David Christiani, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics
Department of Environmental Health, and Department of Epidemiology
  • Professor of Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Dr. Christiani was the first visiting scholar from the Harvard Chan School to the PRC, chosen in 1980, to work in residence. He lived in Shanghai from 1981-1982, during which time he and his Chinese colleagues initiated the Shanghai Textile Workers Study (see pictures below), now in its 37th year. This study has been a landmark effort, resulting in improved working conditions for millions of workers in China.

In 2007, Dr. Christiani and his colleagues in Shanghai initiated a large community-based cohort study of chronic respiratory disease and will recruit 60,000 participants.

In 2008, he also received a grant from the Harvard University Center on the Environment to study remote satellite sensing use of air pollution for epidemiologic studies of health effects in Beijing, China.

Dr. Christiani is the most widely published western researcher on Chinese occupational health in the international peer-reviewed literature.

In 2007, he received NIH (NCI) funding to conduct studies of genetic susceptibility to lung cancer, and markers of lung cancer survival with colleagues at Nanjing Medical University. Since then, NMU and HSPH have developed a collaborative research lab in environmental and molecular epidemiology.

In 2017, an International Collaborative Center was initiated in Nanjing, and Prof Christiani was appointed as one of the International Directors. In 2017, the International Center won a very competitive award for a 3-way collaboration between HSPH, NMU and the Dhaka Community Hospital in Bangladesh to expand studies of arsenic and health that were initiated by Dr, Christiani 20 years ago.

He returns to China often. He has been an Honorary Professor at Shanghai Medical University (now Fudan University) and Tongji/Huazhong University, as well as Nanjing Medical University. In addition, he has been a consultant to the Public Health Department of the Putuo District People’s Government in Shanghai, and to Chaoyang Hospital/Capital Medical University Respiratory Disease Center in Beijing; and an international director of the Nanjing International Collaborative Research Center. Professor Christiani is an International contributing editor to the Chinese Medical Journal (English Edition) and the Chinese Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.