Sandro Galea, a physician, epidemiologist, and author, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the New York Academy of Medicine.
Born in Malta, Sandro is an immigrant twice over, moving to Canada at the age of 14, then to the United States in his late 20s. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, Sandro traveled to Somalia through Doctors Without Borders. It was there he had a defining realization. “…I got this feeling, like I’m standing on the side of the river, pulling people out. I was doing that over and over and over again. And I felt I was doing a lot of good, but I also knew that once I left, the same thing would keep happening. So I really wanted to understand who was throwing people in the river to begin with.” This experience inspired him to switch careers, "leaving the immediate gratification of medicine to labor in the vineyard of public health." Read more about Sandro’s experiences in "The Other End of the River" by Barbara Moran.
Sandro went on to receive graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University to pursue his career at “the other end of the river” — a career in public health. In 2015, he became the youngest public health dean in the country, assuming leadership of Boston University School of Public Health.
Sandro's scholarship lives at the intersection of social and psychiatric epidemiology, with a focus on the behavioral health consequences of trauma, including those caused by firearms. He has published more than 800 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters, and 18 books, and his research has been featured extensively in current periodicals and newspapers. His latest book, “Well: What We Need to Talk about When We Talk about Health”, was published by Oxford University Press in May 2019; Arianna Huffington called it “a deeply affecting work from one of the important and innovative voices in American health and medicine”.
Sandro was named one of Time magazine’s epidemiology innovators and has been listed as one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.” He is chair of the board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science, and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. He has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature, and is a regular contributor to a range of public media, about the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma. He has been listed as one of the most widely cited scholars in the social science. Sandro has received several lifetime achievement awards for his research, including the Rema Lapouse Award from the American Public Health Association and the Robert S. Laufer, PhD, Memorial Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He has published widely in the lay press, including in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times, and he is a regular contributor to Fortune. His research has been cited by these publications, as well as by BBC, Slate, WBUR, and NPR, among others.
Sandro lives in Boston with his wife and two children, who insist on playing outdoor sports despite the Boston winters. He’s a devoted Juventus fan, while his son roots for Chelsea. All of the banner images on this site come from Sandro's own photos.