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Laura Kubzansky, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Lee Kum Kee Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Kubzansky received her Ph.D. (social psychology) from the University of Michigan, and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in social epidemiology as well as a M.P.H. at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Kubzansky has published extensively on the role of psychological and social factors in health, with a particular focus on the effects of stress and emotion on heart disease. Widely recognized for her work demonstrating that emotions play an important role in the development of a number of disease outcomes including cardiovascular disease, lung function decline, and cancer, she is a frequent speaker on the topic.
Two active related lines of research are: 1) studying whether stress, emotion and other psychological factors may help to explain the relationship between social status and health; 2) studying whether positive psychological functioning and positive aspects of the social environment may lead to greater longevity and healthier aging. Other research projects and interests include studying the biological mechanisms linking emotions, social relationships, and health; relationships between early childhood environments, resilience, and healthy aging; how interactions between stress and environmental exposures (e.g., lead, air pollution) influence health; pathways by which education and cognitive performance influence adult mental and physical health outcomes over the life course.
She has served as Associate Site Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program at Harvard University, is currently Co-Director for the JPB Environmental Health Fellows Program at Harvard University (providing training in research on social and physical determinants of health relevant to underserved communities), and co-Director of the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. She has served as Senior Advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson funded Positive Health Research program, as a member of the Healthy People 2020 Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being Workgroup, and of the American Heart Association, Science of Well-Being Expert Panel. She is PI or co-investigator on a wide variety of grants funded through the Veterans Administration, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, EPA, NIH and others.



Theory of Well-Being