Charles Deutsch

Senior Research Scientist

Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Society, Human Development, and Health

Harvard Catalyst
Countway Library, 10 Shattuck St., 5th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Phone: 617.432.3936


Dr. Charles Deutsch is Deputy Director of the Harvard Catalyst Community Health Innovations and Research Program (HC-CHIRP).  Harvard Catalyst is Harvard University’s Clinical and Translational Science Center, the largest in a network of 60 centers funded by NIH.  Dr. Deutsch is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and operations of HC-CHIRP, which is the focal point for Catalyst’s community engagement and population health research translation activities.

HC-CHIRP focuses on the integration of three domains: Translation of research into policy, primarily through an institutional partnership with the MA Department of Public Health; translation of research into clinical and primary care practice, through collaborations with Safety Net community health centers; and translation of research into community-based public health strategies, through partnerships applying community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods.  HC-CHIRP augments research and evaluation capacity for its partners while providing faculty and students with opportunities to apply skills to pressing public health issues.

New in 2012 is a childhood obesity initiative connecting researchers across the University, with targeted pilot grants available for integrative studies; and assisting the state in developing and evaluating a system of care for 0-8 year olds that would improve coordination across state agencies, establish a unified database, and enhance home visiting programs in 17 high-need communities.

Dr. Deutsch is also co-founder and Deputy Director of the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity (HPRC). Inaugurated in 1998 with support from the CDC and other partners, HPRC studies, promotes and evaluates scientifically sound school- and community-based interventions for children and youth to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and prevent overweight and obesity. Since 2000 he has also served as lead investigator of the Maine-Harvard PRC, a statewide partnership with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of New England, based on the UNE Portland campus.

From 2000 – 2010 Dr. Deutsch was Principal Investigator for a series of projects to strengthen HIV/AIDS prevention systems in South Africa.  After leading an extensive national consultative process, he established the Centre for the Support of Peer Education (CSPE) to provide partners such as provincial departments of education and health, the Anglican Church and Catholic Institute for Education, sport and recreation programs, higher education institutions, and worksite wellness programs with training, ongoing technical assistance, materials development, a common management information system, and research and evaluation in order to make peer education a more rigorous and effective strategy. CSPE also developed Vhutshilo, peer-led structured education and support groups for vulnerable children, evaluated by the Human Sciences Research Council.

Senior Research Scientist in the HSPH Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Deutsch is interested in integrative systems approaches to health promotion and disease prevention.  He has consistently focused on environments that promote the social, behavioral, and emotional dimensions of child and family health; systemic strategies for helping children and families isolated by stigmatizing conditions; and the roles in child and adolescent public health played by educators, other non-health professionals, and youth themselves.  His curricula and programs have been disseminated by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the U.S. Department of Education, the CDC, WHO, and UN Population Fund. For more than thirty years his book, Broken Bottles, Broken Dreams: Understanding and Helping Children of Alcoholics, has prepared professionals and nonprofessionals to play early intervention roles.