New chairs of global health and population, epidemiology announced

July 20, 2011 — Fawzi Assumes Chair of Department of Global Health and Population

Wafaie Fawzi assumes the role of chair for the Department of Global Health and Population on September 1. Fawzi succeeds David Bloom, the Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography at HSPH, who served for 10 years. Bloom will continue as a faculty member in the Department, pursuing his research and global collaborations to better understand the interplay of health status, population trends, and economic growth.

Since becoming a member of the HSPH faculty in 1996, Fawzi has sought to reduce the number of children under five who die each year, and to improve the health of mothers. He has designed and implemented randomized controlled trials and observational studies of maternal, neonatal and child health, and infectious diseases, with an emphasis on nutritional factors that could lead to better health outcomes, in Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, India, and other developing countries. Fawzi also has built research and training capacity at partner institutions in several countries, most notably in Tanzania where he also has been principal investigator on HSPH’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative that has brought life-saving antiretroviral drugs to more than 70,000 people living with HIV.

Fawzi received his medical degree from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, and his MPH, MS in Maternal and Child Health, and PhD in Epidemiology and Nutrition from HSPH. He has joint appointments in HSPH’s departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology and in the Department of Global Health and Population.

Williams Joins HSPH as Chair of Department of Epidemiology

Michelle Williams has been appointed Stephen B. Kay Family Professor of Public Health and will succeed Hans-Olov Adami as chair of the Department of Epidemiology on August 1. Adami served for more than four years and will continue as a member of the faculty.

Previously a professor of epidemiology and global health at the University of Washington School of Public Health, Williams has a longstanding relationship with the HSPH Department of Epidemiology, from which she received her doctorate in 1991. She has published more than 230 scientific articles and has received numerous research and teaching awards, including the American Public Health Association’s Abraham Lilienfeld Award.  In 2011, President Barack Obama presented Williams with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

Williams’s major research interests lie in the areas of women’s reproductive health and child health. Her work focuses on integrating genomic sciences and epidemiological research methods to identify risk factors, diagnostic markers, treatments and prevention targets for disorders that contribute to maternal and infant mortality.  Her current activities include research and teaching collaborations with epidemiologists in Peru, Chile, Thailand, and Ethiopia. Williams also is co-director of the Center for Perinatal Studies at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, a multidisciplinary research program involving clinical scholars, basic scientists, and epidemiologists.