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DGHI Welcomes Newest Global Health Pathway Trainees

August 21, 2017

This year, five new trainees will join the Global Health Pathway for Residents and Fellows, administered by the Duke Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health, a part of the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI).

In addition to ongoing work in Africa and Asia, this year the Global Health Pathway is initiating a local health disparities project; one of the fellows, Emily Esmaili, will focus on the health of refugee children in Durham.

The Global Health Pathway provides postgraduate training experiences that integrate research opportunities specific to the trainee’s area of interest. Trainees receive faculty mentorship and some of the program participants pursue graduate-level coursework to earn a Master of Science in Global Health (MSc-GH) at DGHI.

“This year’s trainees are tremendously talented individuals who care deeply about health disparities,” said Nathan Thielman, professor of medicine and global health and director of the Global Health Pathway program. “Each will address the complex determinants of good health outcomes among disadvantaged populations within their areas of clinical expertise; they're dedicated to making a difference in the world.” 

Meet the New Trainees

Emily EsmailiEmily Esmaili will join the program as a pediatric fellow. Esmaili completed her residency at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and earned her DO from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Virginia. Her research, which focuses on refugee child health, will be based in Durham but supplemented by work through the Syrian American Medical Society, which runs camps in Greece. Esmaili will conduct her research under the mentorship of Nathan Thielman, professor of medicine and global health.


Julian HertzJulian Hertz joins the program as an emergency medicine fellow. Hertz received his MD from Duke University and is an assistant professor of surgery at Duke. Hertz will conduct research in Tanzania related to local prevalence of acute coronary syndrome, beliefs about chest pain and emergency department management of sever febrile illness. He will work under the mentorship of Catherine Staton, assistant professor of emergency medicine and global health. Hertz is also pursuing his MSc-GH degree.


Preeti ManavalanPreeti Manavalan, joining the program as an infectious disease fellow, earned her MD from Howard University. She will investigate the social determinants of health among vulnerable populations infected with HIV under the mentorship of Melissa Watt, associate professor of global health, at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania. Preeti is also entering the MSc-GH program. 


Tony PhamTony Pham, joining the program as a psychiatry resident, received his MD from Tulane University. Pham, who is entering the MSc-GH program, will work under the mentorship of Brandon Kohrt, formerly a DGHI professor and currently a clinical associate professor in the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Partnering with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization in Nepal, he will examine the impact of meaning-making techniques and spirituality on those affected by the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.


Sky VanderburgSky Vanderburg, who also earned his MD at Duke University, will join the program as an internal medicine resident. Through his research in Galle, Sri Lanka, Vanderburg hopes to better characterize the epidemiology of severe acute respiratory infections in tropical climates, as well as to explore the role of host-based diagnostics in reducing unnecessary antimicrobial use. He will work under the mentorship of assistant professor of global health Gayani Tillekeratne and professor of medicine and global health Christopher Woods from DGHI, and Muhunthan Sellathurai at the University of Ruhuna.

New Trainees Join Five Continuing Trainees

Along with the five new trainees, five other doctors will continue the Global Health Pathway:

  • Anubha Aharwal, an internal medicine resident, is researching heart failure in India under the mentorship of Dorairaj Prabhakaran, executive director of the Center for Chronic Disease Control in New Delhi, India, and Mark Huffman, assistant professor at Northwestern University.
  • Sophie Galson, an emergency medicine fellow, is working with assistant global health professor Catherine Staton on emergency care research in Moshi, Tanzania.
  • Deng Madut, an infectious disease fellow, is researching the clinical and social issues affecting individuals who are HIV-positive or at high risk of infection.
  • Andrew McCrary, a pediatric cardiology fellow, is studying heart failure management in children with congenital and acquired heart disease at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya.
  • Julia Xu, an internal medicine resident, is researching Thalassemia at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

Applications Open for Next Year’s Program

The Global Health Pathway for Residents and Fellows is accepting applications until September 30 from candidates interested in joining the program in July 2018.  For more information, please visit the website.

To learn more about the Global Health Pathway, visit the Duke Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health website.

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New HYC Trainees
New trainees, clockwise from top left: Emily Esmaili, Julian Hertz, Preeti Manalavan, Tony Pham and Sky Vanderburg.

“Each [of the new trainees] is poised to begin addressing the complex determinants of good health outcomes among disadvantaged populations within their areas of clinical expertise.”

Nathan Thielman, professor of medicine and global health and director of the Global Health Pathway program

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