Meet DGHI’s Nine Postdoctoral Fellows

Published September 20, 2016

Trent Hall

Trent Hall, home of DGHI

The Duke Global Health Institute welcomed five new postdoctoral fellows this summer; these fellows join four returning fellows. Their areas of expertise range from health policy to implementation science to global environmental health, to name just a few. 

New Postdocs

Amy_FinneganAmy Finnegan’s work addresses questions about how people respond to health information with a particular focus on who is providing the information (for example, are pregnant women more likely to change their behavior when information is shared by a family member or a government program?). She is working with assistant professor of health Eric Green on projects related to information and health behavior in Kenya, Liberia and Zimbabwe. Finnegan received her PhD in 2016 from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Learn more

Brandon_KnettelBrandon Knettel is working with Melissa Watt, associate professor of global health, and Kathleen Sikkema, DGHI professor and director of DGHI’s global mental health initiative, on projects related to the implementation of Option B+ for pregnant women with HIV in Tanzania and the prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and gender-based violence in South Africa. Knettel earned his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Lehigh University in 2015 and completed his clinical training at Duke Integrative Medicine. He is a licensed psychologist in North Carolina. Learn more 

Wenhui_MaoWenhui Mao has worked extensively in Chinese health reform and health policy, with special attention to health financing, health insurance and provider payment reform. She is working with medicine and global health professor Shenglan Tang, contributing to two Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded projects, one on comprehensive models of TB care and control in China” and the other on achieving the health SDGs in China. Mao, who received her PhD in health economics from Fudan University, was a visiting scholar at DGHI during the summers of 2013 and 2014. Learn more

Marta_MulawaMarta Mulawa’s research focuses on the implementation and evaluation of HIV interventions and aims to improve our understanding of how social networks influence HIV-related behaviors. She works with Melissa Watt, associate professor of global health, and Kathleen Sikkema, DGHI professor and director of DGHI’s global mental health initiative, on a study to improve HIV care engagement among women who have experience sexual trauma in Cape Town, South Africa. Mulawa received her PhD in health behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master of Health Science in international health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Learn more

Indrani_SaranIndrani Saran’s research applies economic analysis methods to investigate how information influences people's beliefs about illness and treatment, and how these beliefs relate to health behaviors. Working with Wendy Prudhomme-O’Meara, associate professor of medicine and global health, Saran is contributing to an ongoing randomized control trial to improve malaria treatment and case management by expanding access to malaria diagnostic testing. She received her PhD in Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Learn more

Continuing Postdocs

Bonnie_KaiserBonnie Kaiser conducts global mental health research with a focus on cultural aspects of measurement, communication, and intervention design. Under the mentorship of Brandon Kohrt, assistant professor of psychiatry, global health and cultural anthropology, and Deborah Jenson, global health professor and director of the Franklin Humanities Institute, Kaiser’s postdoctoral research explores how attention to culture can improve the development, adaptation and evaluation of mental health interventions. She is also a founding member of the new Health Humanities Lab. Kaiser holds a PhD in anthropology and an MPH in epidemiology from Emory University. Learn more

Francesco_PizzituttiFrancesco Pizzitutti uses agent-based computational models to study and understand how the complex network of interactions between natural and human environments influences the dynamics of vector-borne diseases transmission. He works with William Pan, assistant professor of global environmental health, to develop agent-based models of vector-borne diseases transmission in the Amazon. Pizzitutti holds a PhD in biophysics from Sapienza Università di Roma in Rome, Italy. Learn more

Joao_VissociJoao Ricardo Nickenig Vissoci’s research interests include in research methods, innovation, and global mental health with emphasis on mental health reintegration through community therapy and sports practice. He’s currently working with Michael Haglund, professor and chief of the Duke Global Neurosurgery and Neuroscience division (DGNN), and Catherine Staton, assistant professor of surgery. His projects relate to neurosurgery capacity and outcomes in Uganda, factors associated with acute injury care in Tanzania and mental health post traumatic brain injury. Vissoci received his PhD from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo in Brazil. Learn more

Caren WeinhouseCaren Weinhouse conducts cross-disciplinary research on global environmental health focused on environmental toxicology, epidemiology and epigenetics. Working with William Pan, assistant professor of global environmental health, she is exploring the role of environmental change in population health outcomes in Madre de Dios, Peru, and incorporating exposure assessment and epigenetic and health outcomes related to methyl mercury exposure in artisanal and small-scale gold mining communities. Weinhouse received her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences and MPH in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology from University of Michigan School of Public Health. Learn more