University Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health
Professor of Medical Humanities
Director, Program on Religion and Population Health (PRPH)
Dr. Jeff Levin, an epidemiologist by training, holds a distinguished chair at Baylor University, where he is University Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, Professor of Medical Humanities, and Director of the Program on Religion and Population Health at the Institute for Studies of Religion. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, and as an Affiliated Member of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine. Both biomedical scientist and religious scholar, his work at the interface of religion, science, and medicine has been instrumental in broadening the perspectives of researchers and clinicians on the connections among body, mind, and spirit. He joined the Baylor faculty in the fall of 2009.
Dr. Levin was the first scientist to systematically review the empirical literature on religion and health, and the first scientist funded by the NIH to conduct research on the topic. He is a member of the Extended Faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, was Chairman of the NIH Working Group on Quantitative Methods in Alternative Medicine, and has served on the editorial boards of numerous peer-reviewed journals. He has authored over 200 scholarly publications, mostly on the instrumental functions of religion for physical and mental health, general well-being, and aging. He has written or edited 10 books, most recently Upon These Three Things: Jewish Perspectives on Loving God and the forthcoming Religion and the Social Sciences: Basic and Applied Research Perspectives. According to the Institute for Scientific Information, Dr. Levin is also one of the most highly cited social scientists in the world.
Dr. Levin holds an A.B. in religion and in sociology from Duke University, an M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, and a Ph.D. in Preventive Medicine and Community Health from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Institute of Gerontology. His research has been funded by the NIH, the AMA, and private foundations. In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.
Dr. Levin’s current research and writing are focused on three areas: (a) social and epidemiologic research on Judaism and population health, (b) theories of healing and the work of healers, and (c) the role of faith-based initiatives in public health and healthcare policy. He is married to Dr. Lea Steele, a neuroepidemiologist and human ecologist. Dr. Steele is Professor of Neuropsychiatry and holds the Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Chair in Behavioral Neuroscience at the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Levin is president and a member of the board of directors of Congregation Agudath Jacob, the Conservative synagogue in Waco, TX.