DGHI Welcomes New Professors

Five scholars receive appointments in global health for the upcoming academic year.

Published July 06, 2021 under Around DGHI

Faculty Appointments

DGHI is welcoming several professors to the global health faculty this summer. A few are new to Duke, including one hired as part of DGHI’s strategic plan to encourage joint faculty hiring with Duke schools. Others are Duke veterans who are adding secondary or affiliate appointments with DGHI to facilitate global projects.

Core Faculty

Mercedes BravoMercedes Bravo, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor of Global Health

Mercedes Bravo will join the DGHI faculty in September after serving as an epidemiologist with RTI International in Durham. The overarching theme of her research is the use of innovative geospatial and statistical analysis methods to study relationships between environmental exposures, social stressors, and disease, especially diseases characterized by health disparities. She aims to produce policy-relevant research that can inform disease prevention/management efforts and promote health equity.

Bravo received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2014, where she studied epidemiology and environmental science. She was a postdoctoral Fellow with the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at the University of Michigan and a research scientist with the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative and Statistics Department at Rice University.

Nishad JayasundaraNishad Jayasundara, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Health
Primary appointment: Nicholas School of the Environment

Jayasundara joined the faculty of the Nicholas School in January 2021 and was awarded a secondary appointment with DGHI this summer. His research focuses on the ecological and human health impacts of chemical pollution and climate change. Specifically, he studies how native fish species adapt to physical and chemical changes in their environment with the goal of using fish species as markers of environmental health and change. He was previously an assistant professor with the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine. You can watch a video about Jayasundara’s work here.

Tan Hiang KhoonTan Hiang Khoon

Clinical Associate Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School
Primary appointment: Duke-NUS Medical School

Tan Hiang Khoon is the director of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute (SDGHI), and the group director of the International Collaboration Office of SingHealth. He is also the academic chair fo the surgery academic clinical program for SingHealth and a chairman in the Division of Surgery and Surgical Oncology at Singapore General Hospital and National Cancer Centre of Singapore. Prior to his current appointments, he was the inaugural head of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Head and Neck Centre. Tan received his medical degree from the National University Singapore School of Medicine in 1991 and completed his specialist training in the Department of General Surgery at the Singapore General Hospital. He studied his Ph.D. in the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. He joined the He specializes in resection of complex head and neck malignancies and has pioneered the development of endoscopic and robotic Head and Neck & thyroid surgery in Singapore.

Eric LaberEric Laber, Ph.D.

Professor of Statistical Science
Primary appointment: Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Laber joined Duke in September 2020 after serving as a distinguished professor of statistics at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Michigan in 2011. His expertise is in machine learning, optimization, statistical modeling and application of statistical methods in personalized medicine, adaptive conservation, and computing.  He has taught courses and workshops on: introductory statistics, survival analysis, personalized medicine, and advanced statistical computing.  He is a member of the personalized medicine and artificial intelligence lab (joint with NC State, UNC, and the University of Wisconsin), the center for predictive modeling (Duke), and the personalized medicine cluster (NCSU). He has an extensive record of working with industry including partners such as Amazon, Bank of America, Delta Airlines, Cisco, Ecolab, IQVIA/Quintiles, JMP, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Laber also had a 12-year career as a professional magician; you can read more about his interesting background in this Duke Today profile.

Deng MadutDeng Madut, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Primary appointment: School of Medicine

Madut, a 2019 graduate of DGHI’s Master of Science in Global Health program, participated in the Global Health Pathway program through the Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health. He is currently a clinical associate in the Duke Division of Infectious Diseases. He completed his medical training at Texas Tech School of Medicine and his internal medicine residency at Duke.  As part of the global health elective rotations program, he spent three months working at Moi Teaching Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya, which led him to pursue a career in global health with a focus on implementation and sustainability of HIV care and prevention strategies. His research is focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases among populations living in low-resource settings.

Affiliate and Adjunct Faculty

The following faculty have received affiliate or adjunct appointments with DGHI during faculty meetings in spring 2021:

  • Luciano de Andrade, Adjunct Professor, State University of Maringa, Brazil (DGHI adjunct appointment)
  • David McAdams, Professor of Business Administration, Fuqua School of Business
  • William Parker, Associate Professor of Surgery (DGHI adjunct appointment)
  • Ann Saterbak, Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering