Dr. Ford is a professor of medicine and psychiatry in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a professor of epidemiology and health policy and management in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As vice dean for clinical investigation, he leads one of the largest clinical research enterprises in the world, overseeing hundreds of millions of dollars in basic science inquiries. For nearly 20 years, Johns Hopkins has been the top recipient of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health, much of it for clinical investigation.
Widely regarded as a pioneer in research associated with the interrelationships between mental disorders and chronic medical conditions, Dr. Ford gained international acclaim for clinical studies documenting depression as an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease and for research describing the long-term health risks related to sleep disturbances. He was chosen by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to direct the evaluation of its $12 million Depression in Primary Care Initiative. He also has been the principal researcher on a large training grant to develop researchers in general internal medicine.
A leader in using the Internet for clinical research, Dr. Ford worked closely with Johns Hopkins personnel who developed e-IRB, an electronic process for submitting research proposals to the school of medicine’s Institutional Review Board, which oversees requests to launch clinical studies. His research interests include ways to improve the treatment of chronic diseases through information technology. He also advocates treating human research subjects as partners, ensuring that they receive sufficient thanks for their commitment and willingness to contribute to scientific progress.
Dr. Ford received his M.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1982. He arrived at Hopkins that year as a medical resident and, except for a brief period as a National Institutes of Health fellow, has been on the Johns Hopkins faculty ever since. He received his master’s degree in public health from the Bloomberg School in 1986. He has published more than 120 research papers and book chapters and was associate editor of the Journal of General Internal Medicine and a member of the editorial board of General Hospital Psychiatry.