Stephen McGarvey

Professor (Research) of Epidemiology and Anthropology
Director of the International Health Institute


Stephen McGarvey is the Director of the International Health Institute and Professor (Research) of Epidemiology and Anthropology. He co-directs the NIH supported Framework in Global Health education grant at Brown. McGarvey earned a BA in Sociology from Villanova University, a PhD in Anthropology from Pennsylvania State University in 1980, and an MPH in Epidemiology from Yale University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

McGarvey is working on two large projects. The first is a long-term series of NIH supported studies examining the genetic, physiologic, and behavioral influences on cardiovascular disease risk factors in Samoa and American Samoa, and newer research in applied interventions on non-communicable diseases. One recent project is a R18 translational research grant project on the impact of community health workers on the management of type 2 diabetes in American Samoa in collaboration with a primary care health facility. The newest project is a genome-wide association study of adiposity and metabolic phenotypes in Samoa. This will study will also attempt to detect specific interactions between genetic variants and individual level dietary and physical activity factors on adiposity and metabolic phenotypes. Based on prior studies in 2002-03 analysis and manuscript preparation continues on determining genetic susceptibilities and gene environment interactions that determine obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

The second project is on the parasitic infection Schistosoma japonicum in The Philippines. His current research focuses on two studies in The Philippines. The first is a multidisciplinary study of the ecology and transmission of schistosomiasis and how its distribution in space, time, and people is influenced by the anthropogenic changes to the environment due to rice farming. It focuses on the interactive influences of puberty, malnutrition, and specific immune responses on the development of partial resistance to infection.


Environmental health, Global health, Human population biology, Non-communicable diseases, Nutrition transition, Tropical parasitology