Human Health & Climate Change

Climate change represents one of the most significant threats to human health in the 21st century. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM), in collaboration with many units across the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), is developing an initiative to comprehensively assess the health risks of climate change and develop strategies to address both drivers and impacts.

Climate Action Collaborative Public Launch

Join us on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 from 11:00 am-12:30 pm ET for a public launch event to learn details about the new Climate Action Collaborative! Also join our listserv to stay tuned for the forthcoming launch announcement in advance of the event. 

Announcing the NAM Grand Challenge 

At the 50th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Medicine on October 19, 2020, NAM president Victor J. Dzau announced a new Grand Challenge on Human Health & Climate Change — a multiyear strategic initiative:

Through bold thinking and radical partnerships with public and private sectors, this signature initiative will focus on three objectives:


Develop a comprehensive and long-term roadmap for transforming systems — such as health care, transportation, infrastructure, or energy – which impact or are impacted by climate change, with a focus on human health, well-being, and equity.


Mobilize the full spectrum of actors and institutions in the health community along with those in other sectors to reduce the health sector’s environmental impacts and commit to sustainable transformation. 


Launch a global competition to foster innovative interdisciplinary research and actionable solutions at the intersection of climate change and human health.

Read Dr. Dzau’s complete address to NAM members >>

Catalyzing Innovative Projects at the Interface of Human Health and Climate Change: Opportunity Grants

On December 5-6, 2019, the National Academies hosted an expert meeting to present the latest science and new opportunities for research and investment at the intersection of climate change and human health. Co-funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF), the meeting was designed to inform programmatic directions for the NAM and the National Academies. The NAM partnered with the BWF to provide funding for “opportunity grants” to interdisciplinary teams across the National Academies to explore promising ideas at the intersection of climate change and human health. The aim is to stimulate new, interdisciplinary projects across the National Academies, as well as to catalyze broader stakeholder interest and engagement in these issues. Grantees will be conducting their project development activities through November 2020 and will prepare a summary of outputs, impacts, outcomes, and next steps in December.

Learn about the projects funded by the Climate Change & Human Health Opportunity Grants>>


Samantha Chao, Acting Director of Programs
Elizabeth Finkelman, Senior Program Officer
Jessica Marx, Program Officer

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