2017 – 2018


New Awards

Dr. Brittany Charlton was recently awarded a five-year career development grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS) to examine sexual orientation-related cancer disparities.





Massachusetts Medical Society’s Women’s Health Research Award

JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, Chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Professor of Medicine and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health, Harvard Medical School, and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, received the The Massachusetts Medical Society’s Women’s Health Research Award for 2017 for outstanding and pioneering contributions that have advanced women’s health research. Dr. Manson was recognized for her exceptional contributions to the understanding of women’s cardiovascular health and the role of estrogen, physical activity, vitamin D, and other factors.


Global Initiative for Neuropsychiatric Genetics Education in Research

Drs. Lori Chibnik and Bizu Gelaye launched activities for a new research education program, known as the Global Initiative for Neuropsychiatric Genetics Education in Research (GINGER). GINGER aims to improve and achieve equity in mental health by expanding capacity to conduct large–scale psychiatric genetic epidemiology in low and middle income countries (LMICs). To achieve this goal, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT are collaborating with multiple African institutions to build the GINGER training program that will launch in July of 2017. The 2-year program will begin by enrolling 17 GINGER fellows from six different institutions in Africa, who will attend a series of neuropsychiatric epidemiology and genetics workshops, weekly virtual training and mentoring sessions, and on-site skills based training to be taught at each collaborating institution.






To kick-off the GINGER program, Dr. Chibnik and Dr. Gelaye, GINGER’s Program Director and Associate Director, hosted a curriculum development workshop on February 2-3, 2017. Known as the Curriculum Jamboree, the workshop brought together over 30 local and international researchers, including Dean of the Harvard Chan School Michelle A. Williams, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology Dr. Albert Hofman, former Harvard University Provost and current Director of the Stanley Center at the Broad Institute, Dr. Steve Hyman, as well as Principal Investigators from the GINGER collaborating sites in Africa.

Newly Awarded Grants

Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center (DFHCC) Nodal Award (Dr. Shuji Ogino & Dr. Tyler VanderWeele) “Transdisciplinary Approach to Colorectal Cancer Immunity, Molecular Pathology, and Clinical Outcome”. This Nodal Award mechanism aims to enhance interdisciplinary research by diverse disciplines. $98K direct for 2 years from 6/1/16.

Youth in Public Health Symposium | China


Dr. Liming Liang, Associate Professor of Statistical Genetics, led the organization of the first Youth inPublic Health Symposium in China, together with the Office of Diversity and Inlusion and the Post-doc Association at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The symposium, which took place at Harvard Center Shanghai between August 24th and 26th was created to provide younger Chinese generations with exposure to a range of areas within the field of public health, skills to develop research questions, and resources and a network of colleagues within the field of public health. The 3-day symposium leveraged the existing Public Health 101 nano-course series at the School was very well received by a total of 71 high school students from top high schools across the country. According to a survey based on 66 questionnaires, more than 83% of the students would be more likely to pursue public health as a career or education after the symposium.

REACH Certificate Recipient


Grants Manager, Louis Venturelli completed the “Research Excellence in Administration Certification at Harvard”(REACH) program through Harvard’s Office of Sponsored Research. The program is designed as an interactive and engaging certificate that is specifically designed for Harvard Research administrators and other personnel who engage in the assistance and management of sponsored funds.

Leader in Transgender Health


Dr. Sari Reisner, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology was profiled as a leader in transgender health by The Lancet.
“Trans people face social and economic marginalisation and exclusion across the world. A human rights-based approach is vital to improving the health of our communities.”

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria | PBS

Dr. Bill Hanage, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, and faculty member in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics addressed global concerns regarding antibiotic resistant bacteria on the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) with host Tavis Smiley.

Check out the interview on PBS here: https://goo.gl/RnPWG4

ACEP Outstanding Contribution in Research Award

camargo-headshotCarlos A. Camargo, M.D., Dr.P.H., Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Emergency Medicine and Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was awarded by the American College of Emergency Physicians(ACEP) the Outstanding Contribution in Research Award for his leading research in the areas of respiratory/allergy diseases and of health policy issues in emergency care.


