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Subramanian S V

Associate Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health

Department of Society, Human Development, and Health

677 Huntington Avenue
Kresge Building 7th Floor, 716
Boston, Massachusetts 02115-6096
Phone: 617.432.6299

Other Affiliations

Faculty Associate, The Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University


Ph.D. (Geography), 2000, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom.

M.Phil. (Geography), 1993, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India.

M.A. (Geography), 1991, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India.

B.A. (Honours, Geography), 1989, University of Delhi, India.


S V Subramanian, (‘Subu' or ‘Subra') is an Associate Professor in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).  He is also a faculty associate at the Institute of Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University and is a member of the Steering Committee for the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.  He has a PhD in Geography from the University of Portsmouth, UK with specialization in multilevel statistical methods.  His undergraduate and masters training was in Human Geography, with specialization in Urban and Regional Development and Planning from the University of Delhi.  Subu was a recipient of the 1999-2000 MacArthur Leadership Program in Population and Development Studies based at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.  In 2005, he received the National Institutes of Health Career Development Award to pursue research on the social and contextual determinants of asthma.

Subu's research expertise is in the following areas:

  • Understanding the role of geographic, spatial and institutional contexts (e.g., neighborhoods, schools, workplaces) in influencing population health;
  • Empirical multilevel examination of the pathways between macro socioeconomic environments (e.g., income inequality and social capital) and population health and health inequalities;
  • Addressing the methodological challenges to modeling causal contextual and neighborhood effects;
  • Investigating the social determinants of health in India using multilevel and lifecourse perspectives;
  • Developing comparative perspectives on socioeconomic and geographic axes of health stratification in different societies.

Subu has published over 250 original articles and book chapters in the field of social epidemiology, applied multilevel methods, and health inequalities in India.  His research has been published in high impact international journals including BMJ, JAMA, PLoS Medicine, The Lancet, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Pediatrics, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, International Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, and Social Science and Medicine.  He has co-written a book entitled, Epidemiology: an introduction, and co-edited a book on Social Capital and Health.

Subu was amongst the first at Harvard University to develop a course on the concept and application of multilevel statistical methods, which he has been successfully teaching at the HSPH since 2001.  He has lectured and conducted workshops on multilevel models in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and the US.  Subu has also co-developed a training manual to assist researchers in the concept and application of multilevel models using the MLwiN program.  In terms of mentorship, he has advised over 75 masters, doctoral and postdoctoral students as mentor, academic advisor or dissertation committee member.

Subu is a Senior Editor of the international journal Social Science & Medicine.  He is also an editorial consultant to The Lancet.  Subu is a permanent member of the National Institutes of Health Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB) Study Section.  He has served as an external reviewer for all the major journals and for several major funding institutions in the US (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Gillings Innovation Laboratory) and abroad (Wellcome Trust, UK; Health Development Agency, UK; Economic and Social Research Council, UK; The Swedish Research Council, Sweden; Marsden Fund Royal Society of New Zealand, NZ; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada).

At HSPH, Subu currently serves as a member of the Committee on Educational Policy, Faculty Council, Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee, Committee on the Concerns of Women Faculty, Retreat Committee, and Child Care Committee.



Harvard University, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health

The mission of the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health (SHDH) is to improve health throughout the lifespan, including a special emphasis on children and adolescents. This mission is achieved through research to identify the social and behavioral determinants of health, development...


Kawachi, Ichiro

Professor of Social Epidemiology Chair, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health...

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