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Sylvia and Harold Halpert Professorship in Mental Health

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Established in 2009 through a commitment made in 1998 by Harold P. and Sylvia Halpert


HAROLD P. HALPERT, DrPH ’66, MPH ’64  (1913-2007) came to Johns Hopkins as a graduate student from the National Institute of Mental Health, where he directed a research grants program to develop coordinated approaches to the treatment of the mentally ill.

Dr. Halpert and his wife, SYLVIA HALPERT, were interested in mental health issues and committed to furthering research to understand and treat mental health problems. Sylvia Halpert, who held a PhD in social research, died in 1998 just after the Halpert’s made their commitment for this professorship. She was employed for many years at what is now Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC, taught at Howard University, and maintained a private practice in psychotherapy.

Held by M. Daniele Fallin

fallindaniM. DANIELE (DANI) FALLIN, PhD, is the second Sylvia and Harold Halpert Professor in Mental Health and chair of the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology at the University of Florida and completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Genetic Epidemiology at Case Western Reserve University. She is internationally known for her leadership in understanding the genetic epidemiology of conditions associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism spectrum disorders, and in the integration of genetic susceptibility and environmental risk. Her research focuses on methodology for population and family-based tests of genetic associations with human disease. Working with the Center for Excellence in Genome Sciences, she seeks to expand the field of epigenetic epidemiology and discover the epigenetic contributions to human disease. Dr. Fallin started her career at the Bloomberg School in 2000 as assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and was the Director of Genetic Epidemiology in that department until her move to the Department of Mental Health in 2013. She currently holds joint appointments as professor in the school’s Departments of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry.