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David R. Williams, PhD, MPH

Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School Of Public Health

Contact Info

David Williams
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA, 02115
Mailstop: Kresge, Room 615
Phone: 617-432-6807


Maria Simoneau
Program Coordinator
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard School Of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave., 6th Floor
Boston, MA, 02115
Phone: 617-432-6807
Fax: 617-432-3755

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Cancer Risk and Disparities, Co-Leader

DF/HCC Associations

Member, Center Scientific Council

Research Abstract

Dr. Williamsís theoretical and empirical research has focused on racial and socioeconomic differentials in health. He has devoted considerable attention to identifying how life experiences directly linked to race affect health status and can explain racial differences in health. This has included developmental work on how perceptions of racial bias can affect health status. He has contributed to several integrative summaries outlining the conditions under which discrimination at both the interpersonal and the institutional level can adversely affect multiple indicators of health. Williams has also investigated how coping resources and strategies ranging from social support and religiosity to psychological attributes and health behaviors can modify the effects of stress on health. Much of his work has involved the analysis of large epidemiological studies. He has extensive experience with quantitative research strategies and in analyzing large, complex data sets. His current research includes studying the correlates of the health of Black Caribbean immigrants in the U.S., examining how race-related stressors (racial discrimination in the U.S. and exposure to torture during Apartheid in South Africa) can affect health, examining the biological pathways by which stress is related to health, and assessing the ways in which religious involvement can affect health.


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