Duke Students Share Research at Annual Global Health Showcase

Published November 08, 2016 under Education News

MSc-GH Elizabeth Monahan

Master of Science in Global Health student Elizabeth Monahan talks with a Showcase guest about her research on insecticide-treated bednets in Peru.

What do public health midwives in Galle, Sri Lanka, know and think about people living with HIV/AIDS?

Why do substance use behaviors during pregnancy persist among women in Cape Town, South Africa, who are aware of its harmful effects?

What are the perceptions and attitudes of caregivers, healthcare providers and service leaders about patients’ experiences with transitional care after an acute neurological event in Argentina?

These research questions and many more were addressed at the fifth annual Global Health Showcase last Thursday, where more than 100 Duke undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students presented posters highlighting their global health research in nearly two dozen countries.

The event was well attended, with about 150 guests in attendance. After a brief welcome by Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) director Michael Merson, opening remarks were given by Mary Story, DGHI’s associate director for academic programs. Sara LeGrand, assistant global health professor, announced the winners of the poster contest and fieldwork photo contest. 


The student poster exhibition highlighted projects focusing on a range of global health topics from early autism intervention to predictors of caregiver mental health to barriers of surgical care. The event enabled students to get feedback on their field research findings and offered a supportive environment for them to share their data as they begin to develop the findings into theses or manuscripts.  

Varun Jain, a junior biology major with minors in global health and chemistry, was one of the students who exhibited a poster at the event; he and his team of four presented their research on risk factors for vision problems in children in Honduras. “It was a great experience to be able to share the exciting results of the research my team and I spent so much time and effort working towards,” he said.

“The Showcase is a great opportunity to celebrate a lot of hard work,” said Eric Green, assistant professor of global health and mentor to many graduate and undergraduate students. “And it also encourages new global health students to get plugged into research at DGHI.”


This year, for the first time, DGHI presented awards for the best research posters in three categories: undergraduate, graduate and Bass Connections. Four DGHI post-doctoral scholars served as judges, who evaluated the posters based on the presentation of research aims, research methods and project description as well as visual clarity and appeal. Learn more about the poster contest and the winners.


This year, 18 Duke undergraduate and graduate students submitted nearly 75 photos from all corners of the globe, reflecting students’ work in areas such as rapid diagnostic testing for malaria, prenatal care and mobile technology for family planning. (View all of the entries here.)

The photos were judged by a five-member panel, including an undergraduate global health student, a graduate global health student, a DGHI faculty member, a DGHI staff member, and a member of the Duke Photography team. In addition to the judged competition, DGHI also held a People’s Choice Award contest on Facebook. Learn more about the photo contest and the winners.

Global Health Showcase is made possible through the generous support of the Muglia Family Foundation.

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The Showcase is a great opportunity to celebrate a lot of hard work, and it also encourages new global health students to get plugged into research at DGHI.

Eric Green, assistant professor