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Health disparities expert David Williams at UCOP Jan. 17

Harvard Professor David R. Williams, an internationally recognized authority on social determinants of health, will deliver a talk, “Making America Healthier for All: What We Know, and What We Need to Know, ” on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2 to 3 pm in 612 Kaiser. A discussion period will follow the presentation.

Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and professor of African and African American studies and sociology at Harvard. He has also held appointments at Yale and the University of Michigan.

The talk is part of UC’s Research Grants Program Office Seminar Series, designed to bring innovative researchers to UCOP, and is sponsored by the California Breast Cancer Research Program.

Widely published in the social scientific literature and widely quoted in the media, Williams’s research focuses on the complex ways that race, racial discrimination, socioeconomic status and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health. He developed the Everyday Discrimination scale, one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies.

Also involved in the development of health policy at the national level, Williams has served on the Department of Health and Human Services National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and on seven committees for the Institute of Medicine. He has held positions in organizations including the American Public Health Association, the MacArthur Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

He has directed studies in South Africa and the United States on illness, mental health and their correlation to racial discrimination and other factors. He now directs the Lung Cancer Disparities Center at the Harvard School of Public Health, one of 10 Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Williams holds an M.P.H. degree from Loma Linda University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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