November 23, 2022
The first annual Global Health Scholars Symposium was held on November 11 and was sponsored by the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases (IGHID) and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The symposium was attended by more than 30 researchers from UNC and global sites around the world, including PhD students, PhD students, postdocs and early stage researchers.
“Welcome to this important launch event and opportunity to see what some of our trainees are doing,” said Myron S. Cohen, MD, Director of IGHID, in his opening address. “This is a phenomenon that I believe will blossom and grow into a giant phenomenon, which is what UNC usually is – like an acorn and then a giant tree.”
“The Institute was founded by UNC Chancellor Emeritus James Moeser to create a cross-campus organization encompassing all health science faculties and the campus, bringing together people interested in global health. What started as a small idea is now the second largest unit on campus in terms of research revenue. We are a partner to all, but our partnership is in public health and medicine.”
Cohen then introduced Suzanne Maman, PhD, a professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Associate Dean of Global Health.
“Our key partner for global work at Gillings is the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, where there are many opportunities for our trainees in international locations. In the past year alone, we had 29 PhD students, 17 Master of Public Health (MPH) students and 10 PhD students working in global locations. And we are very fortunate to be able to present some of his work today.”
The symposium began with seven-minute presentations by:
Ashnafi Asifa BehitaPhD, MSc, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Ecology, working at the DRC site, presented the development of a new rapid isothermal amplification lateral flow assay for the detection of malaria and novel diagnostics for African Non-Did. -falciparum malaria.
- Kate HendrenA PhD student working at the Uganda site presented distances and travel times to clinics related to HIV virus suppression at a peripheral health center in rural western Uganda.
- grab bellMS, PhD student in Epidemiology at Gillings School working in Malawi, discusses epidemiological, geospatial and phylogenetic evidence to inform interventions against HIV transmission during acute and early HIV infection in Lilongwe.
- Bridget SpelkeMD, Global Women’s Health Fellow working in Zambia, presented interpersonal therapy versus antidepressants for the treatment of postpartum depression and anxiety in women living with HIV in Zambia.
- Friday Saidi, MBBS, MMed, M-HIRST fellow working in Malawi presented the combination of adherence support and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis during pregnancy in Malawi.
gifted marleyPhD, a UNC Project China postdoctoral fellow working in China, presented a pay-it-forward study on speeding up hepatitis B and C testing.
- Rebekah RubinsteinMPH, a double MD/PhD student based in Nicaragua, presented his work on human milk oligosaccharides and cumulative enteric infections in Nicaraguan children.
Recordings of Keynote presentations are available online.
A poster exhibition showed:
Mitch KimberRN, Global Health MPH Candidate – “Challenges in Oncology Care in Lilongwe, Malawi: Recommendations from Qualitative Interviews with Practitioners”
- Seth MorrisonMD, Pediatric GI Fellow/MPH Candidates –
“Histo-blood group antigens and linear growth in a Nicaraguan birth cohort”.
- Sophia BartelsMaster of Science in Health Behavior PhD student from Public Health –
“Development of partnership-based global training programs with impact”
- Sydney Puerto MeredithUNC Project-Malawi Research Intern –
“A systematic review of the prevalence and risk factors of transfusion-transmitted infections in blood donors and blood safety measures in the SADC region”.
Participants then chose one of four breakout rooms for a power talk.
Breakout #1, Global Health Archive, is available online. Other recorded breakout sessions are added here.
The Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases would like to thank everyone who made the first annual Global Health Scholars Symposium a great success.
The Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases was established in 2007 to foster innovation in global research and education, in line with UNC’s mission to become a leading global university. Since then, research capacity building has become an integral part of our work, through a cross-university collaboration framework and access to research funding and collaborative exercises such as Project Malawi, Project China, Project Nicaragua and more. Academic partnerships are on the rise. Today, IGHID is the research engine driving UNC’s global health work, nurturing emerging researchers and collaborators working together on four continents in a mutual exchange of education and practice.
About the Gillings School
The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health works in basic research laboratories to improve public health, promote individual well-being and close health disparities in North Carolina and around the world. clinical and public health attitudes; communities, including workplaces; and community-based and other non-governmental organizations. Faculty, staff and students are focused on bridging the gap between academic research and practical public health that can create a healthier world. The school’s curriculum balances classroom learning with real-world experience and prepares students to tackle the toughest public health challenges in NC and the world. The school is home to approximately 2,260 dedicated students and is ranked a Top Public School of Public Health (#2 overall) by US News & World Report (ranked 2022 for the 2023 edition).
A recording of the seminar is available online.
Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Communication team at [email protected]