Michael B. Bracken, PhD, MPH, FACE

Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) and Professor of Neurology and of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences; Co-Director, Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology

Research Interests


Public Health Interests

Adolescent Health

Research Organizations


School of Public Health: Chronic Disease Epidemiology

Research Summary

Professor Bracken has published some 400 articles and chapters, providing major contributions in the fields of perinatal epidemiolology, clinical trials and evidence–based medicine. His 1984 textbook, Perinatal Epidemiology, defined the field of perinatal epidemiology, predicting the role of fetal and early childhood illness on later chronic disease.

Bracken was involved in the discoveries of CFH polymorphism for age–related macular degeneration, the first study to successfully use genome–wide association methodologies and HapMap to identify a disease polymorphism. Professor Bracken is a founder of the evidence–based medicine paradigm. He co–edited one of the first evidence–based texts, Effective Care of the Newborn Infant, forming the basis for the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. In 2007, the British Medical Journal named the book one of the influential texts in evidence–based medicine.

Extensive Research Description

The first randomized trials for evaluating therapies for acute spinal cord injury were designed and directed by Professor Bracken. He is a consultant for international corporations and government agencies and his government service includes NIH study sections and Council. He presently sits on the NIH Expert Panel on Genes Environment and Health.

  • Identification of genetic polymorphisms that increase disease susceptibility and their interaction with lifestyle risk factors.
  • Co-Founder and Co-Editor, Cochrane Neonatal Review Group, Cochrane Collaboration.

Selected Publications

  • Bracken MB. Risk, Chance and Causation: Investigating the Origins and Treatment of Disease. New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2013. (The American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence PROSE 2013, Honorable Mention; CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 in the Health Sciences Category.)
  • Dal-Re R, Bracken MB, Ioannidis JPA. Call to improve transparency of trials of non-regulated interventions. BMJ 2015; 350h1323 doi: 10.1136, PMID: 25820265.
  • Pound P, Bracken MB. Is animal research sufficiently evidence-based to be a cornerstone of biomedical research? BMJ 2014; 348:g3387, PMID: 24879816. Linked editorial in same issue. Story in Nature 2014; 509: Issue 7505.
  • Dal-Re R, Ioannidis JP, Bracken MB, Buffler PA, Chan A-W, Franco EL, La Vecchia C, Weiderpass E. Prospective registration of observational research: making it a reality. Science Translational Medicine 2014; 6:224cm1, PMID: 24553383.
  • Bracken MB, Baker D, Cauley JA, Chambers C, Culhane J, Dabelea D, Dearborn D, Drews- Botsch CD, Dudley DJ, Durkin M, Entwisle B, Flick L, Hale, D, Holl J, Hovell M, Hudak M, Paneth N, Specker B, Wilhelm M, Wyatt S. New models for large prospective studies: is there a risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? American Journal of Epidemiology 2013; 177:285–289, PMID: 23296354.
  • Risnes KR, Vatten LJ, Baker JL, Jameson K, Sovio U, Kajantie E, Osler M, Morley R, Jokela M, Painter RC, Sundh V, Jacobsen GW, Eriksson J, Sørensen TIA, Bracken MB. Birthweight and mortality in adulthood; a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology 40:647–661, 2011, PMID: 21324938.
  • DeWan AT, Triche EW, Xu X, Hsu L-I, Zhao C, Belanger K, Hellenbrand K, Willis-Owen SAG, Moffatt M, Cookson WOC, Weiss ST, Gauderman WJ, Baurley JW, Gilliland F, Wilk JB, O’Connor GT, Strachan DP, Hoh J, Bracken MB. PDE11A associations with asthma: results of a genome-wide association scan. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 126:871-873, 2010, PMID: 20920776. PMCID: PMC3133448.
  • Klein RJ, Zeiss C, Chew EY, Tsai J, Sackler RR, Haynes C, Henning AK, SanGiovanni JP, Mane SM, Mayne ST, Bracken MB, Ferris FL, Ott J, Barnstable C, Hoh J. Complement factor H polymorphism in age-related macular degeneration. Science 308:385-389, 2005, PMID: 15761122. PMCID: PMC1512523.
  • Bracken MB, Shepard MJ, Holford TR, Leo-Summers L, Aldrich EF, Fazl M, Fehlings M, Herr DL, Hitchon PW, Marshall LF, Nockels RP, Pascale V, Perot Jr. PL, Piepmeier J, Sonntag VKH, Wagner F, Wilberger JE, Winn HR, Young W. Methylprednisolone administered for 24 or 48 hours, or 48 hour tirilazad mesylate, in the treatment of acute spinal cord injury; results of the third national acute spinal cord injury randomized controlled trial. Journal American Medical Association 277:1597-1604, 1997, PMID: 9168289.
  • Bracken MB, Shepard MJ, Collins, WF, Holford TR, Young W, Baskin DS, Eisenberg HM, Flamm E, Leo Summers L, Maroon J, Marshall LF, Perot PL, Jr., Piepmeier J, Sonntag VKH, Wagner FC, Wilberger JE, Winn HR. A Randomized, controlled trial of methylprednisolone or naloxone in the treatment of acute spinal cord injury: Results of the Second National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study. New England Journal of Medicine 322:1405 1411, 1990, PMID: 2278545.

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Contact Info

Michael B. Bracken, PhD, MPH, FACE
Office Location
Center Perinatal Pediatric Environmental Epidemiology1 Church Street, Ste 6th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Yale School of Public HealthPO Box 208034
60 College Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8034

Center Perinatal Pediatric Environmental Epidemiology

Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology