The Christakis LabYale University


Spring semester:

4:00–6:00 pm on Thursdays, in 17 Hillhouse, Room 302. All are welcome— to discuss medicine, public health, social science, career plans, summer jobs, course readings or requirements, and anything else I can be helpful with. Otherwise, I am available by appointment.

Nicholas Christakis TeachingI enjoy teaching tremendously, and am deeply committed to helping my students in any way I can, whether discussing social science, medicine, public health, research methodology, or career plans. I am involved in teaching at all levels.

At the undergraduate level, I offer Sociology 126 – Health of the Public: Medicine and Disease in Social Context. This course examines the social causes and context of illness, death, and health care in the U.S. today; a syllabus is here. These lectures are podcast and are available on iTunes or here. From time to time, undergraduates also get involved in ongoing research projects as Research Assistants in my lab.

At the graduate level, I offer a seminar course on Biosocial Science (SOCY 636), sit on dissertation committees (click here for links to current students), and involve graduate students and medical students in ongoing research projects in my lab. My sense is that, at this juncture, there is an important strand of social science research that is becoming large-scale, multi-disciplinary, and collaborative. Of course, this is a common model in biology, physics, and other sciences, but it is also increasingly becoming the case in the social sciences. I think that getting involved in such projects offers special opportunities to graduate students.

For example, students writing their dissertations while working on such projects derive several benefits: (1) they have the opportunity to be closely mentored by a faculty advisor and to learn both science and tradecraft; (2) they have the opportunity to contribute and influence the direction of the parent project, to feel the excitement of such research, and to continue to tap into it after they graduate, if they wish; and (3) they have the chance to make rapid and sophisticated progress, enabling them to publish papers which enhance their career prospects. Of course, I am also happy to serve as a dissertation advisor for students working on projects that are not part of our research group's efforts.

At the post-doctoral level, I direct several extramurally funded programs that offer post-doctoral positions, focused on substantive and methodological topics related to networks, e.g., as part of our Program Project grant from NIA on "Networks and Neighborhoods" click here for present and past post-docs.

I am affiliated with a start-up company, Activate Networks, that holds licenses from Harvard University to commercialize some of our work.  I am also affiliated with other companies, including MyBobo, Happier, and Ditto Labs.  These relationships do not affect the nature or scope of projects that graduate students and post-docs in my lab are encouraged to pursue.

Courses Offered This Academic Year

Sociology 126 (Spring 2015)
Health of the Public: Medicine and Disease in Social Context

Sociology 636 (Spring 2015)
Topics in Biosocial Science

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