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David Williams  

Professor of Public Health at Harvard University

Dr. David R. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He also holds a professorship in African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University. His previous academic appointments include positions at Yale University and the University of Michigan. Dr. Williams achieved a Master of Public Health degree from Loma Linda University and possesses both an MA and PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Williams is a scientist and public health expert, internationally recognized for his research on social influences on health, including the impact of social factors such as education, income, and race on physical and mental health. His work specifically addresses the health effects of racial discrimination and the role of stress on health. His scholarly contributions extend to over 475 scientific papers. He has been invited to keynote scientific conferences globally, with his research impacting the study of race, socioeconomic status, stress, racism, health behavior, and religious involvement in health.

Dr. Williams is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the United States National Academy of Sciences. His accolades include the Distinguished Contribution Awards from the American Sociological Association, the American Psychological Association, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has also received the Order of Saint Lucia. In 2008, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education ranked him as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences. In 2014, Thomson Reuters listed him among the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

In addition to his academic achievements, Dr. Williams is a senior research advisor for the PBS documentary series "Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick" and has delivered a TED Talk titled "How Racism Makes Us Sick," which has been translated into 18 languages and seen over a million times. He is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is a member of various professional associations, including the American Sociological Association, the American Public Health Association, and the American Psychological Association.

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