Dr. John Brownstein

Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital; Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School 

Dr. John Brownstein is the Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as a medical contributor for ABC News. His training is in infectious disease epidemiology with a focus on how new technologies can be used to understand disease emergence, risk factors, and global spread. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from McGill University and a PhD in epidemiology from Yale University where his studies focused on the emergence of Lyme disease and West Nile virus in the United States. His work since has targeted the development of public health informatics and infectious disease systems. Dr. Brownstein is the co-founder of two digital health companies, Epidemico and Circulation Inc., as well as the founder of multiple global public health surveillance systems. His creation of the electronic surveillance system which alerts communities of outbreaks, HealthMap, is utilized by public health professionals worldwide and was first in issuing a signal for “unknown pneumonia” in Wuhan, China on December 30, 2019. 

Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, Dr. Brownstein has been a leader on a variety of levels and contributed to pandemic response efforts through data mining, research, and advisory roles. His contributions as a news commentator for ABC led him to win an Emmy for the ABC special The Shot: Race for the Vaccine. His work redesigning his team’s VaccineFinder.org website into Vaccines.gov was groundbreaking for the US government. He also published one of the first papers showing that face masks were effective at decreasing the transmission of COVID-19 and co-authored numerous pieces on pandemic topics relating to non-pharmaceutical interventions and socioeconomic disparities

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