Eric Feigl-Ding

Dr. Feigl-Ding was a panelist for the Forum’s discussion on Lead Contamination Beyond Flint.

Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding is a public health epidemiologist, nutritionist, and health economist. He is a faculty member at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, founder and Executive Director of Toxin Alert, Chief Health Economist for Microclinic International, and founder and former director of the Campaign for Cancer Prevention.

His public health work focuses on the intersection of behavioral risk factors, nutrition, environment, social networks, health economics, and health policy. He has further expertise in prevention and risks of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, China and Middle East health, conduct of randomized trials and meta-analysis, and digital technology. He has published in leading journals, including the New England Journal of MedicineJournal of the American Medical AssociationThe Lancet, and Health Policy. His 100+ publications have received 20,000 external citations (H-Index 46). He is founder and Principal Investigator of several randomized trials of health interventions in the U.S. and abroad. Altogether, his competitively awarded projects as PI/CEO/Director have received over $10 million in funding.

A Google Tech Talk keynote speaker, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, he has worked with the World Health Organization, European Commission, as a judge for the VH1 Do Something Awards, judge for the Soros Fellowship, and member of the Gates-funded Global Burden of Disease Project and US Disease Burden Collaboration.

A cancer prevention advocate and childhood tumor survivor, he founded the 6 million member online Campaign for Cancer Prevention, in association with Causes, and featured in Newsweek. In total online reach, he directed several disease prevention advocacy platforms, with 17 million members. He led the first ever direct-to-science online crowdfunding initiative, personally fundraising over $500,000 via public supporters (median 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 recognized in the New York Times.

Noted for his data innovations at a Google Tech Talk, he led a ‘Moneyball’ study of Major League Baseball players across 130-years and over 500,000+ MLB player-years of data, which highlighted the mortality risks of obesity and body size in athletes, and excess risks among high BMI home-run hitters.

He also founded Toxin Alert, the first geo-social network and public alert system for drinking water toxic contamination. He established the Toxin Alert Drinking Water Database Map for informing the public about water hazards in communities, and launched the ‘Safe Water for Schools’ crowdfunding campaign for 130,000+ schools nationwide.

He is also the inventor of several scientific innovations: the 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, and development of political and economic indicators for the Evidenced Formal Coverage Index for universal healthcare coverage.

Among notable honors, he was awarded: the 2008 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, 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”, and his work recognized as ‘Best of the American Heart Association’, thrice, in 2013, 2014, 2015. He has been featured and appeared in The New York Times, Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, NewsweekChronicle of Philanthropy, and among three dozen newspapers/magazines. He has provided frequent media commentary on national radio and international television programs. He was also profiled in several books including: CauseWired (Tom Watson 2008), Zilch (Nancy Lublin 2010), Shift & Reset (Brian Reich 2011), and Thinfluence (Walter Willett 2014).

He attended The Johns Hopkins University, graduating with Honors in Public Health and Phi Beta Kappa at age 21. He completed his dual doctorate in epidemiology and doctorate in nutrition at age 23 from Harvard University, and completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health. Teaching at Harvard for over 13 years, he has lectured in more than a dozen graduate and undergraduate courses, for which he received the Derek Bok Distinction in Teaching Award from Harvard College.