James S. House is the Angus Campbell Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Survey Research, Public Policy, and Sociology and the founding director of Americans’ Changing Lives. His research has focused on the role of social and psychological factors in the etiology and course of health and illness, including the role of psychosocial factors in understanding and alleviating social disparities in health and the way health changes with age. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. House has co-edited Making Americans Healthier: Social and Economic Policy as Health Policy (with Bob Schoeni of the Ford School and others) and A Telescope on Society: Survey Research & Social Science at the University of Michigan and Beyond. He recently published Beyond Obamacare: Life, Death, and Social Policy (Russell Sage Foundation, June 2015). He received his PhD in social psychology from the University of Michigan.
Sarah Burgard is the principal investigator for ACL-LIFE and wave 5 of the American’s Changing Lives study. She conducts research on the social stratification of aging and health with population-based survey data, and has published extensively on the social factors underlying health disparities by socioeconomic status, gender, and race/ethnicity across the life course. She has focused particularly on the links between employment and health in later life, including mental health, chronic disease and overall health status, and health behaviors. Some of her recent research and funding has centered on understanding these questions in the context of economic recessions, which disrupt career, economic, and health paths for many adults, but especially for socioeconomically-marginalized groups. She has published on the influence of job loss, financial shocks, debt, housing instability, and material hardship, with a focus on creating life course measures of cumulative disadvantage for which retrospective or prospective life history data are essential.
Margaret Hicken is the principal investigator for wave 6 of Americans’ Changing Lives. Dr. Hicken is an interdisciplinary population health researcher with training in both social demography and social epidemiology from the University of Michigan, including post-doctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar. Since joining the faculty at the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research, Dr. Hicken also completed training in population and statistical genetics through a K01 Career Development Award through the National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on the social meaning of race in relation to health and brings together humanities and social science information on exposures with biological health mechanisms. For example, she and her research group are working to clarify the role of racial residential segregation and industrial pollution in racial inequities DNA methylation patterns related to inflammation with R01 funding from the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Paula Lantz is the associate dean for academic affairs and the James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy at the Ford School. She also holds an appointment as professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health. Dr. Lantz, a social demographer, studies the role of public policy in improving population health and reducing social disparities in health. She was the principal investigator for wave 4 of ACL. Dr. Lantz is currently engaged in research regarding the potential for and challenges associated with using social impact bonds to fund public/private partnerships aimed at improving health in low-income populations, including Medicaid beneficiaries. An elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Lantz received an MA in sociology from Washington University, St. Louis, and an MS in epidemiology and PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin.