Roger I. Glass, MD

Keynote Speaker, Michael Saag, MD Lecture
Former Director, John E. Fogarty International Center
NIH Associate Director for International Research

Roger I. Glass, MD, PhD became President of CMB on April 15, 2023. He brings to this role four decades of experience in global health, including leadership roles in public service, research, capacity building, and international collaboration.

Most recently, Dr. Glass served as the longest-serving Director of the Fogarty International Center (2006-2023) and as the Associate Director for International Research at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). At the Fogarty International Center, he led efforts to support and facilitate global health research conducted by U.S. and international investigators, building partnerships between health research institutions in the United States and abroad, and training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs. During his tenure, NIH helped launch the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, partnered with PEPFAR to support the Medical Education Partnership Initiative in Africa, joined the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD), and launched the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative, followed by Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa), to build research capacity on the African continent by African scientists.

Dr. Glass spent much of his career at the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), starting as a medical officer assigned to the Environmental Hazards Branch in 1977. On secondment from CDC, he worked as a Scientist at the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh from 1979-1983. In 1984, he joined the National Institutes of Health Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, where he worked on the molecular biology of rotavirus. In 1986, Dr. Glass returned to the CDC to become Chief of the Viral Gastroenteritis Unit at the National Center for Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Glass’s research interests include the prevention of gastroenteritis from rotaviruses and other agents through the application of novel scientific research. He has maintained field studies in India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Russia, Vietnam, China, and elsewhere. His research has been targeted toward epidemiologic studies to anticipate the introduction of rotavirus vaccines. He has co-authored more than 600 research papers and chapters.

Dr. Glass graduated from Harvard College in 1967, received a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the University of Buenos Aires in 1967, and received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1972. He received his PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of Goteborg, Sweden in 1984.

Dr. Glass has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Charles C. Shepard Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award presented by the CDC in recognition of his 30-year career of scientific research application and leadership and the Dr. Charles Merieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases for his work on rotavirus vaccines in the developing world. The Consortium of Universities of Global Health – an organization he helped found – presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in Global Health in April 2023, only the second time it has made such an award in its history. He also is the recipient of the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award, Georgetown University’s Cura Personalis Award, Research!America’s Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award, Rice University’s Rice 360˚ Institute for Global Health Award, and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Glass is married to Dr. Barbara J. Stoll, a neonatologist and former Chair of Pediatrics at Emory, former Dean of the McGovern School of Medicine in Houston, and the past president of the China Medical Board.

Nancy Reynolds, PhD, RN, FAAN

Keynote Speaker
Associate Dean of Global Affairs, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Information, Knowledge and Management

Nancy Reynolds, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a professor and the Associate Dean of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Dr. Reynolds is the Director of the Center for Global Initiatives; Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Information, Knowledge and Management; Vice Chair of the Consortium of Universities in Global Health (CUGH), and co-Chair of the CUGH Workforce Capacity Building Committee. As the former Secretary General of Global Network of the WHO Collaborating Centers of Nursing and Midwifery, Dr. Reynolds served as a member of the Steering Committee of the inaugural WHO State of the World’s Nursing Report. She has over 25 years of continuous NIH funding supporting research focused on enhancing health care services to vulnerable populations affected by HIV. She is a Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Isabel Hampton Robb Scholar and was inducted in the Sigma International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2018. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Anupam Agarwal, MD

Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean
UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine
James C. Lee Jr. Endowed Chair
Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Anupam Agarwal is Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean, Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He served as Executive Vice Dean for the Heeersink School of Medicine (2014-2022) and served as the Director for the Division of Nephrology from Jan 1, 2008 to Sept 30, 2021. He also serves as the Program Director of the NIH/NIDDK funded O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research. He has graduate faculty status in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Pathology and Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology at UAB.

Dr. Agarwal has an active role in clinical medicine, teaching, research and administration. He is intensively involved in the teaching of medical students, internal medicine house staff and nephrology fellows and has been a recipient of Outstanding Teaching Awards from the Department of Medicine at the University of Florida (2003) as well as at UAB (2005, 2007). Dr. Agarwal has been responsible for the training of 23 pre- and 23 post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory, several of whom have been successful in obtaining post-doctoral fellowships from the American Heart Association and the National Kidney Foundation and have continued to pursue active academic careers.

