Mark Cullen, MD

Professor of Medicine, Stanford

Mark Cullen devoted the first two decades of his professional career to the study of major occupational hazards in a series of clinical-epidemiologic projects based on data collected at the Yale Clinical Research Center (now CTSA). At the same time, Cullen established and built an Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program exploiting the clinical, biologic and analytic resources of that unique medical school environment. During this period, he served on the OH study section and numerous public and private occupational health advisory positions including NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors, the MacArthur Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health, and the Institute of Medicine Health Science Policy Board.

Since 1997, his research has morphed further towards larger-dataset social and environmental epidemiology. The single largest effort involves an ongoing, trans-disciplinary study of disease, disability and death of a large international cohort of aluminum workers. The “Alcoa Study” has resulted to date in over 60 papers and trained over 40 doctoral and post-doctoral students in medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, and economics.

In 2009, Cullen was recruited to Stanford as Chief of General Medical Disciplines and has become increasingly involved in studies of health disparities in the US and globally, including: 1) a study of health disparities among Asian subpopulations migrating to the US; 2) adequacy of predictive models of the evolution of non-communicable chronic disease in LMICs, with empiric studies ongoing in Bangladesh 3) assessment of the social causes and health implications of sex differences in mortality, both in developing and developed societies; and 4) studies looking new methods for assessing the contributions of environment in gene-environment interactions. For this work, he was nominated as one of the few non-economists as a faculty research fellow at NBER. In April 2015, he was named inaugural Director of the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences. During his six years at Stanford, Cullen has mentored 7 new K-awardees, and numerous post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty in occupational epidemiology, biostatistics, informatics, economics, and demography.