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DGHI Welcomes Three New Doris Duke Fellows

July 28, 2015

The Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) has selected three new Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellows for the 2015-16 academic year. The fellows—medical students from Duke University, Northwestern University and the University of Virginia—will spend the next eight to nine months conducting clinical global health research.

The fellows will be mentored by Duke and DGHI faculty members as well as staff and faculty at partner universities, NGOs and community-based organizations associated with the research project.

About the Fellowship

Duke University is one of six institutions that offers the fellowships, which are sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The program was designed to give medical students an outstanding clinical research experience in global health. The long-term goal is to develop the next generation of clinical investigators working in global health. 

The fellowship program delivered on these goals for Rebecca Lumsden, one of DGHI’s 2014-15 Doris Duke fellows. “Under the guidance of my amazing mentors, I developed practical skills in research design and data analysis, while also gaining a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and creativity involved in carrying out research in a developing setting,” she reflected. “And the clinical exposure I had in Kenya provided significant meaning and context to my epidemiological research. Those patient encounters will continue to inspire me as I enter into residency and beyond.”

Meet the New Fellows

Helena Frischtak

Helena Frischtak, who attends the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia, will be working with DGHI professor William Pan in Lima, Peru. She’ll be researching human surveillance and determinants of Leishmania infection in collaboration with researchers from Duke University, the Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 (NAMRU-6) and the Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA). 

Frischtak, who earned a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010, has been involved in a number of global health endeavors, including an ongoing study of Escherichia coli Bacteremias and urinary tract infections among children in Mozambique. She also spent one of her undergraduate summers shadowing physicians in the infectious diseases department at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the University of Virginia, she’s a member of the Center for Global Health Student Advisory Board.

Hussain Lalani

Hussain Lalani, a Duke University medical student, will be working with Peter Kussin, professor of pulmonary care at Duke, in Eldoret, Kenya. His research will focus on intensive care outcomes of traumatic brain injury and infection control. 

Lalani graduated from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a global health certificate in 2013. While Lalani was an undergraduate, he spent a summer in Kunya, Kenya, assessing child malnutrition, piloting cognitive development measures in school-aged children and exploring childbirth and maternal health practices to increase the use of village dispensary. He also works with “Let’s be Well Red,” a venture founded by Duke medical student Rajvi Mehta, investigating the efficacy of iron-rich nutritional bars to treat anemic women in India. 

Claudia Leung

Claudia Leung, a medical student at Northwestern University, will also be conducting research in Eldoret, Kenya. Working with medicine and global health professor Gerald Bloomfield, she’ll be investigating markers of atherosclerosis in patients with HIV. 

Since 2008, Leung has been collaborating with Management and Development for Health (MDH) and the Harvard School of Public Health to analyze the management of non-communicable diseases in HIV clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She also spent time in 2010 as a health educator with Medical Services International in a rural mountain village in China. In addition to her research and education experiences abroad, Leung has also worked with underserved and low-income communities here in the United States. 

DGHI has hosted Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellows for the past three years. To learn more about the program, visit our website.

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(from left) Claudia Leung, Helena Frischtak and Hussain Lalani pause for a photo while in DC at a recent training session for global health fellows hosted by the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center.

Under the guidance of my amazing mentors, I developed practical skills in research design and data analysis, while also gaining a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and creativity involved in carrying out research in a developing setting.

Rebecca Lumsden, 2014-15 Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow

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