In Memoriam: H. Jack Geiger, SM ’60
H. Jack Geiger, SM ’60, died on December 28, 2020, at 95. A physician and lifelong civil rights activist, Geiger helped found the first community health centers in the U.S. in the 1960s, at Columbia Point in Boston and in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. They were the model for what is now a national network serving millions of low-income patients. He also was a founding member of two advocacy groups, Physicians for Social Responsibility, which shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to end the nuclear arms race (see also the remembrance for another founding member, Bernard Lown), and Physicians for Human Rights, which shared the 1997 prize for working to ban land mines.Geiger’s career was driven by the belief that doctors should use their expertise and moral authority not just to treat illness but also to change the conditions that make people sick in the first place, such as poverty, hunger, and discrimination. He worked with the Committee for Health in South Africa, and the Medical Committee for Human Rights, the medical arm of the civil rights movement in Southern U.S. states. He also participated in human rights missions to Iraq, South Africa, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the former Yugoslavia.Geiger was a former professor and chair of community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. He also served on the faculty of SUNY–Stony Brook School of Medicine and was a visiting professor at Harvard Medical School.
Thomas Mack, MPH, published Cancers in the Urban Environment: How Malignant Diseases Are Caused and Distributed among the Diverse People and Neighborhoods of a Major Global Metropolis (Academic Press, 2020). Mack is professor of preventive medicine and pathology at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. He was a faculty member in the Harvard Chan School’s Department of Epidemiology from 1969 to 1974.
Joseph Hogan, ScD, Carole and Lawrence Sirovich Professor of Public Health, professor of biostatistics, and deputy director of the Data Science Initiative at Brown University, received the Harvard Chan School’s 2020 Lagakos Distinguished Alumni Award. He delivered a virtual award lecture in October.
Nick Horton, ScD, Beitzel Professor in Technology and Society (Statistics and Data Science) at Amherst College, was appointed co-chair of the National Academies Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics in August 2020. The committee advises stakeholders in government, academia, industry, and nonprofit organizations on statistics and data science and their many applications.
Nathan Wolfe, SD, was the subject of the play The Catastrophist, written by acclaimed playwright Lauren Gunderson, his wife. It streamed in January and February on the website of the Marin Theater Company in Mill Valley, California. Wolfe is known for his work tracking viral pandemics.
Nusrat Rabbee, PhD, published Biomarker Analysis in Clinical Trials With R (Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2020), which offers practical guidance to statisticians in the pharmaceutical industry on how to incorporate biomarker data analysis in clinical trial studies. Rabbee is the vice president of biometrics at Alladapt Immunotherapeutics, Inc.
Jaroslaw Harezlak, PhD, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Public Health–Bloomington at Indiana University, was named a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2020. Starting in August 2020, Harezlak took on the additional role of assistant dean of research analytics at his school.
Yu Guo, PhD, led the effort to create a comprehensive, real-time COVID-19 tracking resource for the U.S. and Canada: coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en. The site has had more than 100 million visitors. Guo currently heads the machine learning platform for self-driving vehicles at Uber ATG.
Kim Rhoads, MPH, spearheads an initiative called Umoja Health that brought the first COVID-19 pop-up testing sites to San Francisco and Oakland, California. The sites, which focus on communities of color, also promote mask wearing and social distancing. Umjoa Health also provides vaccinations. Rhoads is associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and director of the Office of Community Engagement for the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Rhoads was recognized for her work in February by Oakland’s mayor and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
Elsbeth Kalenderian, MPH, was appointed dean of the Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, a joint venture of the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, effective August 1, 2021. Kalenderian is currently a senior lecturer at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a professor at the University of California–San Francisco School of Dentistry. She is principal investigator on NIH-funded grants focused on patient safety, quality metrics, and quality improvement in the dental setting.
Miguel Marino, PhD, was named a 2020 Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine by the National Academy of Medicine. Over a three-year term that started in July, Marino and other individuals in the 2020 scholars class will engage in a variety of activities throughout the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Marino is an associate professor of biostatistics in the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. His research focuses on development and implementation of novel statistical methodology to address complexities associated with the use of electronic health records to study health equity and health policy in primary care.
Joseph Antonelli, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Florida, received the Health Effects Institute’s 2020 Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award. Antonelli was recognized for his proposed work on statistical approaches to understanding the causal effect of air pollution mixtures. The award was announced in January 2021.
Vidur Sharma, MPH, was named as a testing adviser on the White House COVID-19 Response Team by President Joe Biden in January. During the Obama administration, Sharma served as a health policy adviser on the Domestic Policy Council. Since then, Sharma has advised health-sector organizations on value-based care arrangements at PwC Strategy&.
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H. Jack Geiger photo: Tony Rinaldo Photography