DGHI Faculty Members Appointed to Named Professorships

July 11, 2017

Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) professor David Boyd has been selected as the first Hymowitz Professor of the Practice of Global Health at Duke University. 

The newly endowed professorship was made possible through a gift from Gregg Hymowitz that received matching funds from the Bass Connections Challenge Fund. The professorship recognizes a DGHI faculty member who is engaged in the Bass Connections theme of Global Health, an interdisciplinary research program in which Duke faculty and students at all levels team up with partners around the world to address health disparities. Beginning in Fall 2017, Boyd will join DGHI professor Mary Story as the co-theme leader for Global Health.

Boyd has taught “Fundamentals of Global Health,” a gateway course for the Bass Connections Global Health theme, and a required course for the global health major and minor. He also teaches “Global Health Capstone,” a required course for seniors in which students work in teams to identify global health programs and design research projects and interventions. This fall, he will teach “Global Health Challenges” to incoming Master of Science in Global Health students.  

Some of Boyd’s teaching reaches across the globe, as his massive open online course (MOOC), “The Challenges of Global Health,” has enrolled almost 20,000 people worldwide. 

Boyd is also the faculty director of DGHI’s undergraduate Student Research Training program in Guatemala, where selected students work in his long-term maternal and child health projects among the indigenous Maya.
Boyd has been an essential builder of DGHI’s undergraduate education program. According to former DGHI director Michael Merson, “David Boyd’s teaching has been exceptional, innovative and impactful.” He has been rated one of the best teachers at Duke across multiple years, having been recognized as being among the top five percent of professors in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences six times since 2009. 

In addition, according to Merson, Boyd is an extraordinary student mentor. This year, he received the DGHI Undergraduate Professor Award, which is selected based on student nominations. 

“David epitomizes the qualities envisioned for the Hymowitz chair—demonstrated excellence in teaching, mentoring and inspiring global health students,” said Merson. 

“No one at Duke does a better job of incorporating collaborative, problem-centered inquiry into his courses and research teams,” said Ed Balleisen, vice provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. “We are thrilled to welcome David as a new co-theme leader in Global Health and as the inaugural holder of the Hymowitz chair.”

Shenglan Tang, professor of medicine and global health, was recently selected to become the inaugural Mary D.B.T. and James Semans International Professor. This professorship recognizes a scholar of true eminence and excellence in global issues, or who is international in country of origin.

A native of Shanghai, Tang is DGHI’s associate director for China Initiatives, executive director of global health programs at Duke Kunshan University, and director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Research Hub for Asia-Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, which has research projects in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Vietnam and other Asian countries. In his capacity at Duke Kunshan, he was elected as President of Chinese Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CCUGH) in November 2015. 

Tang has more than three decades of experience undertaking research on health systems reform, disease control, and maternal and child health in China, Malawi, South Africa, Vietnam and other low and middle income countries, and has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, including several in the Lancet. He has also been a consultant on health systems strengthening to many international organizations and governments of developing countries.

He is an editor or editorial board member of several journals, including Social Science and Medicine, Health Policy and Planning, Chinese Journal of Health Policy, and BMC Infectious Diseases of Poverty.

In 2012, Tang came to Duke from the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), based in Geneva, where he was unit leader for TB/HIV and Health Systems. Before his assignment at WHO, Tang was a faculty member at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom, and at the School of Public Health of Fudan University (formerly the Shanghai Medical University) in China.

“Shenglan Tang is a highly gifted global scholar, educator and administrator,” said former DGHI director Michael Merson. “His collaborations are rich and span the globe, and he is tireless in his commitment to DGHI’s mission of achieving health equity worldwide.”

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DGHI professors David Boyd and Shenglan Tang

David Boyd is widely recognized as an exceptional, innovative teacher and student mentor, and Shenglan Tang is a highly gifted global scholar, educator and administrator.

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