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Christopher Murray

Director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Christopher J.L. Murray, MD, DPhil, is a Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington and Institute Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). A physician and health economist, his work has led to the development of a range of new methods and empirical studies 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 (GBD) approach, 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 collaborative of almost 500 researchers from 50 countries that produced the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010). This latest iteration of the 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 focused on tuberculosis control and the development with Dr. Alan Lopez of the GBD 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 continues to be 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 served as the Executive Director of the Evidence and Information for Policy Cluster while Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland was Director-General. He went on to become 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, from 2003 until 2007.

Dr. Murray has authored or edited 14 books, many book chapters, and 200 journal articles in internationally peer-reviewed publications. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Science degrees from Harvard University, a DPhil in International Health Economics from Oxford University, and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School.