Emory Global Health Institute
Prabhat Jha, MD, DPhil
Research Summary: Tackling the Killers of the Global Poor
The 20th century has seen unparalleled progress in global health. Life expectancy in the last 40 years has improved more than in the preceeding 4,000 years. To sustain these gains in the 21st century, action against the major killers globally is needed. As one of the world's leading epidemiologists, Dr. Prabhat Jha takes aim at two specific killers: smoking and HIV.
Founder of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital, Dr. Jha has published widely on tobacco, HIV/AIDS, and the health of the global poor. He is the lead author of Curbing the Epidemic: Governments and the Economics of Tobacco Control and co-editor of Tobacco Control in Developing Countries. These two publications led to the first ever global tobacco control treaty, which is now adopted by over 160 countries.
Today, Dr. Jha leads the Million Death Study, which follows the lives and deaths of 2.3 million households throughout India until 2014. He studies HIV transmission in various countries, is a co-editor of the Disease Control Priorities Project, and advises several governments. He was on the Institute of Medicine's panel that wrote a plan for US President Barack Obama on how to improve global health.
Turning research into action is paramount. "At the Centre for Global Health Research, we quantify the big diseases, but we are equally concerned that our results are used widely." Dr. Jha's paper in 2008 in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that India may soon have 1 million deaths from smoking, and the study has spurred efforts to get India's 120 million smokers to quit.
Dr. Jha's awards include a Gold medal from the Poland Health Promotion Foundation (2000), the Top 40 under age 40 Award (2004), the Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award (2004), and Globe and Mail's Leading Medical Scientists in Toronto (2008). He was short-listed for the British Medical Association Global Leadership Award (2009). Dr. Jha holds an MD from the University of Manitoba and a D. Phil in epidemiology from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
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