Mauricio Avendano, Ph.D., Principal Research Fellow & Deputy Director of LSE Health, London School of Economics, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Avendano’s research primarily focuses on 1) how social exposures outside the health care system influence physical, mental and cognitive function in old age, and 2) the causes of difference in mortality and life expectancy between the US and other high-income countries, namely European nations. He was closely involved in the design and coordination of the health module of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), a comparative study of 18 countries. In addition to having completed a Bell Fellowship at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, he was awarded a European Research Council grant to lead a study on the long-run effect of economic cycles over the life-course on late-life health, assessing how recessions experienced since early adulthood impact health at old ages. Dr. Avendano has authored more than 60 papers in leading epidemiology and social science journals, as well as several book chapters.
Till Bärnighausen, Sc.D., M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Bärnighausen is a medical specialist in Family Medicine. His research is in two general areas: determinants of HIV acquisition and transmission in rural Africa, and on the impact of access to treatment, prevention, and care on population health, demographic, and health transitions in the developing world. He has previously worked as Senior Epidemiologist at the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies and as Associate Professor of Health and Population Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. At the Africa Centre, he led a PEPFAR-funded antiretroviral treatment program that supports the public-sector roll-out of ART in 15 primary care clinics in rural KwaZulu-Natal and headed a population-based HIV surveillance that contacts about 35,000 individuals each year to offer HIV testing.
Jason Beckfield, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Director of Graduate Studies, Dept of Sociology, Harvard University. He is a sociologist who studies the comparative political economy of population health, regional integration, globalization, stratification, and economic sociology. Conceptually, he is interested in how social and political institutions shape structures of inequality, both within and between national societies. Methodologically, he deploys comparative research methods to capitalize on and investigate the significant institutional variation among nation-states. His current work investigates the impact of European integration on economic inequality and the welfare state, the evolution of the network structure of international organizations, and the social determinants of health inequalities.
Lisa Berkman, Ph.D., Director, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Berkman is a social epidemiologist whose work focuses extensively on psychosocial influences on health outcomes. Her research has been oriented towards understanding social inequalities in health related to socioeconomic status, different racial and ethnic groups, and social networks, support and social isolation. The majority of her work is devoted to identifying the role of social networks and support in predicting declines in physical and cognitive functioning, onset of disease and mortality, especially related to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease. She has been an innovator in linking social experiences with physical and mental health outcomes and has edited (with Ichiro Kawachi) the first textbook on social epidemiology (Social Epidemiology, 2014). She is currently president of the Association of Population Centers (APC), a member of the Institute of Medicine, and serves as chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. She is a past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research.
Theresa Betancourt, Sc.D., Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights, Department of Global Health and Population, and Director of the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity (RPCGA), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her central research interests include the developmental and psychosocial consequences of concentrated adversity on children and families, resilience and protective processes in child development, child health and human rights, and applied cross-cultural mental health research. Dr. Betancourt is the Principal Investigator of an ongoing longitudinal study of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and is currently collaborating with Partners in Health Rwanda to launch a mixed-methods study of mental health needs among HIV/AIDS-affected youth. Recently she served as the Co-PI of a randomized-controlled trial of interventions for the treatment of depression symptoms in youth displaced by war in northern Uganda.
Jason Block, M.D., Assistant Professor, Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. He completed a primary care internal medicine residency and chief residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a General Internal Medicine Fellow at Brigham and Women’s. Dr. Block is a practicing general internal medicine physician who also supervises internal medicine residents in their continuity primary care clinics. His primary research interests are the psychosocial and contextual influences contributing to the obesity epidemic, point-of-purchase interventions to improve dietary choices, and financial incentives to promote weight loss. His work has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and on NPR, among other media outlets.
Barry Bloom, Ph.D., Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Bloom came to the Harvard Chan School to serve as Dean of the Faculty in 1998 and stepped down at the end of 2008. He has been extensively involved with the World Health Organization (WHO) for more than 40 years. He is currently Chair of the Technical and Research Advisory Committee to the Global Programme on Malaria at WHO and has been a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research and chaired the WHO Committees on Leprosy Research and Tuberculosis Research, and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. Dr. Bloom serves on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Dr. Bloom holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and an honorary D.Sc. from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in immunology from Rockefeller University.
David Bloom, Ph.D., Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography; and Director, Program on the Global Demography of Aging, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is an economist and demographer whose research has focused on the application of microeconomic theory to the fields of labor, population health, development, and environment, with a focus on international health and demography. Professor Bloom has served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Asian Development Bank. Bloom has extensive knowledge of, and familiarity with, India and Asia as a whole. In conjunction with David Canning, Bloom’s recent research has made major contributions to the study of the economic consequences of population change, identifying favorable changes in age structure associated with declining fertility (the “demographic dividend”) as an important window of opportunity for rapid economic development.
Sissela Bok, Ph.D., Senior Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Dr. Bok is a writer and philosopher. She received her B.A. and M.A. in psychology at the George Washington University in 1957 and 1958, and her Ph.D. in philosophy at Harvard University in 1970. She was formerly a professor of philosophy at Brandeis University. The third edition of her book Lying: Moral Choice in Private and Public Life (1978) was reissued in 1999 with a new preface. Other books include Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation (1982, 1989); A Strategy for Peace: Human Values and the Threat of War (1989); Alva Myrdal: A Daughter’s Memoir (1991); Common Values (1996, reissued in 2002 with a new preface); and Mayhem: Violence as Public Entertainment (1998). With John Behnke, Bok has co-edited The Dilemmas of Euthanasia (1975) and, with Daniel Callahan, Ethics Teaching in Higher Education (1980). With Gerald Dworkin and R. G. Frey, she has co-authored Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (1998).
George Borjas, Ph.D., Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. His teaching and research interests focus on the impact of government regulations on labor markets, with an emphasis on the economic impact of immigration. He is widely perceived as playing a central role in the debate over immigration policy in the United States and abroad. Business Week and The Wall Street Journal, in a front-page feature article, have called him “America’s leading immigration economist.” He is the author of Wage Policy in the Federal Bureaucracy; Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy; Heavens Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy; and the textbook Labor Economics.
Mary C. Brinton, Ph.D., Reischaer Institute Professor of Sociology; Chair, Department of Sociology, Harvard University; Faculty Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; and a member of the Executive Committee of the Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies. Dr. Mary Brinton’s research and teaching focus on gender inequality, education, labor markets, economic sociology, Japanese society, and comparative sociology. Her research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to study institutional change and its effects on individual action, particularly in labor markets and in education. She is particularly interested in low-fertility countries and understanding labor, parental leave, and population issues.
Orfeu Buxton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University; Lecturer on Medicine, Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate Neuroscientist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Buxton’s research primarily focuses on 1) the causes of chronic sleep deficiency in the workplace, home, and society, and 2) the health consequences of chronic sleep deficiency, especially cardiometabolic outcomes, and the physiologic and social mechanisms by which these outcomes arise. He serves on the Internal Advisory Board for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Center for Work, Health, and Well-being, is a member of the Work, Family & Health Network with Lisa Berkman, and leads the Biomarker and Actigraphy Data Coordinating Center. Dr. Buxton co-founded the National Postdoctoral Association, a member-driven organization that provides a unique, national voice for postdoctoral scholars.
David Canning, Ph.D., Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Science and Professor of Economics and International Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. David Canning’s research focuses on the role of demographic change and health improvements in economic development. The research on demographic change focuses on the effect of changes in age structure on aggregate economic activity, and the effect of changes in longevity on economic behavior. In terms of health the research focuses on health as a form of human capital and its affect on worker productivity. Before taking up his position at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dr. Canning held faculty positions at the London School of Economics, Cambridge University, Columbia University, and Queen’s University Belfast. He is currently deputy director of the Program on the Global Demography of Aging at Harvard.
Marcia Castro, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Demography, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Castro is a demographer who studies geographical and demographic distribution of infectious diseases, particularly malaria. She focuses primarily on the development of novel spatial analytical approaches to evaluate the determinants of malaria transmission; however, the methodology she develops is applicable to other infectious diseases requiring a multi-disciplinary analysis for a complete understanding of risk. She is particularly interested in the interaction between socioeconomic status, individual behavior, local ecology, geography, and health in urban areas in Africa and rural areas in the Amazon. Her research of malaria settlement areas of the Brazilian Amazon revealed distinct risk profiles over time and across space that could lead to better control interventions. She also proposed a concept of malaria transition that operates at multiple spatial scales. She received her Ph.D. in Demography from Princeton University in 2002.
Amitabh Chandra, Ph.D., Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Chandra is a health economist studying racial disparities in health care and technology and productivity in health care. He is a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute in Bonn, Germany, and at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). His research focuses on productivity and cost-growth in healthcare and racial disparities in healthcare. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, The New England Journal of Medicine, and Health Affairs. He is an editor of the Journal of Human Resources, Economics Letters, and the American Economic Journal.
Jessica Cohen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Faculty Affiliate at the Jameel-Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Dr. Cohen is a health and development economist with research that applies the methods of program design, randomized trials, and impact evaluation to malaria, and maternal and child health programs and policies in sub-Saharan Africa. She has been the lead PI on five randomized controlled field trials in Africa related to appropriate treatment for malaria, technology adoption, messaging and behavior change, and pharmaceutical supply chains. She is co-founder of TAMTAM, Inc. (Together Against Malaria).
David Cutler, Ph.D., Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard. Dr. Cutler is a health economist studying why people are in better health; the impact of medical care on the public sector; and racial and ethnic segregation. He holds a joint appointment in both the economics department and at Harvard Kennedy School. He joined the Harvard faculty after receiving his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991. He served in the Clinton administration and was senior health care advisor to Barack Obama. Professor Cutler has held positions with the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Sciences. Currently, Professor Cutler is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the Institute of Medicine. From 2003-2008, Dr. Cutler was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for Social Sciences.
Jorge Dominguez, Ph.D., Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico and Vice Provost for International Affairs at Harvard University; and Chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. Dr. Dominguez is author/editor of numerous books on domestic and international politics in Latin America and the Caribbean including: Mexico’s Evolving Democracy: A Comparative Study of the 2012 Elections; Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America; Contemporary U.S.-Latin American Relations: Cooperation or Conflict in the 21st Century?; and Democratic Politics in Latin America and the Caribbean. He was series editor for the Peabody Award-winning PBS television series Crisis in Central America. His current research focuses on the international relations and domestic politics of Latin American countries.
Wafai Fawzi, Dr.P.H, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., M.S., Chair, Department of Global Health and Population; Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Fawzi’s research is focused on addressing global health issues in populations in Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, India, and other developing countries. His primary academic interests include the design and implementation of randomized controlled trials and observational studies of maternal, neonatal and child health, and infectious diseases, with emphasis on nutritional factors. He also focuses on maternal mortality and morbidity as well as interventions to reduce infections among women, including HIV infection and postpartum infection, improve maternal nutrition, and strengthen health systems.
Gunther Fink, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of International Health Economics, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research has covered a wide range of topics related to economic development, with a particular focus on the interactions between health and human capital on one side, and economic growth on the other. He is currently conducting a longitudinal household health and wealth survey in Accra, Ghana, which investigates the daily burden of disease in urban Sub-Saharan Africa with a special focus on Malaria. He is also working on a broad socio-economic evaluation of the large-scale anti-Malaria program rolled out in Zambia since 2006.
Jocelyn Finlay, Ph.D., Director, Research Core, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Dr. Finlay works with David Bloom and David Canning in exploring the economic consequences of demographic change. She is examining the effects of fertility changes, growth of the working-age share, and aging on economic outcomes such as savings, labor supply, education, and economic growth through developing and maintaining datasets and conducting econometric analysis. She is also interested in the social and behavioral responses to natural disasters, and how these outcomes vary by disaster type and magnitude across the different age groups.
Ann Forsyth, Ph.D., Professor of Urban Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design. Trained in planning and architecture, Dr. Forsyth works mainly on the social aspects of physical planning and urban development. The big issue behind her research and practice is how to make more sustainable and healthy cities. Her contributions have been to analyze the success of planned alternatives to sprawl, particularly exploring the tensions between social and ecological values in urban design. Dr. Forsyth is also a reflective practitioner/theorist and has created several new ways of understanding social and intellectual diversity in planning and design.
Filiz Garip, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. As a sociologist, Dr. Garip’s research focuses on the intersection of migration, economic sociology, and equality. She studies the mechanisms that enable or constrain population mobility, and lead to greater or lesser degrees of social and economic inequality. She also explores the intersection between population mobility and social networks.
Matthew Gillman, M.D., S.M., Director of the Obesity Prevention Program in the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School. He has a joint appointment as an Associate Professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Nutrition and as an associate professor in the HMS Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention. His research interests are in early life prevention of adult chronic disease, optimal nutrition for children and adults, and clinical epidemiology. He directs Project Viva, an NIH-funded cohort study of pregnant women and their offspring, focusing on effects of gestational diet and other factors on outcomes of pregnancy and childhood. He serves in leadership roles in the U.S. National Children’s Study and the International Society for Study of the Developmental Origins of Health and Adult Disease. He is an active teacher of medical students and mentor to research trainees. Trained as a primary care internist and pediatrician, Dr. Gillman’s clinical work is in preventive cardiology among children.
Maria Glymour, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF School of Medicine. Her research focuses on how social factors experienced across the lifecourse, from infancy to adulthood, influence cognitive function, dementia, stroke, and other health outcomes in old age. Her recent work has also focused on understanding the social and geographic patterning of stroke and stroke recovery. A separate theme of her research focuses on overcoming methodological problems encountered in analyses of social determinants of health, and cognitive outcomes in particular.
Claudia Goldin, Ph.D., Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and Director of the NBER’s Development of the American Economy program. Dr. Goldin’s research is in the general area of American economic history and has covered topics that include slavery, emancipation, the post-bellum South, the family, women in the economy, the economic impact of war, immigration, New Deal policies, inequality, technological change, and education. Most of her research interprets the “present through the lens of the past” and explores the origins of current issues of concern. Many of her recent papers concern the rise of mass education in the United States and its impact on economic growth and wage inequality. Dr. Goldin has also continued her work on various gender issues. Her most recent papers in that area have concerned the impact of “the pill” on women’s career and marriage decisions, women’s surnames after marriage as a social indicator, and the reasons why women are now the majority of undergraduates.
Steven Gortmaker, Ph.D., Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Gortmaker’s research is focused on the health of children and adolescents, particularly households living in poverty and minority populations. The major goal of this research has been to identify modifiable risks for morbidity and mortality in the young, and to both initiate and evaluate interventions to improve these outcomes. He co-directs the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Prevention Research Center (HPRC), one of 33 centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with the mission being to work with community partners to design, implement, and evaluate programs that improve nutrition and physical activity, reduce overweight and reduce chronic disease risk among children and youth.
Rema Hanna, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. Hanna is an NBER Research Associate, an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and an affiliate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Her research focuses on understanding how to improve the provision of public services in developing countries. She is currently working on a project to measure discrimination in education in India, and also analyzing data from a field experiment that assessed the efficacy of various targeting methodologies for social safety net programs. Prior to joining the Harvard Kennedy School, Hanna was an assistant professor of public policy and economics at NYU.
Miguel Hernan, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.M., Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on methodology for causal inference, including comparative effectiveness of policy and clinical interventions. He combines observational data, mostly untestable assumptions, and statistical methods to emulate hypothetical randomized experiments. He emphasizes the need to formulate well defined causal questions, and use analytic approaches whose validity does not require assumptions that conflict with current subject-matter knowledge. He also conducts research on the effects of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents among dialysis patients, and on the etiology of diseases of the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Christopher Sandy Jencks, the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. Jencks studies family structure, welfare, and poverty. He has taught at Harvard, Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Earlier, he was a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC (1963 to 1967) and an editor of the New Republic (1961 to 1963). He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the American Prospect. His recent research deals with changes in family structure over the past generation, the costs and benefits of economic inequality, the extent to which economic advantages are inherited, and the effects of welfare reform.
Ashish Jha, M.D., M.P.H., K.T. Li Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute; and practicing internal medicine physician at the VA Boston Healthcare System. Over the past five years, Dr. Jha has also served as Special Advisor for Quality and Safety to the Department of Veterans Affairs. His major research interests lie in improving the quality and costs of healthcare with a specific focus on the impact of state and federal policy efforts. His work has focused on four primary areas: public reporting, pay-for-performance, health information technology, and leadership, with careful attention to the roles they play in effecting the delivery of high quality care in the U.S. healthcare system and globally.
