Lecturer to Explore Global Burden of Kidney Disease

Christopher J.L. Murray

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Aseminal figure in developing the approach to quantifying the magnitude of health losses known as the “global burden of disease” will deliver a state-of-the-art lecture on its applicability to kidney disease. Christopher J.L. Murray, MD, DPhil, will speak on “Measuring the Global Burden of Kidney Disease to Improve Public Health” on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Dr. Murray is professor of global health and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle. A physician and health economist, he has developed a range of new methods to strengthen the basis for population health measurement, measure the performance of public health and medical care systems, and assess the cost-effectiveness of health technologies. IHME is focused on the challenges of measurement and evaluation in the areas of health outcomes; health services; financial and human resources; evaluations of policies, programs, and systems; and decision analytics.

Dr. Murray is a founder of the global burden of disease concept, a systematic effort to quantify the comparative magnitude of health loss due to diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and geography over time. He led the collaboration of almost 500 researchers from 50 countries that produced the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. This effort generated nearly 1 billion estimates of health outcomes for 187 countries and 21 regions and was published in The Lancet in December 2012.

In his earlier work, Dr. Murray and his team focused on tuberculosis control and the development of the global burden of disease methods and applications. As part of this work, they developed a new metric to compare death and disability from various diseases and the contribution of risk factors to the overall burden of disease in developing and developed countries. This pioneering effort has been hailed as a major landmark in public health and an important foundation for policy formulation and priority setting.

From 1998 to 2003, Dr. Murray worked at the World Health Organization (WHO) where he was executive director of the Evidence and Information for Policy Cluster. From 2003 to 2007, he was director of the Harvard University Initiative for Global Health and the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, as well as the Richard Saltonstall Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Murray has authored or edited 14 books, many book chapters, and 200 journal articles. He holds a BA from Harvard University, a DPhil in international health economics from Oxford University, and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School.