Robeson County, a community with a majority American Indian Lumbee population in southeastern North Carolina, comes in last place for health outcomes among the state’s 100 counties. So when Duke nephrology fellow and 2014 Master of Science in Global Health graduate John Stanifer returned from his fieldwork research on kidney disease in Tanzania looking for a local underserved community to continue his work, Robeson County was a natural fit. As part of a larger study funded by the American Kidney Fund, he’s currently leading an undergraduate student research team in exploring the challenges and needs of people with chronic kidney disease in the county.
In a first-ever study to identify how trauma affects gene expression among child soldiers, assistant global health professor Brandon Kohrt and his colleagues found resilience to be a key factor in determining individual response at the molecular level. Kohrt and his colleagues conducted a five-year longitudinal study of former child soldiers exposed to the trauma of a decade-long civil war in Nepal.
After Jordan Schermerhorn, a 2015 Master of Science in Global Health graduate, finished her degree, she spent five months making her mark in the nation’s capital on policy initiatives with the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. Schermerhorn worked with the ONAP on updating the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to be implemented over the next five years. “It was an extremely surreal and extremely rewarding summer to be in that office," she said.
Scientists are beginning to embrace the notion that addressing public health problems sometimes requires looking beyond humans to animals and the environment. Researchers at Duke, in collaboration with experts at North Carolina State University, are helping scholars across the world learn more about this approach.
This summer, nearly 100 Duke global health undergraduate and master’s students are conducting fieldwork around the world. We checked in with a few of them recently to find out about their new experiences, what surprised them most, what they’re thankful they packed and more. Hear what they had to say ...
Thirteen DGHI faculty members and affiliates recently shared new discoveries on a variety of global health topics in peer-reviewed publications.
When Deborah Reisinger, an assistant professor of the practice in romance studies and affiliate global health faculty member, learned that Durham was one of the primary sites for the 50,000 Congolese refugees being settled in the United States over the next five years, she saw a unique opportunity for her and her students to get involved.
Jan Tore Hall ‘73 recently established the Siyathinta Global Health Fund to support research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral students to study emerging infectious diseases in Africa, with a focus on improving treatment delivery and care. Preference will be given to research projects related to HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
Assistant global health professor Eve Puffer’s global mental health class solidified Julia Dunn’s interest in merging her psychology major with global health. “Mental illness is the leading cause of disease burden in the world, and I was really interested in taking psychology theories into a cross cultural context,” she said. Dunn graduated in May with minors in global health and cultural anthropology.
In a wide-ranging discussion hosted on June 16 by the journal Health Affairs, Duke University faculty members Gavin Yamey and Mark McClellan joined an international panel to brief policymakers on current global health issues.