Sandro Galea, MD MPH

  • Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
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Dr. Galea is a physician and an epidemiologist. He is the Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean at the Boston University School of Public Health. Prior to his appointment at Boston University, Dr. Galea served as the Gelman Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at the University of Michigan and at the New York Academy of Medicine.

In his scholarship, Dr. Galea is centrally interested in the social production of health of urban populations, with a focus on the causes of brain disorders, particularly common mood-anxiety disorders and substance abuse. He has long had a particular interest in the consequences of mass trauma and conflict worldwide, including as a result of the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, and the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This work has been principally funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several foundations. He has published over 640 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters, and 10 books and his research has been featured extensively in current periodicals and newspapers. His latest book, co-authored with Dr. Katherine Keyes, is Population Health Science, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Dr. Galea has a medical degree from the University of Toronto, and graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University; he has an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow. He was named one of TIME magazine's epidemiology innovators and has been listed by Thomson Reuters as one of the "World's Most Influential Scientific Minds" for the Social Sciences. He is past-president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the American Epidemiological Society. Dr. Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards for this research, including the Rema Lapouse Award from the American Public Health Association and the Robert S Laufer Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress. He is a regular contributor to Fortune magazine and has published widely in lay press including in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, the Boston Globe, The New York Times. His research has been cited in these journals and in BBC, Slate, WBUR, and NPR, among others.

Dr. Galea serves frequently on advisory groups to national and international organizations. He currently serves on the Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities, on the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, as president of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science, and will assume the position of Chair-elect of the Board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health in March. He formerly served as chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Community Services Board and as a member of its Health Board.

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology


  • Male

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MD, 1994 University of Toronto
  • MPH, 2000 Harvard University
  • DrPH, 2003 Columbia University

Editorial Boards

Associate Editor American Journal of Epidemiology

Editorial Board, Depression and Anxiety

Editorial Board, International Journal of Drug Policy

Honors & Awards

Member, Institute of Medicine

Fellow, American Epidemiologic Society

Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine

Past-President, Society for Epidemiologic Research


Research Interests

  • Chronic disease
  • Community Health
  • Global Health
  • Mental health

Selected Publications

Galea S, Freudenberg N, Vlahov D. Cities and population health Social Science and Medicine 60(5) 1017-1033 2005

Kruk M, Goldmann E, Galea S. Borrowing and Selling to Pay for Health Care in Low-and Middle-Income Countries. Health Affairs. 28(4) 1056-1066 2009

Galea S, Resnick H Post-traumatic stress disorder in the general population after mass terrorist incidents: Considerations about the nature of exposure. CNS Spectrums 10(2) 107-115 2005

Koenen K, Aiello AE, Bakshis E, Amstadter AB, Ruggiero K, Acierno R, Kilpatrick DG, Gelertner J, Galea S. Modification of the association between serotonin transporter genotype and risk of posttraumatic stress disorder in adults by county-level social environment. American Journal of Epidemiology. 169(6) 704-711 2009

Galea S, Nandi A, Vlahov D The social epidemiology of substance use. Epidemiologic Reviews 26 36-52 2004

Galea S, Vlahov D, Resnick H, Ahern J, Susser E, Gold J, Bucuvalas M, Kilpatrick D. Trends in probable Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in New York City after the September 11 Terrorist Attacks. American Journal of Epidemiology 158(6) 514-524. 2003

Galea S, Brewin CR, Jones RT, King DW, King LA, McNally RJ, Ursano RJ, Petukhova M, Kessler RC. Exposure to hurricane-related stressors and mental illness after hurricane Katrina. Archives of General Psychiatry. 64(12) 1427-1434. 2007

Galea S, Ahern J, Resnick H, Kilpatrick D, Bucuvalas M, Gold J, Vlahov D. Psychological sequelae of the September 11th attacks in Manhattan, New York City New England Journal of Medicine 346 982-987 2002

Galea S, Ahern J. Distribution of education and population health: An ecologic analysis of New York City neighborhoods. American Journal of Public Health 95(12) 2198-2205. 2005

Karpati A, Galea S, Awerbuch T, Levins R. ariability and Vulnerability at the ecologic level: Implications for understanding the social determinants of health. American Journal of Public Health 92 1768-1772. 2002

Galea S, Karpati A, Kennedy B Social Capital and Violence in the United States, 1974-1993. Social Science and Medicine 55(8) 1373-1383. 2002

Ahern J, Galea S, Fernandez WG, Koci B, Waldman R, Vlahov D. Gender, social support, and posttraumatic stress in postwar Kosovo. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 192(11) 762-770. 2004

Galea S, Ahern J, Vlahov D. Contextual determinants of drug use risk behavior: A theoretic framework. Journal of Urban Health 80(4 Suppl 3) i50-i58. 2003

Galea S, Vlahov D. Urban health: Evidence, challenges, and directions. Annual Review of Public Health 26 341-65. 2005

Galea S, Ahern J, Tracy M, Rudenstine S, Vlahov D. Education inequality and use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 90 (Suppl 1) S4-S15. 2007

Galea S, Ahern J, Tracy M, Hubbard A, Cerda M, Goldmann E, Vlahov D. Longitudinal determinants of post-traumatic stress in a population-based cohort study. Epidemiology 19(1) 47-54 2008

Hadley C, Tegegn A, Tessema F, Cowan JA, Asefa M, Galea S. Food insecurity, stressful life events, and symptoms of anxiety and depression in east Africa: evidence from the Gigel Gibe growth and development study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 62(11) 980 - 986. 2008

Ahern J, Jones MR, Bakshis E, Galea S. Revisiting Rose: Comparing the benefits and costs of population-wide and targeted interventions. Milbank Quarterly 86(4) 581-600 2008

Galea S, Ahern J, Resnick H, Kilpatrick D, Bucuvalas M, Gold J, Vlahov D. Psychological sequelae of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. New England Journal of Medicine 346(13) 982-987 2002