Dr. Nathan K. Cobb, MD

Dr. Nathan K. Cobb, MD

Dr. Nathan K. Cobb, MD

Languages: English, Spanish
Fax: (877) 286-1492

Contact this Provider:

  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Pulmonology
Conditions I Treat
  • airway disorders
  • novel coronavirus
  • pleural diseases
  • pulmonary infections
  • septic shock
  • Show All
Procedures I Perform
  • bronchoscopy
  • mechanical ventilation
  • right heart catheterization
  • thoracentesis
  • ventilator management
About the Provider

Nathan Cobb, MD is a critical care physician at MedStar Georgetown Univeristy and Assistant Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a recongized expert in the field of digital behavioral change interventions and tobacco control, and serves as the Clinical Lead with MedStar's Digital Transformation efforts.

  • Fellowship Program: Massachusetts General Hospital (2008)
  • Internship/Residency: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (2004)
  • Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine (2001)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease

Over the past twenty years I have worked at the intersection of behavior change and informatics to develop and evaluate social network based interventions. While there is an emerging evidence base on how social networks impact behavior, less is known or understood about how they can be manipulated to create change. My work has demonstrated feasibility of the approach, demonstrating that networks can be characterized, that diffusion of interventions can be implemented, and that effective interventions can be created. I served as either the primary investigator or co-investigator on all of these studies. 

  • Cobb NK, Graham AL, and Abrams DB. Social Network Structure of a Large Online Community for Smoking Cessation. American Journal of Public Health. 2010;100(7):1282-9.
  • Cobb NK, Graham AL, Byron MJ, Niaura RS, Abrams DB, and Workshop Participants. Online social networks and smoking cessation: a scientific research agenda. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Canada; 2011;13(4):e119.
  • Graham AL, Cobb NK, Papandonatos GD, Moreno JL, Kang H, Tinkelman DG, Bock BC, Niaura RS, and Abrams DB. A Randomized Trial of Internet and Telephone Treatment for Smoking Cessation. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2011;171(1):46-53.
  • Cobb NK, Jacobs MA, Wileyto P, Valente T, and Graham AL. Diffusion of an Evidence-Based Smoking Cessation Intervention Through Facebook: A Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Public Health; 2016;106(6):1130-5.

While the previous work has demonstrated that networked based interventions are both feasible and potentially effective for behavior change, the underlying mediators and mechanism remain opaque. I have worked with cross disciplinary teams across academia and industry (as a principal investigator and co-investigator) to explore and then re-implement these methods and techniques. Using data from the prior work we demonstrated that communications can be used to characterize participants, and that exposure to communications predicts future behavior. These techniques were re-used in commercial applications and then evaluated for effect (health education and physical activity).

  • Poirier J, and Cobb NK. Social influence as a driver of engagement in a web-based health intervention. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Canada; 2012;14(1):e36.
  • Cobb NK, Mays D, and Graham AL. Sentiment Analysis to Determine the Impact of Online Messages on Smokers' Choices to Use Varenicline. JNCI Monographs. United States; 2013;2013(47):224-230.
  • Myneni S, Fujimoto K, Cobb N, and Cohen T. Content-Driven Analysis of an Online Community for Smoking Cessation: Integration of Qualitative Techniques, Automated Text Analysis, and Affiliation Networks. American Journal of Public Health; 2015;105(6):1206-1212.
  • Cobb NK, and Poirier J. Effectiveness of a multimodal online well-being intervention: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine; 2014;46(1):41-8.

The bulk of my work has been in informatics, however I have also worked in the emerging field of electronic cigarettes. As PI my group was the first to publish data on the safety of these devices and explored how they are marketed online, demonstrating a complex, “dark” network of affiliates designed to evade legal scrutiny. 

  • Cobb NK, Byron MJ, Abrams DB, and Shields PG. Novel nicotine delivery systems and public health: the rise of the "e-cigarette". American Journal of Public Health; 2010;100(12):2340-2342.
  • Cobb NK, Brookover J, Cobb CO. Forensic analysis of online marketing for electronic nicotine delivery systems. Tobacco Control 2013, Sep 13;24(2):128-31. 
  • Cobb NK, Abrams DB. The FDA, e-cigarettes, and the demise of combusted tobacco. New England Journal of Medicine 2014, Oct 16;371(16):1469-71
  • Cobb NK, Sonti R. E-Cigarettes: The science behind the smoke and mirrors. Respiratory Care 2016, Aug;61(8):1122-8.

During the COVID-19 pandemic I have focused on the use of large scale EHR data to inform clinical practice and improve vaccination outcomes. This includes leading the development of the Georgetown/Medstar COVID-19 research registry, work as a clinical informaticist on the R2D2 consortium’s distributed COVID-19 research platform, serving as the site-PI for a BARDA backed adaptive platform pharmaceutical trial (iSPY), EHR based research on the efficacy of inhaled vasodilators (epoprostenol), and the development of MedStar Health’s risk stratification and eligibility algorithms to drive vaccination outreach.

    MedStar Health Providers participate with a wide range of health insurance products. We accept self-pay patients and the insurances plans listed below. This list is not comprehensive, it is updated periodically and is subject to change. If you do not see your health insurance plan or product listed, or if you have any questions regarding MedStar Health’s participation with your health plan, please contact your health plan to verify participation with our providers.

    Since the MedStar Health providers span the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia regions, our participation with DC, Maryland and Virginia Medical Assistance programs varies by provider group. Please contact your MedStar Physician’s Office to assist with verifying Medical Assistance participation. If you are enrolled in a Medicaid Managed Care Organization, please contact your Medicaid health plan to verify participation.
Practice Locations
  • 3800 Reservoir Road Northwest
    4 North Main Bldg
    Washington, DC 20007
    View Map

    Phone: 202-444-8830
    Fax: 202-286-1492

Member of Medical Staff
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • MedStar Georgetown University Hospital