Lisa Berkman, PhD
Dr. Berkman is an internationally recognized social epidemiologist whose work focuses on social influences on health outcomes. Dr. Berkman is the director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and the Thomas Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. In 2003, she co-edited (with Ichiro Kawachi) "Social Epidemiology," a groundbreaking textbook in the field of social determinants of health. A second edition was published in 2014 with co-authors Kawachi and Maria Glymour. She has done extensive research understanding social inequalities in health that are related to socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic groups, social networks and support, and social isolation. Dr. Berkman is interested in how public and private sector policies—social, economic and health—impact population health. She is particularly interested in labor policies and work place organizational practices. She has studied the health effects of work-family demands, and has evaluated public and private sector policies related to work flexibility among low-wage workers. While her primary studies are large, prospective longitudinal cohort studies, Dr. Berkman has also conducted several large randomized clinical trials aimed at modifying psychosocial conditions to improve health outcomes. She chaired the Steering Committee for Enhancing Recovery in Coronary Heart Disease Patients, a randomized experiment to improve cardiovascular outcomes in patients after myocardial infarction, and formerly served as the president of both the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Association of Population Centers (APC). She is currently an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Epidemiological Society.