Dr. Satchit Balsari is Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and in the department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Balsari’s research and teaching is focused on complex humanitarian emergencies and digital health implementation science in resource poor settings. He has worked with populations affected by disaster, war and the COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq, South Sudan, Jordan, Haiti, Puerto Rico and across South Asia. In the most vulnerable communities in the world, his team has leveraged cutting edge digital tools and citizen science to advance public health planning, advocacy and response.
The Balsari Lab collaborates directly with populations in distress, humanitarian response agencies, civil society organizations, governments, and international agencies, to reduce the information asymmetry that threatens to exclude the poor and disadvantaged from decisions that will impact their lives. Dr. Balsari co-directs CrisisReady.io, a research-response platform that builds data-driven decision tools for local communities and response agencies affected by disasters globally. Dr. Balsari is founding director of the tri-institute Climate and Human Health fellowship at Harvard, leads the climate platform at the Mittal South Asia Institute, and is co-investigator on the Salata Institute’s inaugural interfaculty cluster grant on Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia.
He is affiliate faculty at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at HMS, the Center for International Development at the Kennedy School, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Harvard Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, the Harvard Data Science Initiative, and the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights.
Prior signature initiatives include EMcounter (a customizable, portable digital surveillance tool, the latest iteration of which was used at the world’s largest mass gathering, the Kumbh Mela in India) and Voices, a crowd-sourced, online disaster response analysis tool. In 2018, in collaboration with Professor Caroline Buckee (Epidemiology), he co-led the Hurricane Maria Mortality Study.
In March 2017, Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, awarded him India’s highest honor in medicine, the Dr B.C. Roy National Award for “outstanding services in the field of sociomedical relief.” Dr. Balsari has also been an Aspen Ideas Scholar (2016) and an Asia 21 Fellow of the Asia Society. Dr. Balsari received his medical degree from Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India and his public health degree from Harvard; he completed his emergency medicine residency at Columbia and Cornell’s NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was chief of the global emergency medicine division, until 2017.
The Salata Institute
The Salata Institute supports interdisciplinary research that leads to real-world action, including high-risk/high-reward projects by researchers already working in the climate area and new endeavors that make it easier for Harvard scholars, who have not worked on climate problems, to do so. Faculty interested in the Climate Research Clusters program should note an upcoming deadline for concepts on April 1, 2024.