May 1, 2020—Six faculty members started new appointments at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health this semester. Read about them below.
Erin Driver-Linn is Dean for Education and lecturer on social and behavioral sciences in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She provides dedicated strategic leadership for the educational activities of the School. Prior to coming to Harvard Chan School, she served as founding director of the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) and as associate provost for institutional research. Her work has involved applying social psychological methods to education, the inaccuracies of emotional forecasting, and the history of psychology.
Jose Figueroa is assistant professor of health policy and management in the Department of Health Policy and Management. His research focuses on improving quality of health care for complex and vulnerable populations. His work was highlighted by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), where he served as a national planning committee member for a workshop on complex populations that led to an NAM report, “Effective Care for High-Need Patients.” Figueroa also studied the impact of policy interventions and payment reform on health care for these populations using quasi-experimental methods.
Smita Gopinath is assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Her research focuses on the interactions between the commensal microbiota, pathogens and the host immune response in the mucosa. Her lab has multiple projects aimed at studying the mechanisms by which pathogens activate and evade the mucosal immune response and how these interactions are modulated by the microbiota. The goal is to generate and test new ideas for vaccine and drug candidates to better protect people against infectious diseases.
Adam Haber is assistant professor of computational biology and environmental health in the Department of Environmental Health. His research focuses on the role of airway epithelial cells in the pathogenesis and maintenance of asthma in response to environmental exposures to triggers, such as air pollution and allergens. His work uncovered two previously unknown subtypes of tuft cells present in both mouse airways and small intestines, and led to the first extensive single-cell characterization of the small intestinal epithelium in mice.
Sheng (Tony) Hui is assistant professor of molecular metabolism in the Department of Molecular Metabolism. His research focuses on understanding metabolism with a quantitative and systems approach. He has discovered a principle of efficient proteome allocation to different metabolic sectors and applied it to understanding the overflow metabolism in E. coli. His recent work has concentrated on mammalian metabolism and led to major insights into glucose metabolism in mammals. Through isotopic tracing and flux quantification in mice, he discovered that glucose feeds the tricarboxylic acid cycle via circulating lactate.
Ellen Meara is professor of health economics and policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Her research spans a wide range of subjects in the economics of health and medical care, with emphasis in determinants and consequences of participation in health and disability insurance; the role of payment and delivery reforms on health care use and outcomes; and trends in mortality and health care spending over time. Much of her recent work has been on mental health and substance abuse, particularly the opioid crisis.
Read about the faculty members who began appointments in Fall 2019.