Jagpreet Chhatwal, Ph.D.

Institute for Technology Assessment, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Radiology
Harvard Medical School
alcohol use disorder; data analytics; decision science; health economics; hepatitis c; liver cancer; liver transplantation; meditation; nonalchoholic fatty liver disease; opioid use disorder; outcomes research Dr. Chhatwal is the Director of the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment (ITA) and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School . He is also a faculty member of the Center for Health Decision Science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Meditation Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

His research is centered in decision science, data analytics, outcomes research, and health economics. He has over 15 years of experience in developing decision-analytic models to evaluate disease outcomes. He currently leads research in multiple disease areas, including hepatitis C, liver cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), opioid and alcohol use disorder, mental health, and COVID-19. His work utilizes innovative methods to disseminate the findings of decision models to policymakers using interactive online platforms.

Dr. Chhatwal has co-authored over 100 original research articles and editorials in peer-reviewed journals. His work has been cited in leading media outlets, including CNN, Forbes, National Public Radio, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. For his research on the cost-effectiveness of hepatitis C screening in U.S. prisons, he was interviewed on NPR’s Marketplace. Recently, his COVID-19 modeling work was featured in The Rachael Maddow Show at MSNBC.

Recently, Dr. Chhatwal was invited by the White House to evaluate the reduction in disease burden and cost savings associated with President Biden’s national hepatitis C elimination initiative. In 2017, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, he developed an online, interactive tool -- Hep C Calculator -- that evaluates the cost-effectiveness of hepatitis C treatment in 28+ countries. Hep C Calculator allows users to interactively enter local cost data of a country and see the cost-effectiveness results in real time. The tool’s targeted audience includes policymakers, government officials, and patient advocates. Since its launch, Hep C Calculator has been accessed from around 125 countries.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Chhatwal initiated and led a multi-institutional COVID-19 Modeling Consortium to inform time-sensitive policy questions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Policy Simulator , launched in April 2020, informed the timing and effects of opening and closing businesses in each state. The policy simulator’s findings were used in the weekly COVID-19 ensemble forecast by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and regularly cited by media outlets. Within the first two months of the launch, the COVID-19 Simulator was accessed more than 100,000 times. His team also evaluated the spread of COVID-19 in the counties hosting NFL and NCAA football games in 2020-2021.

Dr. Chhatwal’s research also aims to address the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic using decision-analytic modeling. His work showed that policies focusing on restricting the supply of prescription opioid analgesics – the focus of interventions at that time – would have a limited impact on reducing overdose deaths because the epidemic has shifted to illicit, not prescription, opioids. His team is currently leading a modeling effort to identify cost-effective policies for reducing opioid overdose deaths by 40% in 67 communities. This work is funded by the NIH HEALing Initiative – a bold, multi-institutional $350 million initiative to stem the national opioid crisis.

He was also awarded AASLD Innovation Fund from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) for developing an interactive tool, NAFLD Simulator , to address the rising disease burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the United States.

Dr. Chhatwal has conducted research on breast cancer diagnosis, which showed how machine learning and operations research methods could improve biopsy decision-making after mammography exams. This work won multiple awards, including a best junior faculty paper and best student paper from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science.

Dr. Chhatwal has taught several workshops on decision modeling at the annual meetings of the Society for Medical Decision Making and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. In addition, several of his mentees have received Lee Lusted student prizes from the Society for Medical Decision Making. He serves as an associate editor of Value in Health and an editorial board member of Medical Decision Making . He recently served as the guest editor for special issues on the opioid crisis and COVID-19 published in Value in Health.

He is also conducting research on the effects of different types of meditation on emotional well-being. He regularly teaches breath-based meditation workshops in different settings.

He received a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering from Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, India in 2001. He then pursued a Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering at Iowa State University in 2004 and a PhD in Industrial Engineering, focusing on operations research, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. For his PhD thesis on breast cancer diagnosis, he won 2nd place prize in George Dantzig dissertation award, a prestigious award for the best dissertation in any area of operations research and management science that is innovative and relevant to practice.

Research website Publications

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