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Nimmi Ramanujam

Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Global Health
Director, Center for Global Women's Health Technologies
Pratt School of Engineering
Gross Hall 367
(919) 660-5307
Nimmi Ramanujam


Dr. Ramanujam is the Robert W. Carr Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and also a faculty member in the Global Health Institute and Dept. Pharmacology and Cell Biology at Duke University. She is an innovator, educator and entrepreneur and her mission is to develop and leverage technology to have the most wide reaching impact in women’s health. She directs the center for Global Women’s Health Technologies (GWHT), a partnership between the Pratt School of Engineering and the Duke Global Health Institute. Through the GWHT, she is empowering her trainees at Duke and beyond to be agents of change - providing them with the knowledge, confidence and critical thinking skills to create impactful solutions to improve women’s lives. Dr. Ramanujam’s research focuses on womens’ cancers and in particular breast and cervical cancer. Her goals are to design innovations that enable complex referral services often reserved for hospitals to be accessible at the community/primary care level, develop technologies to see and treat women with early stage disease in one visit and to develop tools that will make cancer treatment more effective and efficient. One example of a technology she and her team has developed to achieve health care impact is the Pocket Colposcope. The Pocket colposcope has the potential to revolutionize cervical cancer screening in low resource communities by enhancing the effectiveness and scalability of the screening process, reducing loss to follow up and guiding treatment decisions. Women around the world are disproportionately impacted by health, educational and economic inequities. Thus, much of Dr. Ramanujam’s work has a global reach. Countries she and her team have worked in include India, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti and the U.S. These interactions have resulted in a community that is growing exponentially and has an international reach across a number of different sectors including academia, industry, non-governmental organizations and the government.


Title Number Level
Special Topics with Lab in Global Health Studies Women's Health Technologies

Learn about global poverty, how it disproportionately affects women, and what we as individuals can do to create a better future. Engage in the formal steps of the human-centered design process by completing a social innovation project. Course prepares you to be a Global Women's Health Technology Fellow ( and to teach engineering domestically or internationally this summer or in future summers. Instructed by Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam. Both Trinity and Pratt students welcome. No prerequisites. This course gives students an opportunity to learn about global poverty and how it disproportionately affects women as well as what we as individuals can do to create a better future. Half of the lecture periods will be dedicated to the causes of poverty, the consequences of poverty on women, and comparing and contrasting solutions to poverty that have varying degrees of effectiveness. The remaining lectures will be devoted to lessons and activities about the human centered design process and how it can be used to create innovative solutions to global challenges. During the laboratory component, students will learn about circuits and will gain the skills needed to complete a design challenge related to light. At the end of the semester, student teams will have constructed a functional technology that meets the needs of a client from a low--%u2010resource setting and will present the details of the technology and the design process in a final presentation and report.

Course Notes:
UG Only
Global Women's Health Technology
Crosslisted as GLHLTH 230L

Exploration of the intersection of technology, women's health, and global poverty. Analysis of case studies related to human-centered design and applications of engineering to solve global health challenges. Hands-on learning of engineering concepts related to circuitry and light as well as skills needed to prototype a functional light source. Application of course knowledge in a design challenge based on a need from a real-world client in a low-resource setting. Open to both Trinity and Pratt students.

Course Notes:
BME 230L
UG Only