Kathleen Kahn, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Health and Population Division, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, and Senior Scientist, MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research (Agincourt). Dr. Kahn’s research interest include health transitions; burden of disease assessments; child health and development; integrated chronic care systems; and interventions to reduce risk factors for metabolic disease. Dr. Kahn received her PhD from Umea University in Sweden, a MPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and her MBBCh from University of the Witwatersrand.
Ichiro Kawachi, MD, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Social Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Considered a leading expert in the area of social epidemiology, Dr. Kawachi’s research areas include social determinants of health, psychosocial risk factors for heart disease, health disparities, and globalization and population health. He has co-authored four books: “Globalization and Health” (2006); “Neighborhoods and Health” (2003); “The Health of Nations” (2002); and “Social Epidemiology” (2014). Dr. Kawachi serves as director, Kellogg Health Scholars in Minority Disparities; co-director, IMSD (Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity) Training Grant; senior editor of Social Epidemiology, Social Science & Medicine; and Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Alexandra Killewald, Ph.D., John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard. Dr. Killewald’s research takes a demographic approach to the study of social stratification. Much of her work focuses on the work-family intersection. Her current research in this area explores the effects of marriage and parenthood on workers’ wages. In prior work, she examined the associations between women’s earnings and their time in household labor. Her research interests also include wealth inequality, particularly the role of parents’ wealth in shaping the outcomes of their adult children. She is also co-author of Is American Science in Decline? (2012), which documents trends in the size of the American scientific workforce, public attitudes toward science, the production of scientific degrees, and transitions to scientific employment, in addition to evaluating the position of American science on the international scene. She received her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2011.
Gary King, Ph.D., Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard, and Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Dr. King develops statistical and other methods for many areas of social science research, ranging from statistical theory to practical application. His more than 120 journal articles, 15 open source software packages, and 8 books span most aspects of political methodology, many fields of political science, and several other scholarly disciplines. His work on inferring individual behavior from aggregate data on groups has been used in as many states by these groups, and in many other practical contexts. His contribution to methods for achieving cross-cultural comparability in survey research have been used in surveys in over eighty countries by researchers, governments, and private concerns. King led an evaluation of the Mexican universal health insurance program, which includes the largest randomized health policy experiment to date. The statistical methods and software he developed are used extensively in academia, government, consulting, and private industry.
Karen Kramer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Peabody Museum, Harvard. Dr. Kramer draws on evolutionary and ecological perspectives and has an empirical focus in traditional forager and agriculturist populations. Her research emphasizes the comparative study of human demography, life history, household labor, reproductive and subsistence ecology in small-scale societies. The question that unifies her research is why humans have the capacity for unparalleled population growth compared to other closely related species. Her field research focuses on traditional, natural-fertility hunter-gatherer and agricultural populations that are at various points in the initial stages of the demographic transition.
Nancy Krieger, Ph.D., Professor of Society Epidemiology, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Krieger’s work focuses on social inequalities in health. She is a social epidemiologist, with a background in biochemistry, philosophy of science, history of public health, and involvement as an activist in issues involving social justice, science, and health. Her work involves: (a) etiologic studies of social inequalities in health, (b) methods for improving monitoring of social inequalities in health, and (c) development of theoretical frameworks to guide work on understanding and addressing social determinants of health.
Laura Kubzansky, Ph.D., MPH, Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Director of the Society and Health Psychophysiology Laboratory at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Associate Director of the RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program at Harvard. Dr. Kubzansky has published extensively on the role of psychological and social factors in health, with a particular focus on the effects of stress and emotion on heart disease. She also conducts research on whether stress, emotion and other psychological factors may help to explain the relationship between social status and health. She is currently a member of the Division 38 Research Committee with the American Psychological Association for research on health disparities in Health Psychology, Senior Advisor to the Steering Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson funded Positive Physical Health Agenda Setting Project, and a member of the Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Healthy People 2020 Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being Workgroup. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1995.
David Laibson, Ph.D., the Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics, Harvard University, and Research Associate in the Asset Pricing, Economic Fluctuations, and Aging Working Groups for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Laibson leads the Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative at Harvard, and serves on the boards of the Health and Retirement Study (National Institutes of Health), the Pension Research Council (Wharton), Harvardʼs Pension Investment Committee, and the Academic Research Council of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Dr. Laibsonʼs research focuses on the topic of behavioral economics. He is a recipient of the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security, and has been awarded Harvardʼs ΦΒΚ Prize.
Cindy H. Liu, Ph.D., Director of Multicultural Research, Commonwealth Research Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Liu’s research focuses on culture and socioemotional development, and race and ethnic disparities as related to maternal and child mental health. Her program of research incorporates data ranging from behavioral and physiological data collected from the laboratory to population level variables from large survey research. One current observational study investigates the role of infant temperament on infant behavioral and physiological response to mothers during the Still-Face paradigm in Chinese- and European Americans. She is also leading a project investigating risk factors for perinatal depression and predictors of health utilization by race and ethnicity, and implications for mental health screening. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon, completed her clinical internship at McLean Hospital and her postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Chunling Lu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Research Economist in the Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Her research focuses on providing rigorous scientific evidence for designing health care financing strategies that will effectively improve health outcomes for disadvantaged populations. Currently, Dr. Lu is engaged in four general research areas: 1) tracking, measuring, and analyzing national and global funding sources for health; 2) evaluating the impact of DAH on health systems strengthening and population health in resource-poor settings; 3) assessing the effects of social health insurance programs on access to care and catastrophic health spending; and 4) examining the quality of existing data and developing survey instruments and measurement methods that facilitate efficient data collection and cross-country comparative analysis.
Margaret McConnell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Global Health Economics, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Using multiple tools from economics and psychology, and drawing on a mix of methodologies and theories, McConnell designs field and laboratory experiments that test models from behavioral economics with applications to health and poverty. She is currently engaged in helping design experiments to better understand why households do or do not adopt technologies that can reduce indoor air quality, how women and their families make decisions about what care to seek during pregnancy, and how information and peer effects factor into how individuals process information about the risks of HIV infection. Margaret earned MS and PhD degrees in social sciences from the California Institute of Technology and is a former postdoctoral fellow in the Program on the Global Demography of Aging at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.
Cassandra Okechukwu, ScD, MSN, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Okechukwu’s research focuses on how working conditions influence health and health behaviors. She has investigated how working conditions impact smoking behaviors, obesity generating behaviors, sleep and mental health. She is especially interested in the impact of work on the health of vulnerable populations, including low-wage workers, blue-collar and service workers, and immigrant communities and in how these communities balance work, family and health. Her interest spans both understanding how work impacts health and changing workplaces and work processes to improve health. Dr. Okechukwu is a member of the multidisciplinary Work, Family & Health Network, which implemented and is evaluating a randomized controlled work-redesign program to improve work-family stress among nursing homes employees. She serves on the internal advisory board of the Harvard Center for Work, Health and Well-being.
Rohini Pande, Ph.D., Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Pande is a NBER Research Associate and serves on the board of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) and the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economic Profession (CSWEP). Her research focuses on the economic analysis of the politics and consequences of different forms of redistribution, principally in developing countries. Prior to joining the Kennedy School, she was an Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University. She has taught at Yale University, MIT, and Columbia. A Rhodes Scholar, she’s the recipient of several NSF and other research grants.
Michael Reich, Ph.D., Taro Takemi Professor of International Health Policy, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Reich has written about various aspects of international health policy, particularly the political dimensions of public health policy and pharmaceutical policy. His current research activities focus on access to health technologies in poor countries. He has provided policy advice for many organizations around the world, including national governments, international agencies, non-governmental organizations, private foundations, private corporations, and public-private partnerships.
Tracy Richmond, M.D., Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Richmond’s research focuses on environmental contexts such as neighborhoods and schools and their contribution to racial/ethnic disparities in adolescent health. More specifically, she has been looking at attributes of neighborhoods and schools that may contribute to differential rates of obesity and obesity related behaviors in adolescents.
