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Michael B. Bracken

Susan Dwight Bliss Professor Emeritus



Dr. Michael Bracken is the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology, Senior Research Scientist in Epidemiology, and formerly Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Science and Neurology, a former Head of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at Yale University and former Vice Chairman (Deputy Dean) of the Yale School of Public Health where he has studied and taught for the last 52 years. He is a sometime Research Fellow in Green Templeton College, Oxford University. Professor Bracken has published some 400 articles in the scientific literature and has authored three books: Perinatal Epidemiology (1984) and Effective Care of the Newborn Infant (with J.C. Sinclair, 1992) both published by Oxford University Press. In 2006 this last book, which introduced the concepts of meta-analysis into neonatology, was named by the British Medical Journal as one of the most influential books in evidence-based medicine and was instrumental in assisting the foundation of the international Cochrane Collaboration. His new book: Risk, Chance and Causation: Investigating the Origins and Treatment of Disease was published by Yale University Press in 2013. He is the founding (in 1979) Director of the Yale Perinatal Epidemiology Unit and Director Emeritus of its successor, the Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology. Professor Bracken has taught courses in evidence-based medicine and health care, pharmaco-epidemiology, perinatal epidemiology and general epidemiology at Yale for many years. He has directed numerous epidemiological investigations, almost all of which were funded (over $50 million in total) by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has served on numerous study sections and committees of the NIH including the Council of the National Institute of Deafness and Communicative Disorders. He chaired the first Congress of Epidemiology in 2001 and the first international colloquium on genome–wide association studies in 2006. He consults for many international corporations and agencies including the World Health Organization and he has served as the elected President of two major epidemiological organizations: the American College of Epidemiology and the Society for Epidemiologic Research. Professor Bracken is the 2013 recipient of the Lilienfeld Award from the American College of Epidemiology, a 2015 D.Sc honoris causa from the University of Gloucester in the UK, and the 2016 Gordon Lecture award from the National Institutes of Health.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    Yale University (1974)
  • MPhil
    Yale University (1972)
  • MPH
    Yale University (1970)
  • BSc (Hon)
    London University, Zoology (1968)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Gordon Lecture AwardNational Institutes of Health2016
Honorary Doctorate of ScienceUniversity of Gloucestershire2015
Lilienfeld AwardAmerican College of Epidemiology2013
Wakeman Award for Research in Neuroscience
The Freeman Award
National Rehabilitation Research Award

Professional Service

Society for Epidemiologic ResearchPresident2006 - 2007
American College of EpidemiologyPresident1996 - 1997
Advisory Council, National Institute of Deafness and Communicative Disorders, Advisory CouncilMember1995 - 1999
NIH Epidemiology and Disease Control Study SectionBoard Member1987 - 1991

Departments & Organizations