Major Projects

Hurricane Katrina survivor

Adversity and Resilience after Hurricane Katrina

Funded by the NIH, this longitudinal study aims to examine how residents of New Orleans, particularly single, African-American mothers, have coped with the effects of Hurricane Katrina in the years after the hurricane occurred. The researchers seek to identify factors associated with vulnerability to and resistance from a disaster. Directors: Mary Waters and Jean Rhodes

Burden of Disease and Deprivation in India across Micro and Macro Public Policy Units

The overarching goal of this project is to improve precision public policy, public financing, and governance in India related to population health and development by: (1) collating and analyzing key population health and development data that are geocoded to multiple micro and macro public policy units (namely Gram Panchayat (GP), Assembly Constituency (AC) and Parliamentary Constituency (PC)); (2) developing intelligent public data and analytics platform to disseminate the data and findings in an interactive way; (3) engaging with multiple stakeholders, including elected representatives, bureaucratic leaderships, citizen groups, policy advocacy groups and academics, to enhance knowledge translation and foster evidence-based policy discussion, formulation, and action. Principal Investigators: S (Subu) V Subramanian and  Rockli Kim

Cognitive Function, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in the HAALSI Cohort

This project furthers research conducted by the HAALSI team on the social and biological risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease & related dementias (ADRD) in an aging population in rural South Africa. The HAALSI Dementia Study will follow a cohort of 600 participants through two additional waves of dementia diagnostic evaluation, including an enriched cognitive battery, informant interviews, and neurological examinations. Principal Investigator: Lisa Berkman; Project Director: Meagan Farrell

David E. Bell Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The David E. Bell Fellowship Program—named in honor of the former Clarence Gamble Professor of Population Sciences and International Health, Emeritus, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies—provides opportunities for research and leadership training in the field of population and development. Bell Fellows examine a broad range of critical issues from multidisciplinary perspectives. Since its creation in 1990, the program has awarded over 80 postdoctoral fellowships to international professionals in population and development. Directors: Lisa Berkman and Jason Beckfield
Older woman in South Africa

Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI)

The goal is to integrate the study of chronic disease (including HIV and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cognitive impairments) and their interactions with social, family and economic conditions to better understand the determinants of health and functional status in the elderly in South Africa. Principal Investigator: Lisa Berkman; Project Director: Julia Rohr
Group of researchers involved in the Sloan Book research project

Is Working Longer in the U.S. in Jeopardy?: Development of a Book Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

This research project—which will result in the publication of a book—gathers an interdisciplinary community of top scholars to examine how the contexts that shape individuals’ likelihood of working longer are changing across cohorts, and how they affect some population groups—especially racial minorities and lower-income workers—more than others. Directors: Lisa Berkman and Beth Truesdale

The Program on the Global Demography of Aging (PGDA)

Housed at the HCPDS, the Program on the Global Demography of Aging (PGDA) is funded by a NIH grant, and provides support for research on demographic change and aging throughout the world with a particular focus on developing countries. Directors: David E. Bloom and David Canning

Sloan Fellowship on Aging and Work

This interdisciplinary postdoctoral training program addresses the challenges of aging societies and labor force participation. Sloan Fellows and associated Harvard faculty address issues related to work and retirement by identifying the current challenges of working longer, and the potential solutions to the ways in which the  public and private sectors in the U.S. will need to adapt employment policies and practices to optimize both the economic well-being and health of the population. Director: Lisa Berkman

Workplace and Well-Being Initiative

The Workplace and Well-Being Initiative (WWBI) is a multi-disciplinary, broad-based research and policy initiative designed to develop and implement evidence-based workplace change for worker well-being. The goal of the initiative is to provide a deeper understanding of worker well-being, and to identify the workplace policies and practices that enhance the lives of workers in the workplace and throughout their lives. Directors: Lisa Berkman and Meg Lovejoy