David R. Williams, Ph.D.
David R. Williams is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and an Affiliate of the Sociology Department at Harvard University. His first 6 years as a faculty member were at Yale University where he held appointments in both Sociology and Public Health. The next 14 years were at the University of Michigan where he served as the Harold Cruse Collegiate Professor of Sociology, a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Social Research and a Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. He holds a master’s degree in public health from Loma Linda University and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan.
He is an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health. His research has focused on trends and determinants of socioeconomic and racial disparities in health, the effects of racism on health and the ways in which religious involvement can affect health. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health and epidemiology. He has served as a member of the editorial board of 8 scientific journals and as a reviewer for more than 50 others. According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, he was one of the Top 10 Most Cited Researchers in the Social Sciences during the decade 1995 to 2005. The Journal of Black Issues in Higher Education, ranked him as the 2nd Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences in 2006. In 2001, he was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2004, he received one of the inaugural Decade of Behavior Research Awards and in 2007, he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He has been involved in the development of health policy at the national level in the U.S. He has served a on the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and on six panels for the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He has held elected and appointed positions in professional organizations, such as the American Sociological Association, Academy Health and the American Public Health Association. Currently, he is a member of the of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health.
His current research includes studying the health of Black Caribbean immigrants in the U.S., examining how race-related stressors (racial discrimination in the U.S. and exposure to torture during Apartheid in South Africa) can affect health, and assessing the ways in which religious involvement is related to health.
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