Dr. Gulrez Shah Azhar is a physician health researcher, who has published extensively in public health and health policy domains encompassing health systems, infectious, non-communicable diseases, environmental health, and climate change. For the past decade, he has applied data science, epidemiology, and econometric methods and participated in all facets of research from conceptualizing and proposal writing to data collection, data management, data analysis, report writing, reviewing publications, and presenting at conferences. As an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, he is recognized as a frontline development expert and has delivered talks, written op-eds and had media appearances following the institute’s extensive communication and leadership trainings. He serves as a peer reviewer for several prestigious journals and consults with educational and environmental non-profits.
Dr. Azhar earned his M.Phil. and Ph.D. doctoral degree in Public Policy at the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, CA. During this period, as an Assistant Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation, he worked on dozens of projects in various capacities. His dissertation, “Indian Summer: Three Essays on Heatwave Vulnerability, Estimation and Adaptation,” focuses on health impacts of heat waves in developing countries.
Previously as an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Public Health (part of the Public Health Foundation of India) he worked on issues of environmental health, climate change, and infectious diseases, focusing on surveillance and early-warning systems. Prior to that, Dr. Azhar was with the Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He worked on a systematic review of self-management of NCDs and on developing a prioritized research agenda for NCD research in LMICs. His other research has been on the utilization of healthcare services and a systematic review of DOTS-based treatment of Tuberculosis in India.
He completed his Europubhealth M.P.H. masters degree as a winner of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus fellowship of the European Commission. He attended the universities of Sheffield, Copenhagen, and the École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique (EHESP) in Rennes, France. He is also a medical doctor M.B.B.S. with post-graduate medical residency training M.D. in Community Medicine from the J. N. Medical College, A.M.U., India. He is the winner of various research grants including from the Wellcome Trust. He has published in several journals, presented at many conferences including as an invited speaker. He has also offered and completed short courses and training in related subjects. His interests are in health, environment, population, and development issues.