Sam Wollner image

Sam Wollner


Expertise: Biological Anthropology, Public Health Policy, Nutrition Medicine


Professional Profile

Mr. Wollner is an Analyst at the Center for Biosecurity for UPMC. His work supports the Center’s efforts in medical preparedness and response, and infectious disease diagnostic development. He is an Associate Editor for the journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, and he is a contributor to Biosecurity News Today.

Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Wollner worked in the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. While there, he served as a clinical research coordinator for research initiatives in the bariatric surgery unit and as project manager for the Center for the Study of Nutrition Medicine, a translational research unit charged with developing private-sector and community engagement programs to improve public health nutrition. Mr. Wollner led the effort to create an evidence base for the efficacy of a food labeling initiative in a leading national chain of grocery stores. He also coauthored several publications on obesity and chronic disease.

In 2008, Mr. Wollner graduated cum laude with an AB in biological anthropology from Harvard University. His honors project focused on the evolutionary impact of the advent of agriculture during the Neolithic period. In 2007, he researched the role of the media in influencing public policy on several diseases for the Harvard Center for American Political Studies. Previously, he was a Research Associate in a molecular biology lab at the Rockefeller University in New York City, where he studied a novel neurological gene’s role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease.

Mr. Wollner served as captain of the Harvard Men’s Swimming and Diving team, leading the Crimson to an undefeated season and an Ivy League Championship in 2008. He was a nationally ranked open water swimmer specializing in the 5-kilometer distance. Mr. Wollner capped off his swimming career at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.