New faculty appointments

November 2, 2017—Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health welcomed four new faculty members in 2017. Read about them below.

Vilsa Curto
Vilsa CurtoVilsa Curto was appointed assistant professor of health economics and policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management, effective July 1, 2017.

Curto received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and both a MA and a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. Most recently, she was a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT in the Department of Economics.

Curto’s research focuses on health care economics in the United States. Specifically, her work seeks to understand when government interventions, including direct provision of health care, pricing regulations in health insurance markets, and the establishment of highly regulated marketplaces, are appropriate in the healthcare sector. Curto’s research has examined topics such as the effect of Medigap coverage on healthcare spending and utilization, the efficiency of Medicare Advantage, and the impact of early Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. She has presented her work at several conferences and external seminars, including the American Economic Association annual meetings. Curto’s past awards include the Colleen and Robert D. Haas Graduate Fellowship and the Becker Friedman Institute Health Economics Fellowship. She is also a referee for several economics journals, including American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and the Journal of Health Economics.

Daniel Neafsey
Daniel NeafseyDaniel Neafsey was appointed  assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, effective October 1, 2017.

Neafsey received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and his PhD in Biology from Harvard University. Upon completion of his PhD, he joined the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where his career began as Research Scientist and culminated in the position of Associate Director of the Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases.

Neafsey’s research focuses on genomic epidemiology, microbial comparative genomics, population genomics, genomic ecology, and the genomic basis of drug/insecticide resistance in malaria parasites and Anopheles mosquito vectors. More specifically, his research group studies genomic variation from an evolutionary perspective within and among malaria parasite and mosquito vector species to determine the genomic basis of phenotypes that impact public health. He is a leader in population biology applied to public health issues, and he has helped to move malaria biology research into exciting, new areas of investigation.

Neafsey has served as a reviewer for many grant agencies including NIH and Wellcome Trust. He has also been a reviewer for journals such as Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, and PLoSOne. He is a recipient of the Broad’s Inaugural Excellence Award in Science/Engineering and the Derek Bok Center’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has also presented his work at several national and international conferences.

Elise Robinson
Elise RobinsonElise Robinson was appointed assistant professor of epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology, effective April 1, 2017.

Robinson received her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, her MPH in Behavioral Science from Emory University, and her ScD in Psychiatric Epidemiology from our School. She has held postdoctoral research positions in statistical genetics both here and at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Since 2013, she has been an Instructor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, an Assistant in Genetics at MGH, and an Affiliated Scientist at the Broad Institute. As faculty at our School, Robinson’s group will be based in the Department of Epidemiology as well as the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute.

Robinson’s research focuses on the genetic influences on behavior and cognition. She is particularly interested in heterogeneity within psychiatric disorders, psychiatric disease risk in the general population, and outcome variation in individuals at high risk for severe mental illness. Her group is also organizing international data collection activities, with a concentration on developmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Anna Sinaiko
Anna SinaikoAnna Sinaiko has been appointed assistant professor of health economics and policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management, effective July 1, 2017.

Sinaiko received a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, and a PhD in Health Policy (concentration Economics) from Harvard University. From 2010 to 2013, she was a Research Fellow in Health Economics and Policy at the Harvard Chan School and since 2013, she has been a Research Scientist in the School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

Sinaiko’s research concerns individual decision-making in health care settings and the implications of this behavior for U.S. health policy. Specifically, her work has included evaluations of the impact of tiered provider networks, of the impact of a web-based price transparency tool, and of choice of health insurance plans in Medicare and in private insurance.

Sinaiko has been both a Health Policy Field of Study Leader and an MPH Steering Committee member since 2016. She is an ad hoc reviewer for several health policy and economics journals. She is a recipient of the NIHCM Foundation Annual Health Care Research Award for “Integrating Risk Adjustment and Enrollee Premiums in Health Plan Payment” and has presented her work at several national conferences.