Charles E. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Ernest E. Monrad Professor in the Social Sciences, Harvard University. Dr. Rosenberg has written widely on the history of medicine and science. He is a recipient of the William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) and the George Sarton Medal (for lifetime achievement) from the History of Science Society; he has served as president of the AAHM and Society for the Social History of Medicine (UK) and on the executive board of the Organization of American Historians and on the council of the History of Science Society and of the AAHM. He has been awarded fellowships by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation (twice), and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a member (and council member) of the American Philosophical Society, Institute of Medicine, and fellow of the American Antiquarian Society and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. His editorial responsibilities have included a term as editor of Isis, the History of Science Society journal, and editor of series at Cambridge University Press (on the social history of medicine) and the Johns Hopkins University Press (on the history of disease).
Joshua Salomon, Ph.D., Professor of Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on priority-setting in global health, within three main areas 1) measurement and valuation of population health; 2) modeling and forecasting of health outcomes and disease burden; 3) evaluation of the potential impact and cost-effectiveness of current and future health interventions. He is an investigator on projects funded by NIA and the Gates Foundation relating to summary measures of population health; modeling HIV/AIDS epidemics and interventions for prevention and treatment; modeling disease outcomes for population health monitoring and surveillance; and evaluating the potential impact and cost effectiveness of new vaccines. He also leads a collaborative project with the Mexican Ministry of Health on priority setting for interventions in the context of health reform.
Rob Sampson, Ph.D., the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard. He also serves as Senior Adviser in the Social Sciences at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Professor Sampson’s research interests include crime, the life course, neighborhood effects, and the social structure of the city. Recent publications have focused on race/ethnicity and social mechanisms of concentrated inequality, collective efficacy and crime, immigration, the social meanings and stigma of “disorder,” poverty traps, the spatial dynamics of social life, the comparative network structure of community influence, collective civic engagement, and other topics linked to the general idea of community-level social processes. This research stems from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), for which Sampson serves as Scientific Director.
Mark Schuster, M.D., Ph.D., William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and Chief of General Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Health Policy Research, Department of Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Schuster conducts research primarily on child, adolescent, and family issues. He was formerly Professor of Pediatrics and Health Services at UCLA and Director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at RAND and held the RAND Distinguished Chair in Health Promotion. Currently, he is leading studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and evaluate a worksite-based parenting program for parents of adolescents to learn communication skills and foster healthy sexual development and sexual risk prevention, partner with L.A. Unified School District to promote healthy eating and physical activity among youth, examine the impact of California’s new Paid Family Leave Act on families of children with chronic illness, and understand the issues experienced by children with HIV-infected parents.
Gita Sen, Ph.D., Professor, Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India (IIMB). Dr. Sen joined IIMB in 1993. She served as the Sir Ratan Tata Chair Professor at there from 2000-2006. Her key research areas are health and population; gender and development; and inequality. She is also adjunct professor of global health and population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Sen holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Delhi and a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University. She was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Medicine and Foreign Adjunct Professor title in May 2003 by Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. She received D.Litt (honoris causa) from University of East Anglia, Norwich in 1998 and was honoured with the Volvo Environment Prize in 1994.
Mario L. Small, Ph.D., Grafstein Family Professor of Sociology, Harvard University. Dr. Small is a current advisory board member of the World Economic Forum, the Spencer Foundation, and several academic journals. Author of numerous award-winning books and articles on urban poverty, support networks, qualitative and mixed methods, and a host of other topics, Small is currently working to transform how social scientists use newly available forms of data to understand urban poverty, and is writing a book on how actors mobilize their networks when seeking social support. Small’s work focuses on mobility, social networks, and neighborhood and family demography.
Susan T. Stewart, Ph.D., Research Specialist, National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Stewart works with Harvard economist David Cutler as part of a team of researchers who are developing a Satellite National Health Account for the United States. An overarching goal of this account is to measure the output of the health system in terms of quality-adjusted life expectancy. She has been the lead analyst and author of the publications on health assessment for this project. She received her Ph.D. in Gerontology and Public Policy from the University of Southern California Andrus Gerontology School. She was formerly a postdoctoral research fellow from the University of California San Diego Health Outcomes Assessment Program, where she worked with Dr. Robert Kaplan to measure utilities for health states associated with prostate cancer.
SV Subramanian (Subu), Ph.D., Professor of Population Health and Geography, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also a faculty associate at the Institute of Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University. Dr. Subramanian’s research focuses on understanding the role of geographic, spatial and institutional contexts (e.g., neighborhoods, schools, workplaces) in influencing population health; empirical multilevel examination of the pathways between macro socioeconomic environments (e.g., income inequality and social capital) and population health and health inequalities; and the methodological challenges to modeling causal contextual and neighborhood effects. Dr. Subramanian has published over 300 original articles and book chapters in the field of social epidemiology, applied multilevel methods, and health inequalities in India.
