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Marian T. Hannan, ScD, MPH

Dr. Hannan is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, MA, USA.  She is the co-Director of the large Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Institute.  Dr. Marian T. Hannan received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, the Master of Public Health degree at Yale University School of Medicine and her doctorate in Epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Hannan is the Editor-in-Chief for the highly regarded journal, Arthritis Care & Research.

Dr. Hannan is currently conducting research on risk factors for arthritis, foot disorders and biomechanics, hip fracture and osteoporosis.  She is particularly interested in the effect of biomechanics upon physical function and the influence of body composition.  She is widely published with her work represented in over 50 scientific journals in the medical field.  Dr. Hannan is the principal investigator on a number of National Institutes of Health grants, and has had continuous NIH grant funding since 1996.  


At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Hannan teaches Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health to first-year medical students as well as nutrition seminars.  She also lectures in the HMS geriatrics fellowship program.  Dr, Hannan directs the Frailty Course at Harvard School of Public Health. Since 2004, Dr. Hannan has served on NIH study sections reviewing national grant applications, as well as providing reviews for many international science organizations. Her mentoring of young investigators includes many scientists and medical fellows in the Boston area as well as 8-10 per year across the U.S. and Canada through the U.S. Bone & Joint Initiative’s Young Investigator Initiative.  She has been a keynote speaker at many venues and is always happy to speak about how the foot connects humans to the world.

‘Out of the Lab and Into the Streets’: Population-Based Epidemiology Of Foot Pathologies


This presentation will provide an epidemiological overview of the current population levels of foot & ankle pathologies, including current challenges and viewpoints.  This session will also address the need for a data-driven approach as we consider common pathways, for example, the links between obesity and pedal pathologies as well as special considerations regarding clinical trial designs for foot and ankle research. 


The past decade has brought many new insights to the epidemiology of foot and ankle disorders as well as insights into early pathology, and even possible prevention of impaired foot structure and function.  Clinical cases and laboratory studies have provided information on treatment and insights into mechanisms.  Yet, we still know relatively little of the population impact and informed prevention that may help people NOT become patients.


The objective of this presentation is to provide a population-based understanding of foot type, pathologies and function in the population.  We will consider how populations inform science & medicine, how to obtain complex measurements from large groups outside the laboratory, and highlight major findings of population-based foot studies.  A better understanding of these issues can help to inform the public as well as disseminate clinical and scientific information.


How does all of this inform our understanding of foot biomechanics and translation of research? Epidemiology may serve as a bridge between our current knowledge base and how to grow this foundation to the next level of insights and interventions.  Such a focus will encourage the integration of our knowledge of biomechanics and movement with "Big Data" collections, taking our field to the next level.

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