Press Releases

1998 Releases

Barry Bloom named Dean of Harvard School of Public Health

For immediate release: June 11, 1998 

Cambridge and Boston, MA--Barry R. Bloom will become the next Dean of the Faculty of Public Health at Harvard, President Neil L. Rudenstine announced today.

A leading expert in immunology, tropical diseases, and international health, Bloom is the Weinstock Professor (and former Chairman) of Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was among the keynote speakers at the School of Public Health's 75th anniversary symposium in 1997, and is a major figure at the intersection of science and worldwide health policy, through his intensive engagement with the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and other organizations.

"Barry Bloom is an internationally distinguished health scientist with a broadly inclusive vision of public health," Rudenstine said in announcing the appointment. "He is widely known for his passionate commitment to understanding and combating infectious diseases worldwide. He has served with energy and effectiveness on numerous national and international councils confronting urgent challenges at the intersection of science and health policy. He is also a leading thinker and compelling speaker about the future of public health education and research."

"Behind his many accomplishments lie a devotion to illuminating the fundamental mechanisms of disease and to improving the health of human communities around the world," Rudenstine added. "In an era that will be pivotal for public health, Barry Bloom promises to build forcefully on the leadership shown by Harvey Fineberg and Jim Ware, both in strengthening the SPH's capacity in individual fields, and in shaping a comprehensive vision of public health's power to change lives for the better."

In accepting the appointment, Bloom said: "There are enormous needs and disparities in health within this country and globally, and there are pressing resource constraints on assuring the highest quality of health for all. In a time of change and uncertainty, it is a great privilege to have the opportunity to serve one of the world's leading institutions in addressing creatively the challenges in public health."

Bloom will begin his transition to Harvard this summer, and expects to begin his full-time work as Dean before the end of the fall term. James Ware, who has served as Acting Dean of the Faculty for this past academic year, will carry forward in that role until Professor Bloom assumes the deanship. Ware will then resume his service as the School's Academic Dean, working in close partnership with Bloom.

"The School of Public Health has had a superb year under Jim Ware's guidance, and he will play an indispensable role going forward in building on the School's success," Rudenstine said.

Bloom holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Amherst and a Ph.D. in immunology from Rockefeller University. He joined the faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1964. He became a full professor in 1973 and served as Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology from 1978 to 1990, the year in which he also became an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Bloom has published some 350 articles, with a recent emphasis on topics ranging from ethical issues in the search for AIDS vaccines, to the engagement of developing countries in the pursuit of global health, to the pathogenesis of tuberculosis. He is a past president of both the American Association of Immunologists and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. He has served on numerous national and international committees and boards, including the Governing Councils of both the Institute of Medicine and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Bloom is the co-chair of the Institute of Medicine's Board on International Health and the chair of the board of trustees of the International Vaccine Institute. His extensive involvement with the World Health Organization includes his service in recent years as chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the VMO's Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, as well as its Immunology of Tuberculosis Steering Committee. He also serves or has recently served on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the U.S. National Vaccine Advisory Committee; the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Center for Infectious Diseases; and the National AIDS Vaccine Research Committee.

His many honors include distinguished lectureships at institutions including the University of Amsterdam, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of Basel, and the Harvard Medical School, as well as awards from the University of Chicago, the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the City of New York. In 1991, he received the first Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Research in Infectious Diseases.

For further information, please contact:

Robin Herman
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-432-4752