Impact Stories

Browse recent stories about Harvard Chan School donors, what’s important to them, and updates on the impact they make possible.

Philanthropic Impact: Seeding Ideas to Help New Research Bloom

Research funded by the McLennan Family Challenge Grant Program Courtesy of Matthew McLennan At the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2015, Harvard Chan School researcher Phyllis Kanki made a key breakthrough in understanding the deadly infection. Funded by…

A Footprint in India

India—a study in contrasts with a population of 1.3 billion people—is a compelling place to carry out public health interventions and research. While key health indicators such as life expectancy have improved, India is also home to one-third of the world’s poorest…

A Doctorate with Lofty Goals

Training in leadership, management, communications, and innovative thinking—and advanced education in public health—are the hallmarks of Harvard Chan School’s four-year-old doctor of public health (DrPH) degree. The lofty goal of the program, with 33 graduates to date, is to prepare students to…

Harnessing Big Data

Medicine and public health are constantly evolving as research and technology open the doors to new ways to treat or prevent diseases. Randomized trials are the best way to assess what works. But when that’s not possible, people like Miguel Hernán, Kolokotrones…

Boosting Service Learning

Students spend hours in class, doing homework assignments, analyzing samples or crunching data sets—work that can seem removed from the people they hope to help. Service learning helps fill that gap. Education, deep cross-cultural exposure, hands-on experience, and service to others, are…

Understanding Chronic Metabolic Diseases

The increased global incidence of chronic metabolic diseases—including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular and liver diseases—has become one of the greatest global health threats of the 21st century. To tackle this crisis, Murat Ülker, a leading entrepreneur in Istanbul, contributed $24 million to…

The Center of Happiness

Most public health research focuses on the underlying causes of death and disease. But at the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at the Harvard Chan School, researchers focus on the opposite: the positive factors that maintain or even improve…

C-CHANGE: Linking Climate and Health

Climate change is one of our greatest public health threats—and one of our best opportunities to improve health. Philanthropic support is now helping drive the Harvard Chan School’s work to understand links between climate change and health, and to turn that research…

Transforming Public Health Education

A $12.5 million gift from the Charina Endowment Fund and Richard L. (MBA ’59) and Ronay Menschel—longtime supporters of the School and honorary co-chairs of the Campaign for Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—established the Transforming Public Health Education Initiative. The…

Giving leaders flexibility

“After serving on a volunteer alumni advisory council at the School, I came to appreciate how much HSPH depends on alumni support. Having been fortunate enough to enjoy some success in starting my own clinics, I wanted to give back. This is…

Timely and critical to our work

“For seven years, we have been losing honeybee populations at an alarming rate, but until 2012, no one could say why. That’s when we published a paper tracing this loss to a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids. As a result, the European…

Prevention is the smart way to go

"Everyone should be able to enjoy healthy, prosperous, vibrant communities and neighborhoods. Plus, when communities are strong, businesses are strong. It all cycles together. We can’t have a strong economy without a healthy population. “This is why we are thrilled to be…

Leonid Sergius Snegireff Fellowship

“My father, Leonid Snegireff, MD, earned both his master’s degree (in 1939) and doctorate (in 1942) at the School of Public Health, and he later became a professor there. He was one of the first scientists to link lung cancer and cigarette…

Improvements in health for everyone

"I became passionate about maternal health during my obstetrics and gynecology rotation at Muhimbili National Hospital, the largest hospital in Tanzania. Seeing mothers suffering and even dying due to preventable pregnancy complications was heartbreaking. Why should women just die like that? I thought…

Fostering a worldwide ripple effect

 “As the first director of the Harvard PhD Program in Health Policy, which includes six Schools, my admiration for the School of Public Health has grown. The Department of Nutrition, under Professor Walter Willett’s leadership, has become a top priority of mine.…

Making health systems more efficient

“Investments in public health are very efficient because we eliminate disease before it happens. It would be very difficult to find any other cause where a relatively small amount of support can have such a broad impact. I am especially impressed with…

Flexible funds to open opportunities

“It is so important for the School to have flexible money to invest in new ideas, but money that comes without strings attached is hard to come by. I want to help with that. “When you write a new proposal, you obviously…