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  • Professor Adjunct in the Child Study Center

    Walter Gilliam is the executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute and the Richard D. Holland Presidential Chair in Early Childhood Development at the University of Nebraska. He is a tenured professor at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and a professor adjunct at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine, where he previously was the Elizabeth Mears & House Jameson Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology and director of Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. He is vice president of ZERO TO THREE; a past president of Child Care Aware of America; board treasurer for the Irving Harris Foundation; a director for First Children’s Finance, All Our Kin, and the National Workforce Registry Alliance; a former senior advisor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children; and a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Gilliam was co-recipient of the prestigious 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education for the coauthored book, A Vision for Universal Preschool Education. His 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. 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). Gilliam has actively provided consultation to state and federal decision-makers in the United States and other countries (such as the People’s Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates) and frequently provides testimony and briefings before Congress on issues related to early care and education.
  • Assistant Professor

    John 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.
  • Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease); Associate Medical Director , Infection Prevention ; Affiliated Faculty , Yale Institute for Global Health; Interim Section Chief, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics

    Dr. Thomas Murray is a Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Infectious Disease where he serves as the Fellowship Director 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
  • Dr. 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.
  • Instructor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

    Dr. Patel is originally from Florida, where he completed his undergraduate studies and attended medical school. He graduated among the top of his class and was inducted into the AOA Honor Medical Society. Upon graduating from medical school, he ventured to the New England area for his medical training. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Brown University School of Medicine and a fellowship in infectious disease at Yale University School of Medicine. He works under Dr. Saad Omer to study vaccine policy and vaccine hesitancy. His research has been published in numerous leading medical journals, including JAMA Network Open, Pediatrics, and Clinical Infectious Disease, and has also been featured in various news outlets, including Bloomberg, USA Today, and WSHU. During his free time, he enjoys working out, 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 Health

    Dr. 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:
  • Executive Director, Tobin Center

    David 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; Director, Pediatric Vaccine Trials Program ; Lead, Network of Vaccine Initiatives; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health; Member, Center for Infection and Immunity

    Inci Yildirim, MD, PhD, is a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a vaccinologist whose clinical work and research focus 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 (YSPH). She is also an affiliated faculty at Yale Institute of Global Health and Yale Center for Infection and Immunity. She serves as the Medical Director of Transplant Infectious Diseases at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Dr. Yildirim is the founding Director of Yale Pediatric Vaccine Trials Program. She teaches EMD546 Vaccines and Vaccine Preventable Diseases course at YSPH.

Fellows and Associates

  • Doctoral Student, Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State University

    Ms. Klotz (she/her/hers) is currently a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Studies, with a concentration in Child Development, at Michigan State University. Ms. Klotz’s program of research focuses on how to reduce risk and bolster resilience by identifying and promoting protective factors for children and families facing adversity. She is interested in understanding how early experiences of maltreatment affect relationships with a resilience-based lens of promoting healthy development in young children, including by reducing stress and supporting the psychosocial wellbeing of caregivers. Given the importance of relationships for children’s development, she is interested in further understanding what aspects of relationships (or relational quality) might buffer experiences of trauma, and the intergenerational effects thereof. Additionally, Ms. Klotz is interested in the development and promotion of empathy and self-concept in childhood and early adolescence. 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.
  • Project Coordinator, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

    Mehr 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.