Introducing Two New Department Chairs

June 10, 2024
Front of the GPH Building

With two bold appointments in Epidemiology and Global and Environmental Health, GPH will embark in the fall with renewed academic and research strength. Dr. Eliseo Guallar, an epidemiologist specializing in the study of cardiovascular disease through environmental and nutritional exposures, will assume the role of Chair of the Department of Epidemiology in July. In August, Dr. Mark Jit will join as the Inaugural Chair of Global and Environmental Health, bringing his expertise in infectious disease modeling and economic evaluation, along with a strong commitment to justice in global health. The GPH community warmly welcomes both of them!



The Chair of the Department of Epidemiology

 Eliseo Guallar

Dr. Eliseo Guallar is the new Chair of the Department of Epidemiology beginning July 1, 2024. Dr. Guallar is a Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and a core faculty member of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins. In the Department of Epidemiology, Dr. Guallar is the Director of the Environmental and Occupational Area of Concentration and the Co-Director of the PhD Program. Dr. Guallar is also an adjunct Professor at the Department of Clinical Research Design and Evaluation of the Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Science and Technology, Sungkyunkwan University, in Seoul, Korea. He obtained his MD at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and trained in Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) and the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston), where he obtained a Doctor of Public Health degree.

Dr. Guallar’s research focuses on the study of cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention, with an emphasis on evaluating the role of environmental and nutritional exposures in the development of cardiovascular disease. This research has made critically important and novel contributions to our understanding of risk factors for chronic disease both in the US and globally. He has published seminal articles and is a leading figure in an emerging field highlighting the risks of exposure to levels of metals previously considered safe for cardiovascular health. In addition to his work in toxic metals, Dr. Guallar has made important contributions to understanding the effects of certain micronutrients and vitamin supplements on cardiovascular disease risk and outcomes. Publications in this area were influential in changing consumer habits and attitudes towards these products. Much of this research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the American Heart Association, the CDC, and other funders. Dr. Guallar was the founding director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology at the Samsung Medical Center and a lead investigator of the Kangbuk Samsung Cohort Study at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital since its inception in 2010. Dr. Guallar has published over 500 research papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is also a Deputy Editor for Methods at the Annals of Internal Medicine and a past member and Chair of the Cancer, Heart, and Sleep Study Section at the National Institutes of Health.


The Inaugural Chair of the Department of Global and Environmental Health

Mark Jit

Dr. Mark Jit is the inaugural Chair of the Department of Global and Environmental Health beginning August 15, 2024. A renowned scholar, Dr Jit is Professor and Head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology & Dynamics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where he also co-directs the Global Health Economics Centre. He also has an Honorary Professorship at the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong. He received his BSc and PhD in Mathematics from University College London, specializing in mathematical biology, and a Master of Public Health degree from King’s College London. With his colleagues at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID), his work on COVID-19 informed the pandemic response by the UK and other governments. He was elected in 2023 as a Fellow at the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, which recognized his work on advancing vaccine equity. He is currently co-chair for The Lancet Commission for Strengthening the Use of Epidemiological Modelling of Emerging and Pandemic Infectious Diseases. In 2022 and 2023, he was recognized as a highly cited researcher by Clarivate.

Dr. Jit’s research integrates infectious disease modeling and economic evaluation. His approach has been pivotal to major UK vaccine decisions over the past 15 years and key global health recommendations concerning COVID-19, HPV, measles, rotavirus, influenza, RSV, and dengue, among other diseases. At the global level, his team designs models that assess vaccine strategies across multiple countries to inform investments by global agencies such as Gavi and the Vaccine Alliance, and he has helped translate such evidence into policymaking through his membership in numerous vaccine-related WHO advisory groups. Some of this work informed WHO’s recommendations on measles, HPV, pneumococcal, dengue, malaria, and COVID-19 vaccines. His dedication to informing global policy stems from a profound commitment to advancing justice within the realm of global health. Dr. Jit is the author of more than 380 peer-reviewed journal articles and has received support for his work from UK research councils, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the World Health Organization, Gavi and the European Commission. He has worked with several governments in Europe, Asia, and Africa, serving on numerous countries’ expert advisory committees concerning infectious diseases and providing technical advice to many more.