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Lisa Berkman, Ph.D.

Lisa Berkman, Ph.D., is Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and of Epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. She is also a Gallup Senior Scientist.

Dr. Berkman is an epidemiologist whose work focuses extensively on social influences on health and aging. Her research seeks to understand social inequalities in health as they relate to socioeconomic conditions, poverty, discrimination and social isolation. Dr. Berkman's current work investigates workplace organization and labor policies and practices that affect health, including the ways in which work and labor policy may influence life expectancy. She has conducted randomized interventions to identify how workplace redesign can improve employee and family health while simultaneously improving corporate outcomes.

Many countries currently face demographic transitions that result in aging societies, requiring them to identify new ways to promote work and social participation. Dr. Berkman is committed to identifying evidence-based policies that have the potential to improve population health. Her work focuses not only on population health and aging in the U.S. but also in emerging countries such as South Africa. Dr. Berkman has been an innovator in developing the field of social epidemiology; with Ichiro Kawachi, she edited the field's first textbook, Social Epidemiology, in 2000, and a second edition was released in 2014.

Dr. Berkman received her bachelor's degree in sociology from Northwestern University. She received her master's degree and doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Berkman is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a board member of the Population Association of America. She has served on many panels for the National Academy of Sciences. She was a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging and is past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Association of Population Centers.


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