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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

NYU GPH Clinical Associate Professor Leads Important Disaster Preparedness and Response Programs

Dr. David Abramson, Clinical Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at New York University’s College of Global Public Health (NYU GPH) has led numerous projects on disaster preparedness and response over the span of his career. His passion for disaster preparedness and response took root early in his career when he was both a paramedic and a writer for such magazines as Rolling Stone, Esquire, and Outside. What fascinates him most is how the health of a body, at the individual or population level, can dramatically improve or decline along with the severity of the damage inflicted by disaster, and then recover.

Dr. Abramson is the lead investigator on the Sandy Child and Family Health Study, a major representative population study of 1 million New Jersey residents living in Superstorm Sandy’s path. He also dove into disaster research in Louisiana immediately after Hurricane Katrina, as well as spearheaded several studies following the Deepwater Horizon Spill.

Earlier this summer, Dr. Abramson accompanied 20 NYU GPH Master of Public Health students to Havana, Cuba, where he taught his course, Public Health Emergency and Response.

He also leads the Population Impact, Recovery, and Resiliency (PiR2) Program. The premise underlying Dr. Abramson’s research program is the application of social science theory and methodology to complex population health issues associated with disaster-related or stressor-related recovery and resiliency. His Data Lab leverages the power of a number of his disaster studies: the NIH-funded longitudinal Gulf Coast Child and Family Health (G-CAFH) study of Katrina survivors; the Women’s and Their Children’s Health (WaTCH) study, an NIEHS-funded study exploring the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on children’s health in the Gulf Coast region; the Gulf Coast Population Impact Project, a foundation-funded effort exploring the individual and social impact of collective disaster stressors on children and families; and the longitudinal 1,000-household Sandy Child and Family Health Study, a representative population study of the hurricane’s effect on the population of New Jersey.