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Director, IDEA Initiative
Distinguished Professor of the Practice
Anthony So

Departmental Affiliations

Health Systems

Anthony D. So, MD, MPA, works on research and policy to improve innovation and access to health technologies with a particular focus on antimicrobial resistance.

Contact Info

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, 615 N. Wolfe Street, E8533

Research Interests

Innovation and access to health technologies; Essential medicines; Pharmaceutical policy; Globalization and health equity; Antimicrobial resistance
Experiences & Accomplishments
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Princeton University
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Anthony D. So, MD, MPA, is Professor of the Practice and Founding Director of the Innovation+Design Enabling Access (IDEA) Initiative. Based in Health Systems in the Department of International Health, the IDEA Initiative will foster innovation and design of new technologies for greater health access and impact. As Director of the Strategic Policy Program of ReAct--Action on Antibiotic Resistance, he works with a global network dedicated to meeting the challenge of antimicrobial resistance, with regional nodes in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe, and serves as Head of the Secretariat for the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition, comprised of over 25 civil society organizations.

Throughout his career, he has studied a range of issues across globalization and health, from tobacco control in low- and middle- income countries to innovation and access to health technologies and food systems. Previously, Dr. So served as Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and served as Director of the Duke Program on Global Health and Technology Access, during which he served on the Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission on Antibiotic Resistance, the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Accelerating Rare Diseases Research and Orphan Product Development, and the National Academy of Science’s Committee on the Illicit Tobacco Market; chaired a WHO expert working group on fostering innovation to combat antimicrobial resistance; and was part of the Antibiotic Resistance Working Group of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology.

Before this, he served as an associate director for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Health Equity Program, where he launched initiatives on tobacco control in countries in Southeast Asia and shaped the foundation’s work on access to medicines policy in developing countries, including the strategy to lower the prices of patented HIV/AIDS drugs. His grant-making helped to seed the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, the WHO-Health Action International Medicine Prices Project, the People’s Health Movement and the first World Report on Violence and Health. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. So served as Senior Advisor to the Administrator at the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), where he received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for shepherding the AHCPR Liaison Office for Quality and its efforts in support of the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry and the Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. From 1995-96, he had served as Secretary Donna Shalala’s White House Fellow, when he launched the Department’s first electronic public service announcement (E-PSA) featuring the Smoke-Free Kids and Soccer campaign.

In a six-year integrated program at the University of Michigan, he received his BA in philosophy and biomedical sciences and his MD. He earned his MPA from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. So completed his residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of California, San Francisco/ Stanford. More recently, his work has been supported under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. He currently serves on the Board of Public Citizen as well as the Advisory Council of Princeton University’s Center for Health and Well-Being. He had been a member of the Expert Advisory Group of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, co-chaired the technical working group on "Aligning pharmaceutical incentives to achieve fair pricing" for WHO's 2021 Fair Pricing Forum, and serves as a Member of the Technical Advisory Group of WHO's COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP). In 2019, Professor So delivered recommendations to the UN Secretary-General as one of the Co-Convenors of the UN Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG).
Honors & Awards
White House Fellow
Henry Crown Fellow, Aspen Institute
Fleishman Fellow in Civil Society, Duke University
Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award in Health Policy Research
Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, UCSF - Stanford
Select Publications
Selected Publications -- To see more of our Program's scholarship, please visit
  • So AD, Woo J. Reserving coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines for global access: cross sectional analysis. BMJ 2020; 371:m4750 (Published 15 December 2020)
  • So AD, Sampat BN, Rai AK, Cook-Deegan R, Reichman J, Weissman R, Kapczynski A. Is Bayh-Dole Good for Developing Countries? Lessons from the U.S. Experience. PLoS Biology. 2008.
  • So AD, Ruiz-Esparza Q, Gupta N, Cars O. 3Rs for Innovating Conserving Novel Antibiotics: Sharing Resources, Risks and Rewards. British Medical Journal. 2012; 344:e1782.
  • So AD, Bigdeli M, Tomson G, Woodhouse W, Ombaka E, Peralta AQ. Part 5: The access and excess dilemma. “Antibiotic resistance—the need for global solutions,” The Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission 2013 Dec; 13(12): 1057-98.
  • So AD, Sachs R. Making Intellectual Property Work for Global Health. Harvard International Law Journal. February 2012; 53: 106-143.