International Society for Environmental Epidemiology

In September, Dr. Donna Spiegelman attended the 28th Annual International Society for Environment Epidemiology Conference in Rome, Italy, where she presented a highlighted poster on “Survival analysis with measurement error in a cumulative exposure variable: radon progeny in relation to lung cancer mortality.”, collaborated with Polyna Khudyakov and Xiaomei Liao of the Epidemiology Department, Jonathan Samet of the Keck School of Medicine, Charles Wiggins of the University of New Mexico, and Angela Meisner of the New Mexico Tumor Registry.


New Awards

Congratulations to Alessandro Doria who received the American Diabetes Association’s 2018 Edwin Bierman Award. This award recognizes a leading scientist who has made outstanding contributions in the field of diabetes-related macrovascular complications and related risk factors.



Assistant Professor Sari Reisner was awarded a grant by Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to assemble and follow a cohort of 4,500 transgender adults to investigate the effect of medical gender affirmation on HIV-related health.



Congratulations to Donna Spiegelman! She will receive the 2018 CAWF (The Committee on the Advancement of Women Faculty) Mentoring Award on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. The award celebrates the essential role of mentors in the success of our faculty members and growth of our community.



Congratulations to Shuji Ogino! He is the recipient of the ASIP (American Society for Investigative Pathology) Outstanding Investigator Award for “Integrative Immunology-MPE (Molecular Pathological Epidemiology): Frontier for Pathobiological Discovery from Big Data.”



Other Announcements

The Department of Epidemiology welcomes Dr. Mingyang Song who has been appointed to the Harvard Chan School’s faculty as Assistant Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Nutrition effective July 1, 2018. Dr. Song’s research focuses on the clinical and translational epidemiology of cancer. Specifically, his work integrates large-scale observational studies with biomarker-based randomized clinical trials to identify novel nutritional and gut microbiota-targeted strategies for cancer prevention and treatment. He has studied the role of diet and lifestyle, in conjunction with the host immune system and gut microbiota in colorectal cancer development and survivorship. He is a co-investigator of the Microbiome Among Nurses Study (MICRO-N), which aims to establish the world’s largest prospective collection of microbiome specimens from 25,000 individuals. He is also a member of the Cancer Epidemiology and Gastrointestinal Malignancies Programs at Dana-Farber / Harvard Cancer Center.


Congratulations to Liming Liang! He was joint-first author on a paper “Early Prediction of Developing Type 2 Diabetes by Plasma Acyclcarnitines: A Population-Based Study” published in Diabetes Care that was awarded the Ten Most Influential Research Award by the Chinese Diabetes Society at its 21st annual meeting.




Donna Spiegelman provided the Deans Special Lecture at Durban University of Technology in Durban, South Africa. The lecture was titled “The case for the promotion of healthy workplace environments in the battle against the global cardiometabolic diseases epidemic”.



Pagona Lagiou, an esteemed adjunct professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School was named Chair of the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics (DHEMS) at the Athens Medical School . DHEMS is the first epidemiology department established in the context of a Medical School in Greece. It thrived and expanded its international collaborations under the leadership of Prof. Dimitrios Trichopoulos and is currently one of the most prolific epidemiology departments in Europe.



Fall 2018 Rose Travelling Fellows
Traveling Fellows

Congratulations to the Fall 2018 Rose Traveling Fellows:
Karmel Choi​, Aisha Dickerson​ and Joy Shi​: Epidemiology​,
Aaron Sonabend, Biostatistics.



2018 Dean’s Fund for Scientific Advancement Awardees

Incubation Awardee:

  • “The Genetic Architecture of Breast Parenchymal Textural Features and its Implications for Breast Cancer Risk”
    – Peter Kraft
  • “Assessing Food Systems for Optimal Health and Environmental Sustainability in Ethiopia”
    – Wafaie Fawzi

Acceleration Awardees:

  • “Augmentation of the Beiwe Platform for Smartphone-based Digital Phenotyping”
    Karestan KoenenMarc Weisskopf, Archana Basu 
  • “Inherited Cancer Risk Knowledge Base”
    Timothy Rebbeck
  • “Evidence-Based Teaching: Using Technology and Data to Create More Effective and Inclusive Classrooms”
    Sonia Hernández-Díaz