Explore our Global Impact

Browse recent news by frontier and drill down into specific topic areas to learn more about the Harvard Chan School’s global impact.

How should we respond to a demographic shift that will change how the world lives, learns, and works? Harvard Chan researchers are digging deep into cellular mechanisms, analyzing statistical patterns across decades of health data, exploring how connection with others is protective, and tracking down other clues to healthier and happier aging.

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Gaining insight into women's health

Could an app help scientists better understand menstruation, fertility, and menopause? On the latest episode of This Week in Health, Shruthi Mahalingaiah and JP Onnela talk about the groundbreaking Apple Women’s Health Study. Shruthi Mahalingaiah, an assistant professor of environmental, reproductive, and…

Program explores molecular underpinnings of chronic diseases

December 4, 2019—For many years, epidemiological data has shown a link between obesity and asthma. While researchers have long hypothesized that obesity increases the risk of asthma, why or how that risk is increased isn’t entirely clear. A…

Introducing the Department of Molecular Metabolism

October 21, 2019 – The Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has officially changed its name to the Department of Molecular Metabolism. “After consultation with the faculty and academic council,…

Violence and trauma take many forms. Harvard Chan researchers are using scientific rigor to understand how damage to the body and spirit can be prevented, and develop ways to repair the effects of violence and build resilience in the future.

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Healing the hurt

Physician John A. Rich, MPH ’90, reflects on what has he learned in the decade since publishing a pathbreaking book on trauma in the lives of young black men.

Access to guns contributes to rise in teen suicides

A 50% increase in youth suicides in Florida over the past decade has been fueled, in part, by young people’s access to guns, according to a December 30, 2019 article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The article…

Does creating gun-free zones increase safety?

Some communities have designated certain public spaces, like courthouses and municipal buildings, as gun-free zones. But experts say there’s no conclusive evidence as to whether establishing such zones increases safety. A December 4, 2019 story on WAMU (Washington,…

Climate change is one of our greatest public health challenges—but also one of our best opportunities for global progress. Harvard Chan researchers are uncovering the human toll of our changing environment and crafting solutions.

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Forecast grim for allergy sufferers in 2020

Experts believe that the 2020 allergy season will be particularly severe, and climate change may be one of the reasons. Rising average temperatures driven by climate change can cause earlier springs, which bring increases in pollen levels and…

Assessing climate change on Earth Day’s 50th anniversary

Aaron Bernstein says that climate change doesn’t scare him because he knows that there are solutions to the problem. Bernstein, interim director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE) at Harvard T.H. Chan School…

Weakened mercury controls could lead to health harms

The Trump administration has weakened regulations regarding the release of mercury and other toxic metals from coal- and oil-fired power plants. Environmental and public health experts say the move is an attack on air quality and could harm…

We rely on fossil fuels—but ‘they’re killing us’

Air pollution is killing almost 8.8 million people each year—more annual deaths than tobacco smoking, HIV, and vector-borne illnesses such as malaria and dengue, according to a new study from a European research team. The authors of the…

Bridging the worlds of health and design

March 4, 2020—Juan Reynoso is about to step into largely uncharted territory. When he graduates this spring, he’ll be only the second person to have completed a new joint Master in Public Health (MPH)/Master in Urban Planning (MUP)…

Climate in the clinic

Physicians, health leaders discuss how to address the health impacts of climate change February 19, 2020 – Climate change—and how it affects health—should be front and center for doctors, health care workers, and hospitals. That was the key…

From fast food to no food, from the obesity epidemic sweeping the globe to social isolation and unhappiness, we’re still plagued by barriers to human thriving. The links between our health and how we feel, interact and live are complex and clouded. But thanks to the work of Harvard Chan researchers the path forward has never seemed clearer.

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How COVID-19 is affecting mental health across generations

Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology, discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of different generations in a September 21, 2020 Facebook Live interview with Christine Chen of the Esalen Institute.

Link found between microcephaly and congenital cytomegalovirus

Newborns diagnosed with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) were at increased risk for microcephaly compared with newborns who did not have a congenital CMV diagnosis, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Many adults…

Shoring up mental health as winter approaches

Six months of dealing with the coronavirus, social unrest, and economic recession have left two out of five Americans with feelings of depression or anxiety, according to recent data—and the problem is likely to get worse as winter…

Optimism linked with lower risk of high blood pressure

People who had the highest levels of optimism—the tendency to believe good events are likely and bad events are unlikely—had a 22% lower risk of developing hypertension than those with the lowest levels of optimism, according to a…

Humans and pathogens are locked in a bitter arms race—and the pathogens are winning. They are evolving to resist our best medicines, and humanity’s pipeline of effective antibiotic weapons is empty. The next pandemic is a matter of when, not if. Harvard Chan researchers are fighting on many fronts to make sure humanity is ready when the next outbreak inevitably arrives.

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How COVID-19 is affecting mental health across generations

Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology, discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of different generations in a September 21, 2020 Facebook Live interview with Christine Chen of the Esalen Institute.