Stephen Tollman, MA, MPH, MMed, Ph.D., Director, MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, associate professor and head, Health and Population Division, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand. In the context of a rapidly transitioning society, his research is on burden of chronic diseases, strengthening of chronic primary health care systems, and population dynamics. Dr. Tollman is the founding board chair of the INDEPTH Network (2002-2006). He continues to lead INDEPTH’s efforts in Adult Health and Aging.
Alexander Tsai, M.D., is a board-certified staff psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and an Honorary Lecturer at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Mbarara. Uganda. His research, disseminated in more than 90 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, aims to understand how large-scale social forces affect health and mental health in resource-limited settings, particularly among people living with HIV. He is an Academic Editor for Public Library of Science Medicine and a member of the Consulting Editorial Board for AIDS and Behavior. Prior to his appointment at Mass General, he completed a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University and residency training in general adult psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.
Patrick Vavken, M.D. M.Sc., Instructor in Orthopedics, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Vavken has a research background in regenerative medicine and translational research, as well as in epidemiology. These activities have lead him deeper into questions of public health, especially the economics of health care provision and health policy. His current research focuses on determinants of health care outcomes and the burden of musculoskeletal disease. An Austrian by birth, Dr Vavken studied Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, where he also trained in orthopedic surgery. He graduated from a Master’s program in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine before moving to Harvard Medical School, where he currently works at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Atheendar Venkataramani, M.D., Ph.D., Instructor in Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School, and a primary care physician at the MGH Revere Health Center. His research uses insights from economics to examine the life course determinants of adult health and socioeconomic outcomes. His specific areas of interest are (1) the effects of early life health interventions on long-run health and social mobility and (2) the effectiveness of, and behavioral responses to, HIV treatment and prevention programs. Prior to his appointment at MGH and Harvard Medical School, he completed his residency in internal medicine in the MGH Global Primary Care program.
Mary Waters, Ph.D., M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Harvard. Dr. Waters specializes in the study of immigration, inter-group relations, the formation of racial and ethnic identity among the children of immigrants, and the challenges of measuring race and ethnicity. She has taught at Harvard University since 1986, and was chair of the Sociology Department from 2001-2005 and acting chair, Spring 2007. Her most current publications are Inheriting the City: The Second Generation Comes of Age (with Jennifer Holdaway, Philip Kasinitz, and John Mollenkopf) and The New Americans: A Guide to Immigration Since 1965 (with Reed Ueda and Helen Marrow). Waters has testified twice before Congress on how the census should measure racial and ethnic identity. She served on the Advisory Board to the U.S. Census as a representative of the Population Association of America from 1999-2005, she has served as a member of the study section of the National Institute of Child Health and Development, and has served as a member of the Committee on the Impact of International Migration of the National Academy of Science, and as a consultant to the Census Bureau.
David Williams, Ph.D., Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University. He is an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health. His research has focused on trends and determinants of socioeconomic and racial disparities in health, the effects of racism on health and the ways in which religious involvement can affect health. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health and epidemiology. His current research includes studying the health of Black Caribbean immigrants in the U.S., examining how race-related stressors (racial discrimination in the U.S. and exposure to torture during Apartheid in South Africa) can affect health, and assessing the ways in which religious involvement is related to health.
Michelle A. Williams, ScD, Stephen B. Kay Professor of Public Health; Chair of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Program Leader for Harvard Clinical and Translational Sciences Center’s (Harvard Catalyst’s) Population Health and Health Disparities Research Programs. Dr. Williams is a nationally recognized epidemiologist, public health scientist, educator and academic leader. Her research spotlights reproductive and perinatal epidemiology, with a particular focus on integrating epidemiological, biological and molecular approaches into rigorously designed clinical epidemiology research projects. Much of her work has led to a greater understanding of the etiology and pathophysiology of placental abruption, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. She has successfully administered large-scale clinical epidemiology studies that sought to understand genetic and environmental causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes and other non-communicable disorders along the life course.