Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Psychology; Director, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy
- Walter S. Gilliam is the Elizabeth Mears & House Jameson Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center and Director of Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Dr. Gilliam is Vice President of ZERO TO THREE, a past president of Child Care Aware of America; a board director for the Irving Harris Foundation, First Children’s Finance, and All Our Kin; and a former Senior Advisor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Dr. Gilliam is co-recipient of the prestigious 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education for the coauthored book, A Vision for Universal Preschool Education. Dr. Gilliam’s research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services, the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness, and effective methods for reducing classroom behavior problems and preschool expulsion, as well as issues of COVID-19 transmission, vaccination, and health and safety promotion in early childhood settings. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. Dr. Gilliam has led national analyses of state-funded prekindergarten policies and mandates, how prekindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on methods to improve early education quality. His work frequently has been covered in major national and international news outlets for print (e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, LA Times), radio (e.g., NPR), and television (e.g., CNN Headline News, NBC TODAY Show, CBS Early Show, ABC Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, FOX News). Dr. Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers in the U.S. and other countries (such as the People’s Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates) and frequently provides U.S. Congressional testimony and briefings on issues related to early care and education. https://medicine.yale.edu/childstudy/zigler/https://socialemotionalchild.org/
Director, Yale Institute for Global Health; Associate Dean (Global Health Research), Yale School of Medicine; Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases); Professor of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health; Adjunct Professor, Yale School of NursingDr. Omer has conducted studies in the United States, Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Australia. Dr Omer’s research portfolio includes epidemiology of respiratory viruses such as influenza, RSV, and - more recently - COVID-19; clinical trials to estimate efficacy of maternal and/or infant influenza, pertussis, polio, measles and pneumococcal vaccines; and trials to evaluate drug regimens to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Moreover, he has conducted several studies on interventions to increase immunization coverage and acceptance. Dr Omer’s work has been cited in global and country-specific policy recommendations and has informed clinical practice and health legislation in several countries. He has directly mentored over 100 junior faculty, clinical and research post-doctoral fellows, and PhD and other graduate students.Dr. Omer has published widely in peer reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, British Medical Journal, Pediatrics, American Journal of Public Health, Science, and Nature and is the author of op-eds for publications such as the New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post. Dr Omer has received multiple awards –including the Maurice Hilleman Award by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases for his work on the impact of maternal influenza immunization on respiratory illness in infants younger than 6 months-for whom there is no vaccine. He has served on several advisory panels including the U.S. National Vaccine Advisory Committee, Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria -Vaccine Innovation Working Group, and WHO Expert Advisory Group for Healthcare Worker Vaccination. He has also served as an academic affiliate of the Office of Evaluation Sciences –formerly known as the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team.
Assistant ProfessorJohn Eric Humphries is an assistant professor of economics at Yale University. His research focuses on topics in labor economics and applied microeconomics. In particular, he studies how educational and career dynamics are affected by public policy. Much of his work considers how policies affect the acquisition of human capital and the role of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in the labor market. His publications include work on the GED high school equivalency exam, the returns to education, and the role of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in educational and economic outcomes.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease)Dr. Thomas Murray is an Associate Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Infectious Disease, and the Associate Medical Director for Infection Prevention at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital. He is also the Medical Director of the Winchester Pediatric Tuberculosis Clinic. After receiving his MD and PhD from the University of Connecticut, he completed pediatric residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. He remained at Yale, completing fellowships in both pediatric infectious diseases and medical microbiology and returned to the faculty of the Yale Medical School in 2018. He studies infection prevention and disinfection in the healthcare and home environment as well as host pathogen interactions during pulmonary infections with an emphasis on children with Cystic Fibrosis
Instructor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)Dr. Patel is originally from Florida where he completed his undergraduate studies and attended medical school. Upon graduating medical school he ventured up to the New England area for his medical training. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Brown University School of Medicine and fellowship in infectious disease at Yale University School of Medicine. He works under Dr. Saad Omer to study vaccine policy and vaccine hesitancy. During his free time he enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and watching documentaries. He is also an avid reader and is always on the lookout for a good biography recommendation.
Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health); Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global HealthDr. Pollitt’s research explores the human exposome through characterisation of environmental and biological samples using analytical and mass spectrometry (MS) techniques. Her group has developed various mass spectrometry (ICP-MS, LC-MS and GC-MS) to measure exposure to complex mixtures of trace elements and organic compounds. She has applied these exposure assessment methods in numerous in epidemiological studies. Visit our lab website: pollittlab.weebly.com
Executive Director, Tobin CenterDavid Wilkinson is the founding Executive Director of the Tobin Center for Economic Policy at Yale.Wilkinson is a former senior White House official and has served two Connecticut Governors in cabinet-level roles. His work has contributed meaningfully to fields of data-driven and evidence-based policy in the United States. At the federal and state level, he has helped design, pass and implement laws and policies founded in research and enabled by data-intensive social science. Wilkinson has won national recognition for advancing innovations in government, which have won broad, bipartisan support.Wilkinson was most recently Connecticut’s Chief Performance Officer, leading statewide efforts to advance data-enabled, results-driven government. Previously, as Commissioner of Early Childhood, he directed one of the state’s largest agencies, deploying or leveraging annual funding of nearly half a billion dollars in support of approximately 200,000 children and families. As Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation, Wilkinson led efforts in the Obama White House to identify and scale better, more effective government services, advancing Presidential priorities that strengthened communities and enabled upward economic mobility. In his White House and state cabinet roles, he worked closely with the Child Study Center, which he has described as deeply impactful on his policy work. His efforts at the federal and state levels have received coverage from more than 100 national and local media outlets, including The New York Times, Time Magazine, and the Associated Press. Wilkinson is a is a graduate of Yale Law School. He is a Senior Fellow at Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease) and of Public Health (Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases); Medical Director, Transplant Infectious Diseases; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global HealthInci Yildirim, MD, PhD, is a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a vaccinologist whose clinical work and research focuses on infections and vaccine induced immune response in children with hematopoietic stem cell or organ transplantation and sickle cell disease.Dr. Yildirim is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Global Health in the Section of Infectious Diseases and Global Health and an Associate Professor of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale School of Public Health. She is also an affiliated faculty at Yale Institute of Global Health. She serves as the Medical Director of Transplant Infectious Diseases at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.
Fellows and Associates
Postdoctoral AssociateAyse Cobanoglu is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. She completed her Ph.D. in educational psychology and quantitative methods at the University at Buffalo. Before beginning her doctoral studies in the United States, she earned an M.A. in educational administration and a Ph.D. candidacy in the early childhood program from Marmara University, Istanbul. During her graduate studies, she completed projects for RAND Corporation and American Institutes for Research using large-scale databases and quantitative methods, including structural equation modeling and multilevel modeling. Dr. Cobanoglu is broadly interested in educational inequalities and ways to reduce achievement and learning gaps starting from early years.
Statistician EntryJad A. Elharake is a Project Manager at the Yale Institute for Global Health, coordinating studies related to infectious diseases, vaccines, social and health behaviors, national and global health policy, and health disparities and inequities. Several of his projects are focused on various populations, including refugees, Middle Eastern and North African populations, health care workers, pregnant women, child care providers, socially-disadvantaged communities, and low-income groups. Jad graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor in Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience, and earned his Master in Public Health in Health Policy & Global Health from the Yale School for Public Health.
Hospital ResidentPediatrics (2020-2023)
Doctoral Student, Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State UniversityMs. Klotz (she/her) is currently a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Studies, with a concentration in child development at Michigan State University. Ms. Klotz’s research focuses on studying how to reduce risk and promote resilience and other protective factors for children and families facing adversity. She is interested in how early experiences of maltreatment affect relationships and promoting young children’s development by reducing stress and supporting the psychosocial wellbeing of their caregivers. Prior to pursuing her PhD at MSU, Ms. Klotz was the Research Coordinator at the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at the Yale Child Study Center. She graduated summa cum laude from State University of New York, College at Geneseo with a dual B.A. in Psychology and Sociology.
- Aiden Lee is an economics major at Yale College graduating in 2022. His research interests in economics include topics of labor, health, and industrial organization.
Administrative AssistantGitta is an Administrative Assistant at the Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. She provides administrative support to Dr. Walter Gilliam and Dr. Chin Reyes, and contributes to grant research and report writing. Gitta completed her B.A. in Communications at New York University, after studying linguistics at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Germany. Prior to joining the Zigler team, she worked at Gesell Program in Early Childhood at Yale, New Beginnings Family Academy, and Queensland University of Technology in Australia.
Project Coordinator, Columbia University Mailman School of Public HealthMehr Shafiq works as Project Coordinator at Columbia University. She also works as a Research Associate at the Yale Institute for Global Health. Her focus is on public health research methods, particularly in quantitative approaches. She has a B.S. in Biology from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan.