Barry R. Bloom, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The University annually awards one or more honorary doctorates to mark its founding, a celebration called “Dies Natalis.” Last year’s awardees were Professor Sir Clive W.J. Granger, who shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Economics, and Professor Arnold Zellner, a leading American economist and statistician.

Dean Bloom, an internationally recognized expert in immunology and infectious diseases, is a leader in global health policy as a member of scientific advisory boards for the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, independent foundations, and as a former consultant to the White House on international health policy. He continues to pursue an active interest in bench science as the principal investigator of a laboratory researching the immune response to tuberculosis, a disease that claims more than two million people each year. Dean Bloom is also Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Professor of Public Health.

In a letter to Dean Bloom, Professor Steven W.J. Lamberts, Rector Magnificus at Erasmus University Rotterdam, wrote that the Doctorate Board was conferring the honorary doctorate, “in recognition of your outstanding studies on the immune response in tuberculosis, in particular of its genetic control, and on your work on various techniques in vaccine development. You are also honored for your towering contribution to international health and leadership in public health education.” The position of Rector Magnificus is comparable to a university’s Chancellor.   

The ceremony was scheduled to take place at Erasmus University Rotterdam today, November 8, 2007. Dean Bloom will speak on “Agendas and Architecture of Global Health.”

Dean Bloom is a graduate of Amherst College and earned a doctoral degree in immunology from Rockefeller University. He is a past president of the American Association of Immunologists and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. He received the first Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Research in Infectious Diseases in 1991, shared the Novartis Award in Immunology in 1998, and was the recipient of the Robert Koch Gold Medal for lifetime research in infectious diseases in 1999.   

Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies awards prizes