Olaf Dammann

Olaf Dammann

(617) 636-3963
136 Harrison Avenue, Room MV104
Research/Areas of Interest:

My research interest in epidemiology is the etiology of perinatal retina and brain disease. I am particularly interested in a scenario that postulates a major role for intrauterine infection as an initiator of maternal and fetal inflammatory responses that, in turn, contribute to the development of brain white matter damage and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) among preterm newborns. I have been R21 and R01-funded by the National Eye Institute to study inflammatory biomarkers and ROP.

In philosophy, my area of interest is causal inference and etiological explanation. My two books in this field are "Causation in Population Health Informatics and Data Science" (Springer, 2019), co-authored with philosopher Ben Smart, and "Etiological Explanations" (CRC Press, 2020).


  • Doctor of Medicine, Universities of Lubeck and Hamburg, Germany, 1990
  • Ph.D., University of Johannesburg, South Africa, 2019
  • S.M., Harvard School of Public Health, USA, 1997


I am a physician, epidemiologist, and philosopher interested in the explanation of illness occurrence.