Faculty Spotlight: Denis Bard
What position do you hold within the faculty?
I’m a EHESP professor of Epidemiology.
- How did you get involved in your current work?
Quite a long story! I started my professional career as a general practitioner. My tremendous experiences as a Médecin sans Frontières opened my mind to public health. So I underwent additional training in public health, including epidemiology and biostatistics.
- What did you study (e.g. BSc, MSc, PhD etc) to get to such a position?
I got a Master in human nutrition and another in Public Health. I finally got my Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches, a French specific diploma which represents an added degree to a PhD. It was granted to me on the basis of my full set of publications.
- How does your work intersect with this issues theme (Climate and Environmental health)?
My research domain is environment and health for more than 30 years. Climate is an important parameter for many of the topics I addressed, e.g;, when considering the behavior of noxious agents, be they physical (air particulate matter), biological (protozoa or bacteria) or chemical in nature.
- What advice do you have for MPH students interested in working on a similar project or in a similar field?
Apart from the advice to working hard whatsoever, the precise nature of the advice would depend on the students’ career perspective. Those who want to join academic research would benefit from an hyperspecialization on a specific topic; those interested in Public health may gain from a more open, interdisciplinary training.
- Tell us one thing about you that many people don’t know.
I love to test new things in many aspects of my life, including cuisine. That’s fun and relaxing.
- Finally, if you could choose a different career path other than the one you are on, what would it be?
At a point in my young career I had to choose between starting in fundamental biology, in particular in investigating how the brain functions, and public health.
I still think that developmental neurology is quite exciting. In any case, I’d choose a scientific path.