Faculty Profile

George Kaplan

George A. Kaplan, PhD

  • Thomas Francis Collegiate Professor Emeritus of Public Health
  • Professor Emeritus, Epidemiology
  • Founder, Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health (CSEPH)

Kaplan became Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan in 1997 and was Chair of the Department from 1997-2003. Professor Kaplan also is the founding and former Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health and the first Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. He has taught at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, and from 1981 to 1997 was Chief of the Human Population Laboratory of the California Department of Health Services where he directed the landmark Alameda County Study.

Additional Affiliations:
Research Professor, SRC

  • PhD, Cornell University, 1968
  • BA, Johns Hopkins University, 1964

Research Interests:
Kaplan is interested in how social divides become health divides.

Research Projects:
Recent studies by Kaplan and his colleagues have detailed the cumulative cost of socioeconomic disadvantage on health and functional outcomes in the elderly and the role of equity in the distribution of income on the overall health of populations. Both areas of research are directed at establishing the close linkage between economic policy and health policy, thereby illustrating how epidemiologic methods can be used to guide research and policy in this area. Professor Kaplan and colleagues have also made important contributions in demonstrating the importance of behavioral and psychosocial factors in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and its consequences. Advancing the epidemiologic study of aging, he and his colleagues published the first studies on long-term predictors of both successful aging and of frailty, and have continued to demonstrate in their studies that it is possible to extend both quality and length of life. Over the last ten years, Professor Kaplan has helped build bridges between researchers interested in complex systems and those interested in population health and health disparities. He currently is the Chair of the Network on Complexity, Inequality and Health (NICH), an NIH-funded interdisciplinary research network.

Areas of Expertise: Health Equity,  Modeling,  Social Epidemiology