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SPH Dean Sandro Galea Appointed Robert A. Knox Professor

Leading expert on health consequences of mass trauma, conflict

SPH Dean Sandro Galea

SPH Dean Sandro Galea has studied the health impacts of the trauma of the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, and combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo by Dan Aguirre

Sandro Galea, dean of the School of Public Health, has been appointed Boston University’s Robert A. Knox Professor. The professorship supports a BU faculty member who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, research, and teaching, as well as impact on society.

“Professor Galea’s energetic leadership and foundational research in the health of urban populations are sparking important new conversations and producing tangible results in communities across the globe,” says Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer. “His work exemplifies the impactful, multidisciplinary approach at the core of this distinguished professorship.”

Galea says he is honored by the professorship. “I am thrilled that this professorship joins other endowed professorships held by scholars who are part of our school community,” he says.

Galea’s current research interests focus on the social production of health in urban populations. He examines the causes of brain disorders, particularly common mood-anxiety disorders and substance abuse. He is also a leading expert on the health consequences of mass trauma and conflict, and has studied the health impacts of the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, and combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. His most recent book, Population Health Science, coauthored with Katherine Keyes, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which gave him a 2006 Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the American Epidemiological Society.

The second faculty member to receive the professorship, Galea is also the second from SPH. The previous Robert A. Knox Professor was Jonathon Simon, former director of the BU Center for Global Health & Development.

The Robert A. Knox Professorship was established through a 2012 $2.5 million gift from the Robert and Jeanne Knox Foundation, a philanthropic entity cofounded by Robert Knox (CAS’74, Questrom’75), chair of the BU Board of Trustees, and his wife, Jeanne, who heads the BU Parents Leadership Council.

Michelle Samuels can be reached at msamu@bu.edu.

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