Twenty-five experts from around the world gathered in Boston recently to discuss the impact of chronic stress stemming from low socioeconomic status and discrimination on health disparities and premature death. The conference was organized by Michelle Williams, Stephen B. Kay Family Professor of Public Health, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), and director of the Harvard Catalyst’s Health Disparities Research Program, which sponsored the symposium, held October 17-18, 2013 at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

“The study of stress is a legitimate, cross-cutting area for human health and to address health disparities. This symposium is a continuation of a discussion we’ve been having for many years, even decades, and we look forward to advancing this important area in newly-formed working groups,” Williams said in a November 18, 2013 HMS News article.

HSPH Dean Julio Frenk, T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, was among the speakers from HSPH, Harvard Medical School (HMS), and other national and international universities. Keynote speakers were Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, and Charles A. Nelson III of HMS and Boston Children’s Hospital. See program for speakers and topics.

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