Alumni Profiles

Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc

Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc  National Coordinator for Health Information Technology & Acting Assistant Secretary for Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, is Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. DeSalvo served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Obama Administration. Under her leadership, HHS set and met historic goals in payment reform, supported transformed models of care delivery, including in primary care, and changed the approach to information distribution in the health system. She also served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, where she set national strategy and policy on health IT and championed interoperability in health settings. Prior to joining HHS, Dr. DeSalvo served as New Orleans Health Commissioner where she led a transformational effort to address health challenges, including violence, nutritional and physical fitness and mental health, and led the re-establishment of a community public hospital.  DeSalvo was previously Professor of Medicine and Vice Dean for community affairs and health policy at the Tulane School of Medicine. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and serves on the board of directors for Humana. She earned her MD and MPH from Tulane University, and Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.

“The Program in Clinical Effectiveness has been instrumental in shaping and advancing my career.  The training provided an outstanding set of skills to tackle health care and policy challenges through a rigorous evidence-based lens.  I also made important and rewarding professional connections with truly remarkable professors and colleagues that have lasted decades and directly shaped my perspectives and career opportunities.”

Kenneth Freedberg, MD, MSc

Kenneth A. Freedberg, MD, MSc Director, Medical Practice Evaluation Center Massachusetts General Hospital; Director, Program in Epidemiology and Outcomes Research Harvard University Center for AIDS Research; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Kenneth A. Freedberg is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Director of the Medical Practice Evaluation Center at MGH. He also directs the Program in Epidemiology and Outcomes Research at the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research and the Harvard T32 Program in AIDS Clinical Research Training grant. His research interests focus on HIV, HCV, TB, as well as other chronic diseases (including substance use disorders, cardiovascular disease, and genomics/precision medicine). His focus is on clinical outcomes and health policy, using the methods of simulation modeling, cost-effectiveness analysis, and clinical epidemiology. Current research efforts are focused in the United States, as well as in France, Spain, Estonia, Brazil, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and India, and with multiple clinical trials groups. His NIH-funded research examines clinical policies for HIV testing, antiretroviral therapy use, laboratory management, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and non-communicable diseases and HIV. His research team has a specific interest in informing guidelines in both well-resourced and more resource-limited settings. The Program in Clinical Effectiveness, of which he was a member of the inaugural class in 1987 (18 people), had a profound effect on his career. At the end of his project presentation in August (a prospective cohort study), Lee Goldman suggested starting with a decision analysis. That comment, made before there was a single proven effective therapy for HIV, turned out to define the direction of his research for the next 30 years.

Ashish Jha, MD, MPH

Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, Dean for Global Strategy and K.T. Li Professor of Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute; General Internist, VA Boston Healthcare System; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, is the Dean for Global Strategy and K.T. Li Professor of Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. He is also a practicing General Internist at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Jha received his MD from Harvard Medical School and then trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. He completed his General Medicine fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School and received his MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research endeavors focus on improving the quality and costs of health care systems with a specialized focus on the impact of policies. Dr. Jha has published over two hundred empirical papers and writes regularly about ways to improve health care systems, both in the U.S. and globally. Dr. Jha was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine in 2013.

“The PCE was transformative in my career. It taught me the fundamental skills I needed to succeed in my research career – and the basic framework for how to ask and answer good questions. There is no way I could have had a successful academic career without the PCE.”

Pagona Lagiou, MD, MSc, PhD

Pagona Lagiou, MD, MSc, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

I currently serve as Chair of the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics at the School of Medicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. I am Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology at the same Department and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I have also served as Foreign Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and as Fellow of the Bureau of Epidemiologic Research in the Academy of Athens, Greece. My research interests include the nutritional and endocrine epidemiology and etiology of cancer and other chronic conditions.

Regarding my training, I am board-certified in Internal Medicine and I also hold a Master’s of Science and a Doctoral degree in Epidemiology. I got my MSc in Epidemiology at HSPH through the Program in Clinical Effectiveness (PCE) and this was a life changing experience for me. I took advantage of the flexibility PCE offers to practicing clinicians and completed the program during my residency. I enjoyed the fast pace and the hands-on experience in studying and practicing epidemiology. I also particularly appreciated the interaction with motivated bright students and exceptionally gifted faculty (among the many of them, I have to mention Prof. Fran Cook by name), as well as the international environment.

Marjorie K. Leimomi Mala Mau, MD, MS, MACP, FRCP

Marjorie Mau, MD, MS, MACP, FRCP, Professor, Endocrinologist and Myron “Pinky” Thompson Endowed Chair for Native Hawaiian Health Research; Inaugural Chair of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH)

Dr. Mau (SM, 2000) is Professor, Endocrinologist and Myron “Pinky” Thompson Endowed Chair for Native Hawaiian Health Research. She is the inaugural chair of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH), the only clinical department in an accredited US medical school dedicated to indigenous health. Selected as one of only 25 Masters of the American College of Physicians to be selected for Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians (London), which celebrated its 500 years of existence in 2018. Dr. Mau credits the Clinical Effectiveness Program with providing her with a strong foundation in clinical research methods, excellent teachers and mentors that enabled her to succeed in academia, clinical research and her professional career.

