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Environmental Health, Food Systems, and Risk Assessment Expert Keeve Nachman Named Robert S. Lawrence Professor

Nachman has more than 20 years of experience conducting public health research, education, and advocacy in the field of food systems, environmental health, and risk assessment.

Apr 12, 2023

Keeve Nachman

Keeve E. Nachman, PhD ’06, MHS ’01, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been named the Robert S. Lawrence Professor at the Bloomberg School. Nachman has more than 20 years of experience conducting public health research, education, and advocacy in the field of food systems, environmental health and risk assessment.

The professorship supports a professor in the Department to work closely with Center for a Livable Future (CLF) in support of its mission to advance a healthy, just, equitable and sustainable food system. As the Robert S. Lawrence professor, Nachman will collaborate with the Center’s director, Shawn McKenzie, MPH, to lead, coordinate, and advance its innovative scholarly portfolio of research, evidence-driven advocacy, and education initiatives. Nachman also joins the Center’s leadership team as associate director.

“Keeve’s appointment as the Robert S. Lawrence professor is a wonderful development for CLF," says McKenzie. “His expertise and unique experience help elevate the Center’s work on food systems change, especially in regard to industrial food animal production.”

Nachman has a long history with CLF, dating back to his time in the early 2000s as a CLF-Lerner fellow, when his research was focused on the documentation of the public health risks associated with the use of arsenic-based drugs in the poultry industry. Following the banning of these drugs in the mid-2010s, Nachman broadened his focus to a number of other issues associated with industrialized food production, ranging from agricultural antibiotic use and drug resistance to the community health implications of industrial food animal production, to the role that dietary choices play on climate change and planetary health.

The professorship is named for Robert Lawrence, MD, professor emeritus in EHE and founding director of CLF. Lawrence’s work focused on the environmental impacts of industrial agriculture, food security, and health and human rights.

“I am honored that Keeve will be the next person holding the professorship bearing my name,” says Lawrence. “From his appointment as a CLF-Lerner fellow, I have had the privilege of working with Keeve and observing his steady growth as a creative investigator, effective advocate, and highly engaging and effective teacher. His appointment to a new level of leadership is a great development for the CLF.”

Nachman is the second Robert S. Lawrence Professor, following Martin W. Bloem, who held the post from 2018 to 2022.

“I am delighted that Keeve has been appointed as the Robert Lawrence professor,” says Marsha Wills-Karp, Chair of Environmental Health and Engineering and Anna M. Baetjer Professor in Environmental Health. “Keeve embodies the spirit of CLF and is an ideal person to guide the Center’s valuable contributions to the Department and School through his outstanding leadership in food systems research, education, and practice.”

CLF is an interdisciplinary academic center that addresses some of the most pressing issues in the food system—the complex web of food production and consumption practices, programs, policies, and laws that affect public health and the environment, and are interwoven with racial, social, and environmental justice. The Center aims to be a global leader in the application of science and systems thinking to build a healthy, just, equitable, and sustainable food system.