Dr. ERIC FEIGL-DING is a public health advocate, and profesionally an epidemiologist, nutritionist, and health economist. He is a faculty at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, founder of ToxinAlert.org, Chief Health Economist for Microclinic International, and founder of the 6-million person Campaign for Cancer Prevention.
He founded Toxin Alert as the first geo-social network and public alert system for drinking water toxic contamination, as featured in WIRED. He established the Toxin Alert Drinking Water Database for informing the public about water hazards in communities, and launched the 'Safe Water for Schools' crowdfunding campaign for 130,000+ schools nationwide. For his work, he was awarded the 2017 Mark V. Anderson Leadership Award from Sigma Chi Foundation.
A childhood survivor and cancer prevention advocate, he was called one of the 'Facebook philanthropists', founding the 6 million member online Campaign for Cancer Prevention, featured in Newsweek. In total online reach, he directed disease prevention advocacy platforms with over 17 million members on Facebook Causes. He led the first ever direct-to-science online crowdfunding initiative, fundraising over $500,000 (median public donation $15) for medical research, and featured in the New York Times.
In 2006, he was noted for his role as a whistleblower and leading a key two-year-long investigation into the controversial drug safety and risk data of Vioxx®, Celebrex®, and Bextra® that drew FDA and national attention. Highlighted and express-published in JAMA, as chief corresponding author, he was also recognized for his role in the New York Times, and in the book Poison Pills: The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal.
Focusing on the intersection of nutrition, epidemiology, health economics, and public policy, he currently works on evidence guideline reforms for nutrition and hunger, and nationwide studies of food spending, food stamps, and diet quality in the US. He is also co-Principal Investigator (PI) and founder of the ‘Texts for Healthy Teens’ program for nutrition education. He is also co-PI of a randomized trial of social network-based nutrition and health interventions in Jordan. Notably, he co-developed the social network obesity/diabetes intervention used by the UN and currently serving over 600,000 people worldwide.
He has published in leading journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, and Health Policy. His 100+ publications have received 30,000 citations (H-Index 55). Altogether, his competitively awarded projects as PI/CEO/Director have received over $10 million in funding. A World Economic Forum Global Shaper, he has chaired committees with the European Commission, and served as member of the Global Burden of Disease Project and US Disease Burden Collaboration.
He also previously led a large 'moneyball' study of Major League Baseball. Invited to Google Tech Talk, his study comprising 500,000+ player-years of data over 130-years demonstrated for the first time the excess mortality risks of body mass index among athletes, especially higher risks among home-run hitters.
He is also the inventor of several scientific innovations: the Food Expenditure Substitution model for nutrition economics, Lipophilic Index and Lipophilic Load for fatty acids, the Spaghetti Plot method for non-linear meta-analysis, the Isotemporal Substitution risk model for time displacement causality for physical activity.
Among notable honors, he was awarded: the 2012 Outstanding Young Leader Award from the Boston Chamber of Commerce, the 2014 Global Health Project of the Year Prize by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, the 2015 American Heart Association Scott Grundy Excellence Award, named among Craig Newmark’s “16 People and Organizations Changing the World in 2012”, the 2008 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, and his work recognized as ‘Best of the American Heart Association’, thrice, in 2013, 2014, 2015.
He has been featured and cited among 5 dozen news outlets. He is a frequent media commentator on national radio and international television with over 2 dozen appearances. He was also personally profiled in several books including (click to read): CauseWired (Watson, 2008), Poison Pills (Nesi, 2008), Zilch (Lublin, 2010), The Networked Nonprofit (Kanter and Fine, 2010), Shift & Reset (Reich, 2011), and Thinfluence (Willett, 2014).
A proud native of Pennsylvania, he graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with Honors in Public Health and Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his dual PhD in epidemiology and PhD in nutrition at age 23 from Harvard University. Teaching at Harvard for over 13 years, he has advised and mentored 2 dozen students, and lectured in more than a dozen graduate and undergraduate courses, for which he received the Derek Bok Distinction in Teaching Award from Harvard College.