Academic Departments, Divisions and Centers

Academic Departments


Biostatistics involves the theory and application of statistical science to analyze public health problems and to further biomedical research. The faculty includes leaders in the development of statistical methods for clinical trials and observational studies, studies on the environment, and genomics/genetics. The department’s research in statistical methods and its interdisciplinary collaborations provide many opportunities for student participation. Visit the Department of Biostatistics

Environmental Health

To fulfill its mission to advance the health of all people around the world through research and training in environmental health, the department emphasizes the role of air, water, the built environment, and the workplace as critical determinants. Faculty members study the pathogenesis and prevention of environmentally produced illnesses and act as catalysts for scientifically based public health advances. Research approaches range from molecular studies to policy evaluation. Visit the Department of Environmental Health


Epidemiology – the study of the frequency, distribution, and determinants of disease in humans – is a fundamental science of public health. Epidemiologists use many approaches, but the ultimate aim of epidemiologic research is the prevention or effective control of human disease. Visit the Department of Epidemiology

Genetics and Complex Diseases

Adaptation to alterations – in nutrients, lifestyle and dietary exposures, and environmental factors – is central to human health. The emphasis of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases is the elaborate interplay of biological processes with environmental factors as they apply to chronic, multigenic, and multifactorial diseases, with special attention to metabolism. Visit the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases

Global Health and Population

The Department of Global Health and Population (GHP) seeks to improve global health through education, research, and service from a population-based perspective. The 21st century has arrived with a complex set of demographic patterns, disease burdens, and health policies. These create challenges that affect all societies, rich and poor, developed and developing. The department’s approach to these problems combines the analysis of population and health using quantitative and qualitative methods, the investigation of policies that affect health, and a concern with the politics and ethics of health and development. Visit the Department of Global Health and Population

Health Policy and Management

The Department of Health Policy and Management is concerned with the mission of improving the health care delivery system and mitigating public health risks in the United States and abroad. It is dedicated to resolving major management and health policy problems through original research, advanced training, and dispute resolution. Visit the Department of Health Policy and Management

Immunology and Infectious Diseases

The Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases (IID) focuses on the biological, immunological, epidemiologic, and ecological aspects of viral, bacterial, protozoan, and helminthic diseases of animals and humans, and on the vectors that transmit some of these infectious agents. Visit the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases


The mission of the department is to improve human health through enhanced nutrition. It strives to accomplish this goal through research aimed at an increased understanding of how diet influences health, the dissemination of new knowledge about nutrition to health professionals and the public, the development of nutritional strategies, and the education of researchers and practitioners. Visit the Department of Nutrition

Social and Behavioral Sciences

The mission of the department is to improve health throughout the human lifespan, including a special emphasis on children and adolescents. This mission is achieved through research to identify the social and behavioral determinants of health, the development and evaluation of interventions and policies leading to the improvement of population health, and the preparation of professionals and researchers who will fill leadership positions in advocacy and public service. Visit the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Research Centers

The School has established several centers to advance research in areas of importance to public health. These efforts tend to be multidisciplinary in their approach, bringing together faculty members from several Harvard Chan departments and in some cases from several faculties at Harvard University. Faculty affiliated with the centers offer courses in their field of interest through the School’s academic departments and often provide opportunities for student involvement in research.

University-wide Research Centers and Institutes

School-wide Research Centers

Department & Division Centers

Research Programs & Projects

Research Cores

Flagship Initiatives

In 2010, Dean Frenk established Flagship Initiatives around three multidisciplinary topic areas of particular strength at Harvard Chan. These initiatives link centers, programs, departments and individual researchers to foster collaboration and coordination of research, education, and community engagement activities:

International Research

Harvard Chan researchers are involved in projects promoting global health on nearly every continent. From advancing scientific discovery to training international health leaders, Harvard Chan has been at the forefront of efforts to benefit the health of populations worldwide.

See World Map for more information.

Research Administration and Support

Degree Programs


Summer Programs