Top 10 DGHI Stories of 2017


Published January 8, 2018

For many of us, January prompts reflections on the past year and anticipation of what’s to come as the calendar turns. At the Duke Global Health Institute, we’re thinking back to our top stories of 2017—which highlight some of our biggest research, education and innovation successes—and laying the groundwork for another year of progress toward eliminating health disparities. 

Here’s a look back at the most memorable moments from last year:

  1. Multimedia Feature: Students Explore Human and Environmental Health in Madagascar
    This multimedia feature—including videos, photos and more—highlights a Duke Bass Connections project that explored the effects of traditional cooking practices on human and environmental health in Madagascar. 
  2. Duke Team Reaches Milestone with Portable Cervical Cancer Screening Device
    Last January, biomedical engineering and global health professor Nimmi Ramanujam and her team reached a big milestone in their quest to increase access to cervical cancer screening in low-resource settings. After about five years of development and testing their “pocket colposcope,” 20 of these devices were produced for distribution to international partners.
  3. U.S. Foreign Aid Works; It’s the Right Thing to Do (and It’s Minimal) (op-ed)
    DGHI board member Jack Leslie and Ward Brehm, founder of the Brehm Group, penned an op-ed in March advocating for maintaining or increasing U.S. foreign assistance. They cite a number of reasons that foreign assistance is worth the investment, not the least of which is the moral imperative of doing the right thing. 
  4. When It Comes to Taking Care of Patients, Tanzania and North Carolina Have a Lot in Common (op-ed)
    Global health professor John Stanifer reflects on the connections between his work in Tanzania and North Carolina. “The simple story is that I conducted research on kidney disease and cared for patients,” he said. “But the truly transformative part of my experience is that I learned to ask big questions about chronic disease that cannot be answered by working in a single setting like Moshi or Durham or Lumberton.”
  5. DGHI’s Evidence Lab Creates Evaluation Toolkit for Healthcare Innovators
    In collaboration with the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) program, DGHI’s Evidence Lab developed a set of five easy-to-use tools to help social entrepreneurs evaluate their enterprise’s impact—and ultimately be more effective in their work. The best part? They’re free and available to anyone. 
  6. Duke and Makerere University Students Win Big at Big Ideas Competition
    A dynamic team of DGHI and Makerere University students is developing a simple screening tool for preeclampsia in low-resource settings. This joint venture began as a class project in a transcontinental engineering design course, and this spring, the team won $13,000 through the Big Ideas, an annual contest sponsored by University of California at Berkeley that provides funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students with “big ideas.” Since then, the team has gone on to form biomedical start-up company MoyoMedical Technologies and continue to rack up awards and recognition.
  7. Five Questions with Outgoing DGHI Director Michael Merson
    This Q&A gives a peek into the mind of DGHI’s founding director, Michael Merson, who stepped down as director in June. He reflects on his best DGHI memory, biggest DGHI legacy, greatest global health inspiration, most significant challenge at DGHI and what he was looking forward to as he transitioned out of the director role.
  8. On the Global Stage: Expanding Patient Care beyond the Triangle
    From brain-injury patients in Tanzania to pediatric surgery in Guatemala to hearing loss in Alaska, several DGHI faculty members are working hard to address the surgical and related needs of people in low-resource communities across the world. This article, originally published by Duke Surgery, shines a spotlight on their research and training initiatives.
  9. Duke Students Become Virus Detectives through Global Health Fieldwork (video)
    Last summer, six global health students traveled to Malaysia to study viral pathogens and investigate their impact on humans. Watch this video for a “day in the life” glimpse of the team’s summer fieldwork—hear from the students and their Malaysian collaborators, and see them all in action.
  10. DGHI Professor Takes Dramatic Approach to Teaching Global Health Ethics
    What can global health learn from the humanities? Global health professor Kearsley Stewart has been exploring this question, and this fall, she conducted an experiment to see what happens when you use theatre to teach global health ethics. Read about how she brought this innovative teaching approach from hunch to fruition.

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