As Dr. Mau explains, “HSPH taught me about the importance of public health in my work with rural Native Hawaiian communities back home in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. The course work was rigorous and intense but the Clinical Effectiveness Program was the perfect set-up for someone like me to gain the skill set the Clinical Effectiveness Program provided … over the summer, so that I could compete for NIH funding and solve the health challenges faced by many minority communities in Hawaiʻi – 4 times zones away from Boston.” Today, “I cannot thank HSPH enough and my advisor, Fran Cook, who supported me and gave me the opportunity to build a “village” of physician-scientists in Hawaiʻi that also enrolled and completed the Clinical Effectiveness Program after me (both Native Hawaiian physicians – Dr. Jana Silva (SM, 2006) and Dr. Clayton Chong (MPH, 2008)).

The other key component that makes the HSPH Clinical Effectiveness Program so
special is the diverse classmates that you interact with. During the summer, I had many colleagues from across Canada, Sweden, Brazil and all over the U.S.A. This network of international and national colleagues that I met over the 2 years was truly wonderful in helping to shape how I came to understand the world of public health – as diverse, global, challenging and extremely rewarding! HSPH is one of the best career opportunities I ever had and looking back … probably one of the essentials to many life successes, thus far. “Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) HSPH – for showing me that Public Health is REALLY Native (Hawaiian) health and wellbeing. Its holistic, community driven, informs policies and so much more!!”

Thomas Dean Sequist, MD, MPH

Thomas Dean Sequist, MD, MPH, Chief Quality and Safety Officer at Partners HealthCare; Professor of Medicine and Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, with joint appointments in the Division of General Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School

Dr. Sequist is the Chief Quality and Safety Officer at Partners HealthCare, where he works with the leadership of multiple hospitals and institutions to measure and improve the delivery of health care across the care continuum.  He is a Professor of Medicine and Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, with joint appointments in the Division of General Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.  Previous to his current role, Dr. Sequist served as a general internist and Director of Research and Clinical Program Evaluation at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and Atrius Health.  Dr. Sequist’s research interests include ambulatory quality measurement and improvement, with a focus on patient and provider education, and the innovative use of health information technology.  Dr. Sequist is particularly interested in health policy issues affecting care for Native Americans, and has worked collaboratively with the Indian Health Service to evaluate the provision of care for this population.

Dr. Sequist is a member of the Taos Pueblo tribe in New Mexico and is committed to improving Native American health care, serving as the Director of the Four Directions Summer Research Program at Harvard Medical School and the Medical Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Physician Outreach Program with the Indian Health Service.  He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in chemical engineering.  He received his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School, and his M.P.H. degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

“The Program in Clinical Effectiveness was essential in providing me with the tool set required to conduct rigorous health services research and understand how to evaluate quality improvement interventions. It also allowed me to create the professional network of colleagues that I still rely on today to be effective at my job.”

Yazdan Yazdanpanah, MD, PhD

Prof Yazdan Yazdanpanah, MD, PhD, Director of the French Aviesan Institute of Immunology, Inflammation, Infectiology, and Microbiology; Chair of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness International Network; Head of an Inserm team on Decision Analysis in Infectious Diseases; Professor of Medicine at Paris Diderot University, France; Head of Infectious Disease Department at Bichat Claude Bernard Hospital

Yazdan Yazdanpanah is currently the head of an Inserm team on decision analysis in Infectious Diseases, the Head of Infectious Disease department at Bichat Claude Bernard Hospital, and Professor of Medicine at Paris Diderot University, France. Yazdan Yazdanpanah became an MD from the Lille School of Medicine, France in 1996. He qualified from the same institution first as a hepato- gastro-enterologist in 1996 and next an infectious disease specialist in 2002. He obtained a Master of Science degree in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, US in 2000, and a Ph.D degree in public health from the Bordeaux School of Public Health in 2002. In 2006, he became Professor of Infectious Disease.  His research interests include the clinical epidemiology of HIV and viral hepatitis, and the pharmaco-economics of antimicrobial agents. He is one of the coordinators of Inserm “REACTing », a network under the umbrella of Aviesan (REsearch and ACTion targeting emerging infectious disease) the goal of which is to optimize and coordinate the existing research capacities during emerging and re-emerging infection threats.  In February 2017, he was appointed   Director of the French Aviesan Institute of Immunology, Inflammation, Infectiology, and Microbiology and The chair of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness International Network. Professor Yazdanpanah has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and makes frequent presentations at numerous national and international meetings.

“The Program in Clinical Effectiveness that I followed in 1998 and 1999 at Harvard School of Public Health had an important impact on my career. It guided my first steps in clinical research and provided a strong basis for research I conducted during my career. It also allowed me to meet clinicians from the US but also other parts of the world with whom I collaborated after the end of the program.”