Lisa Berkman, PhD
Dr. Berkman is an internationally recognized social epidemiologist whose work focuses on social influences on health outcomes. Dr. Berkman is chair of the Department of Society, Human Development and Health and chair of the Harvard Center for Society and Health. She edited, with Ichiro Kawachi, Social Epidemiology, the first systematic account of the field of social determinants of health. She has done extensive research understanding social inequalities in health that are related to socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic groups, social networks, 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 and how they shape employee health. Dr. Berkman’s primary studies are large prospective longitudinal cohort studies. Her current work is studying the health effects of work-family demands and evaluating public and private sector policies related to work flexibility among low-wage workers. She has also conducted several large randomized clinical trials aimed at modifying psychosocial conditions to improve health outcomes. She has chaired the Steering Committee for Enhancing Recovery in Coronary Heart Disease Patients, a randomized experiment to improve cardiovascular outcomes in patients after myocardial infarction. She is past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and a member of the Institute of Medicine.