Kathryn H. Jacobsen, MPH, PhD, is a professor specializing in global health epidemiology. Her research focuses on health transitions, the shifts in public health priorities that occur as a result of socioeconomic, environmental, and other changes. Dr. Jacobsen is an expert on the global epidemiology of hepatitis A virus, and she uses meta-analyses, mathematical modeling, and other methods to examine risk factors for HAV infection and to track and predict shifts in country-level seroprevalence rates and endemicity patterns. Her long-running projects at the Mercy Hospital Research Laboratory in Sierra Leone are testing new methods for infectious disease surveillance, and they have documented the emergence of diseases like chikungunya and Ebola in the region.
Her research portfolio also includes analyses of vaccine attitudes and policies, social media and health communication, adolescent health and risk behaviors, injury epidemiology, and the growing burden from non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. She has conducted survey research in Ecuador, Guatemala, Malawi, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and other countries. She is also a contributor to the Global Burden of Disease project, a massive global effort to generate up-to-date health metrics for every country in the world in order to provide the foundation for improved health policy and practice. Her research website provides a current list of projects and publications.
At Mason, Prof. Jacobsen teaches courses in global health, infectious disease prevention and control, epidemiology, and research methods. She is the author of two popular textbooks, Introduction to Global Health and Introduction to Health Research Methods: A Practical Guide. In 2013, she was recognized with George Mason University’s Teaching Excellence Award.
Dr. Jacobsen has served as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, UNICEF, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and other international health organizations. She is a frequent health and medical commentator for print, online, and television media.
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