Philip Fahn-Lai

Associate Researcher
Department of Health Policy and Management

Philip Fahn-Lai, Ph.D. (they/them) focuses on Systems Design and Invention at the D-Lab, where they bring together design, ecology, and systems thinking to help imagine healthier, happier communities. Their intent is to explore ways to bridge human security and the natural world and find alignment between the bodies we live in and the environments we inhabit.

Formally trained as an evolutionary biologist, but with a background in experimental pedagogy and visual and interaction design, Philip helps the D-Lab advance on integrative approaches for faster, broader, and deeper research into human and organizational behavior. Their work explores the use of advanced design frameworks and methods to create space for marginalized voices and integrates multiple perspectives in framing problems and finding solutions that improve population health and well-being. They also support the D-Lab’s capacity-building programs by developing educational experiences that translate the principles and practice of design to diverse audiences.

Philip holds a dual A.B. in International Relations and Human Biology and an M.Sc. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Brown University. They earned a Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University, where they studied the form, function, and evolutionary origins of the mammalian shoulder musculoskeletal system.