…

Franziska Michor honored at second annual Alice Hamilton lecture

May 11, 2012 Franziska Michor, associate professor of computational biology, received Harvard School of Public Health’s second annual Alice Hamilton Award on April 11, 2012 in recognition of her pathbreaking work applying evolutionary theory to cancer. The award, sponsored by the School’s…

Buckee named a “CNN 10” top thinker

Caroline Buckee, assistant professor of epidemiology and associate director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), was hailed as one of 10 “visionaries whose ideas are shaping our future” by CNN. An October 22, 2013…

HSPH alumna named HIV/AIDS Envoy to UN Secretary-General

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) alumna Speciosa Wandira-Kasibwe as his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. A surgeon who has played a key role in both public health and politics in Africa, Wandira-Kasibwe, SD…

Buckee named a top 100 global thinker by Foreign Policy

Caroline Buckee, assistant professor of epidemiology and associate director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), was named one of the top 100 global thinkers of 2013 by Foreign Policy (FP). Buckee was listed among…

Alumnus Donald Hopkins works to end the scourge of Guinea worm

A New York Times profile of HSPH alumnus Donald Hopkins, MPH ’70, describes his impressive efforts to battle Guinea worm disease and his prior involvement with the eradication of smallpox. Former deputy director and acting director of the Centers for Disease Control…

Local disease forecasts

"You could have a local disease forecast just like you have a weather forecast, and people could take extra precautions because this week there's a particularly high risk for influenza." Eleanor Murray, SD '16, Epidemiology, Horace W. Goldsmith…

Product of many kindnesses

“There have been few heroes in my life and Dr. Donald R. Hopkins is one.” With these words, U.S. President Jimmy Carter paid tribute to HSPH alumnus Donald Hopkins, MPH ’70, a legendary leader in the field of disease eradication whose accomplishments include a leading role…

Turning the tide on AIDS in Africa

Phyllis Kanki, professor ofimmunology and infectious diseases By the early 2000s, AIDS was increasingly viewed as a treatable chronic disease in the developed world. But for most patients in Africa it remained a death sentence. This was the…