Work package lead
Iliana Kohler, Ph.D., is a population scientist and social demographer, with a background in both social and biomedical sciences. Her research focuses on global health issues and their social, economic and policy implications in different international contexts. Her primary research agenda is centered on health, health-related behaviors, mortality, aging and intergenerational transfers in an international context. Her most recent research focuses on aging in African poor high HIV-prevalence contexts, with a specific focus on the social and biological determinants and patterns of mental health and cognitive abilities. In her work, demography provides the overarching framework to understand the life-course determinants of aging, related intergenerational relations and transfers, the interactions between population dynamics and disease dynamics that are central to understanding current European and global demographic and health patterns.
Work package lead
Hans-Peter Kohler, Ph.D., is a social and economic demographer whose current research focuses on health, demography and social change in developing and developed countries. A key characteristic of his research is the attempt to integrate demographic, economic, sociological and biological approaches in empirical and theoretical models of health and demographic behaviors. In his prior work, he investigated the role of social and sexual networks for HIV risk perceptions and HIV infection risks, the causal effects of education on health, the consequences of learning one’s HIV status on risky behaviors, the interrelations between marriage and sexual relations in developing countries, the role of social interaction processes for fertility and AIDS-related behaviors, and the determinants and consequences of low fertility in developed countries. His research combines extensive knowledge about the determinants of health, fertility/mortality, HIV/AIDS, and related economic behaviors in developing and developed countries with considerable experience in sophisticated econometric and demographic analyses, including analyses with controls for endowment and unobserved determinants of individuals’ behaviors, models of population and disease dynamics, randomized designs and integration of social science and biomedical research methods. He has extensive experience in the design and implementation of large-scale data collection in sub-Saharan contexts.
He has been awarded the Clifford C. Clogg Award for Early Career Achievement by the Population Association of America for my interdisciplinary work on fertility and health, and have been honored with Otis Dudley Duncan Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Social Demography by the American Sociological Association. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Norwegian Academy of Science, served as the president of the Society of Biodemography and Social Biology, and was engaged as lead-paper author in the Copenhagen Consensus Project to evaluate policies to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV (2011, with Behrman) and reduce population growth (2012). Kohler served as the Chair of Penn’s Ph.D. Program in Demography for many years, and continues to be the NICHD T32 Training Director for this program (successfully renewed in 2012). He has also been the PI of the NIH grant “Consequences of High Morbidity and Mortality in a Low-Income Country” (R01HD053781) that supported the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH).