Department of Medicine
Sociologist Gavin Hougham comes to the University after five years leading the John A. Hartford Foundation’s $60 million portfolio of national grant-making in geriatric medicine, which was designed to expand the capacity of current and future physicians to better care for older adults.
As director of research in the Department of Medicine’s Section of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Hougham collaborated widely and published in the areas of aging, research ethics, informed consent with the cognitively impaired, cross-cultural Japanese gerontology, trajectories of grief, and several aspects of dementia diagnosis and care.
He is currently working on new methods of longitudinal data analysis in geriatric populations using sequence pattern matching algorithms borrowed from computer science, linguistics, and computational genomics. One project currently in development uses Medicare and other administrative claims data to map and typologize chronological “pathways” to nursing home entry. As part of his interest in advancing campus-wide training and research platforms in his areas of inquiry, he is also deputy director of the Center for Health and the Social Sciences and works closely with faculty in the Section of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.
Hougham received MA (1993) and PhD (2004) degrees in sociology from the University of Chicago and completed a National Science Foundation Fellowship at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology.
Hougham joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2010.