Nicholas Christakis

Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science, Internal Medicine & Biomedical Engineering
Room / Office: Suite 393A, Room 303
Office Address:
17 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 208263
New Haven, CT 06520
Phone: (203) 436-4747
Fax: (203) 432-5423
Email: nicholas.christakis@yale.edu
Degrees:
  • B.S., Yale University
  • M.D., Harvard Medical School
  • M.P.H., Harvard School of Public Health
  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Interests:

Network Science; Computational Social Science; Biosocial Science; Quantitative Methodology; Medicine.

Selected Publications:

Books: 

  • N.A. Christakis, Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
  • N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, New York: Little Brown, 2009

Articles:

  • A. Nishi, H. Shirado, D. Rand, and N.A. Christakis, "Inequality and Visibility of Wealth in Experimental Social Networks," Nature 526: 426-429 (October 2015) doi: 10.1038/nature15392
  • D.A. Kim, A.R. Hwong, D. Stafford, D.A. Hughes, A.J. O'Malley, J.H. Fowler, and N.A. Christakis, A Randomised Controlled Trial of Social Network Targeting to Maximise Population Behaviour Change," The Lancet 386: 145-153 (July 2015) doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60095-2
  • J. N. Rosenquist, A.J. O'Malley, S.F. Lehrer, A. Zaslavsky, J.W. Smoller, and N.A. Christakis, "Cohort of birth modifies the association between FTO genotype and BMI," PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(2): 354-359 (January 2015) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1411893111
  • D. G. Rand, M. Nowak, J.H. Fowler, and N.A. Christakis, "Static Network Structure Can Stabilize Human Cooperation," PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (48): 17093-17098 (December 2014) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1400406111
  • N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, "Friendship and Natural Selection," PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (Supplement 3): 10796-10801 (July 2014) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1400825111
  • C.L. Apicella, E.M. Azevedo, N.A. Christakis, and J.H. Fowler, "Evolutionary Origin of the Endowment Effect: Evidence from Hunter-Gatherers," American Economic Review 104(6): 1793-1805 (June 2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.104.6.1793
  • A. J. O'Malley, F. Elwert, J.N. Rosenquist, A.M. Zaslavsky, and N.A. Christakis, "Estimating Peer Effects in Longitudinal Dyadic Data Using Instrumental Variables," Biometrics 70: 506-515 (April 2014) doi: 10.1111/biom.12172
  • C.L. Apicella, F.W. Marlowe, J.H. Fowler, and N.A. Christakis, "Social Networks and Cooperation in Hunter-Gatherers," Nature 481(7382): 497-501 (January 2012)
  • D. Rand, S. Arbesman, and N.A. Christakis, "Dynamic Social Networks Promote Cooperation in Experiments with Humans," PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (48): 19193-19198 (November 2011); doi:10.1073/pnas.1108243108
  • J.H. Fowler, J.E. Settle, and N.A. Christakis, "Correlated Genotypes in Friendship Networks," PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(5): 1993-1997 (February 2011); doi:10.1073/pnas.1011687108
  • N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, "Social Network Sensors for Early Detection of Contagious Outbreaks," PLoS One, 5(9): e12948. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012948 (September 2010)
  • J.H. Fowler, and N.A. Christakis, "Cooperative Behavior Cascades in Human Social Networks," PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(12): 5334-5338 (March 2010)
  • J.H. Fowler, C.T. Dawes, and N.A. Christakis, "Model of Genetic Variation in Human Social Networks," PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(6): 1720-1724 (February 2009)
  • N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, "The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network," New England Journal of Medicine 358(21): 2249-2258 (May 2008)
  • N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, "The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years," New England Journal of Medicine 357(4): 370-379 (July 2007)

Biography:

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the area of biosocial science, investigating the biological predicates and consequences of social phenomena. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, where he is appointed as the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science, and he is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. As of July 2015, he also serves as the Master of Silliman College at Yale.

Dr. Christakis' lab is focused on the relationship between social networks and well-being. This research engages two types of phenomena: the social, mathematical, and biological rules governing how social networks form ("connection"), and the biological and social implications of how they operate to influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors ("contagion"). Ongoing investigations in the lab explore the genetic bases for human social behaviors and the application of social network principles to change population-level behavior related to health, cooperation, and economic development.