About Me

"For me, science is poiesis in a devilish sense: formal disassembly of reality." -- Vilém Flusser

I have a multidisciplinary academic background with formal training in linguistics and informatics (U Hamburg,1983-85), medicine (MD, U Hamburg, 1990), epidemiology (SM, Harvard, 1997), and philosophy (PhD, U Johannesburg, 2019). After having worked as a clinical pediatrician I transitioned into research full-time at Harvard in 1995 and Hannover Medical School, Germany, in 2002.


In 2011 I joined Tufts University and am currently professor and vice chair of the Department of Public Health & Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. My teaching is focused on courses in our fully online MS in Health Informatics and Analytics program.


My main research fields are perinatal epidemiology with a focus on brain/retina damage in preterm newborns, and philosophy of science with a focus on causation and explanation. I have received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the European Union, and several private foundations. My bibliography includes more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and two books, “Causation in Population Health Informatics and Data Science” (with Ben Smart; Springer, 2019) and “Etiological Explanations” (CRC Press, 2020).

My  poetry is published mainly in German poetry journals (e.g., Federwelt, die horen) and anthologies. I have one book of poetry out in German, FLÜSTERMOND (Husum, 2007). The first four sections of my unpublished book-length manuscript SMALL WORLDS were a finalist for the 2013 Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry. Alessandra Lynch wrote about SMALL WORLDS: “I love the questions, the fine observations, the clarity of thought coupled with the music in these poems.“