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Marcella Alsan, MD, MPH, PhD

Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School
Department of Global Health and Social Medicine Affiliate

Marcella Alsan, MD, MPH, PhD, is a Professor of Public Policy, at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She participates in efforts related to global health equity, global public policy, and disease and poverty. She mentors Harvard learners on the economics of infectious disease, healthcare accreditation in jails, and other social medicine topics.

Dr.  Alsan received a BA from Harvard University, a master’s in public health from Harvard School of Public Health, an MD from Loyola University, and a PhD in Economics from Harvard University. She also trained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Hiatt Global Health Equity Residency Fellowship – then combined the PhD with an Infectious Disease Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to returning to Harvard, she was on faculty at Stanford. She is an applied microeconomist studying health inequality. 

In 2022, Dr. Alsan was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. She was selected for her scholarly insights on understanding the origins of medical mistrust and the role it plays in understanding health disparities.

Marcella Alsan is an applied microeconomist studying health inequality. Some recent papers include “Does Diversity Matter for Health: Experimental Evidence from Oakland” and “Tuskegee and the Health of Black Men” – published in the American Economic Review and The Quarterly Journal of Economics, respectively. She co-authored a series of papers on messaging during COVID-19 published in medical and public health outlets and on pandemic and polarization. She is currently working on correctional health care in US Jails and maternal hypertension in Missouri.