Dr. Jiang He to conclude two decades as epidemiology chair

Dee Boling
Jiang He

Today, Dean Thomas LaVeist of the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine announced that Dr. Jiang He would be stepping down from his role as chair of the Department of Epidemiology.

“For twenty remarkable years,” said LaVeist, “Dr. He has led one of the most productive departments in the entire university while continuing to conduct his own groundbreaking research.”

“My time as chair of epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine has been very rewarding,” said He. “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with a group of outstanding faculty, staff, and students. Their devotion to excellence in research, teaching, and public health service inspires me to work hard every day.” 

Dr. Jiang He joined Tulane in 1997 as an assistant professor of epidemiology and became chair in 2003. Under his leadership, the Department of Epidemiology has grown exponentially:

·      From seven faculty to 27 faculty

·      Annual research funds from $2M to more than $20M

·      Annual peer-reviewed publications from fewer than 20 to more than 200

According to the NIH Reporter database, Tulane epidemiology faculty generated $18.2 million in NIH funding in 2022-23, plus they have secured grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

He himself has been incredibly productive over these 20 years. He has received more than $200 million in research funding from more than 50 different research projects and has served as principal investigator or multi-principal investigator of 24 NIH-funded projects with total costs exceeding $96 million. He has published approximately 700 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is the most cited researcher across Tulane University.

He has been honored with a number of awards over the past two decades, including Tulane’s Research Hall of Fame Award, recognition as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters, and the Teaching Excellence Award from the SPHTM Student Government Association. He also received the Oliver Fund Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring recognizing his consistent efforts to groom the next generation of researchers.

Jiang He and group
Jiang He has established a tremendous legacy at SPTHM.

Dr. He’s research interests are wide and varied, with special attention to the epidemiology and prevention of chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease. He has extensive experience in clinical trials as well as translational and implementation research, and his work has impacted populations worldwide.

Some of the high-profile grants he has been centrally involved as principal investigator include the Tulane COBRE for Clinical and Translational Research in Cardiometabolic Diseases, the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study, South American Center of Excellence in Cardiovascular Health, International Collaborative Study of Cardiovascular Disease in Asia (InterASIA), and Genetic Epidemiology Network of Salt Sensitivity (GenSalt). His current research portfolio includes more than a dozen grants, including the Implementation of Multifaceted Patient-Centered Treatment Strategies for Intensive Blood Pressure Control (IMPACTS) study (a cluster trial to control hypertension in low-income populations at federally qualified health center clinics) and the Church-based Health Intervention to Eliminate Racial Inequalities in Cardiovascular Health (CHERISH) study, a church-based intervention for eliminating cardiovascular health disparities in African Americans in New Orleans.

He will continue in numerous leadership roles at Tulane, including as director of the Tulane University Translational Science Institute, where he will focus efforts to increase clinical and translational research at Tulane, and director of the Office of Health Research. He will also continue to serve as a professor in the Department of Epidemiology as well as at the School of Medicine and will retain the designation as the Joseph S. Copes Chair.

He will remain in the role while a national search is conducted to fill the Epidemiology Department chair position.