Dr. Agarwal’s research program has provided critical insights regarding the protective nature and significance of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in vascular and renal inflammation, and the molecular regulation of the human HO-1 gene. In collaboration with Dr. James George, his laboratory is also studying macrophage subpopulations in the kidney during acute kidney injury. Through VA funding, his laboratory is also exploring the mechanisms of lymphangiogenesis in acute kidney injury. His bibliography includes >195 peer-reviewed papers and >50 invited reviews/book chapters, the former appearing in journals such as the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Circulation, Circulation Research, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, American Journal of Pathology as well as others. He has been recognized by the Max Cooper award for excellence in research, the Thomas Andreoli Professorship in Nephrology, election to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), American Clinical and Climatological Association (ACCA), Association of American Physicians (AAP) the Marie S. Ingalls Endowed Chair in Nephrology leadership, a Dean’s Excellence award for leadership and the 2013 Graduate Dean’s Excellence in Mentorship award at UAB. He is the recipient of the UAB National Alumni Society Honorary Alumnus award and a Laureate Recipient for the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Physicians (2014).

Dr. Agarwal has been invited to present at national and international meetings including the Annual Gifford Symposium, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology, International conferences on HO in Italy, Sweden and Krakow, International Biometals Congress in Germany, Dutch Society of Nephrology, National Eye Institute, a state-of-the-art lecture at the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation and several prestigious named lectureships. He has been recognized for his leadership by several awards including Young Investigator awards from the National Kidney Foundation, election to the Council of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Fellow of the American Heart Association’s Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease, his serving on national and international review panels and editorial boards of prestigious journals. Dr. Agarwal served as Chair, Organizing Committee for the 6th International Congress on Heme Oxygenases in 2009. He has served on the Program Committee of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and was the Chair of this committee for the 2013 Annual Meeting and served as an elected member of the ASN Council. He served as President of the ASN in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and as subsequently served a two year term as Past President (2021 and 2022).

Asad Ali, MBBS, MPH

Associate Dean of Research and Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences
Noordin Noormahomed Sheriff Endowed Professor of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences
Aga Khan University Medical College

Prof. Asad Ali is the Associate Dean of Research and Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan. He is the Noordin Noormahomed Sheriff Endowed Professor of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences. He obtained his advanced clinical training in Pediatrics at Duke University, completed his Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and received his Master of Public Health at Vanderbilt University, U.S. 

His research interests pertain to pediatric public health in developing countries, especially infectious diseases, vaccines, and childhood malnutrition in Pakistan and the region. His group is particularly interested in finding sustainable solutions to these problems grounded in our societies. He has received funding from institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NIH USA, and CDC USA to address these problems using cutting-edge scientific approaches. He has been listed in Pakistan’s top 10 Health Scientists and was recently awarded the university-wide Outstanding Faculty Researcher Award in 2022.

Olakunle (Kunle) Alonge, MD, PhD, MPH

(Incoming) Director, Sparkman Center for Global Health
Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Organization
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Olakunle (Kunle) Alonge, MD, PhD, MPH is a public health physician and the incoming Director of the Sparkman Center for Global Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Organization. His expertise is in implementation science and health systems research applied in diverse global health settings working directly with various stakeholders, including government, policymakers, service providers, and communities. His research focuses on supporting the effective implementation of health system-strengthening strategies and complex health initiatives for addressing both communicable, non-communicable diseases and injuries, and knowledge translation to address vaccine-preventable diseases and health security in low and middle-income countries. His research and practice have been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, USAID, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and others. 

Esther C. Atukunda, PhD

Senior Lecturer of Epidemiology and Clinical Trials. Mbarara University of Science and Technology Uganda

Dr. Atukunda (BSN, MPH, PhD-Pharmaco-epidemiology) is a Senior Lecturer in departments of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Mbarara University of Science and Technology. She is also the Chair, Learning and Research Quality Assurance for the World Bank funded Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project- (PHARM-BIOTRAC)

Dr. Atukunda has consistently coordinated and participated in several drug use and adherence intervention studies over the years. Notably, she successfully coordinated a multi-site consortium AMASA Project (Access to Medicines in Africa and South Asia), an EU funded project under 7th framework programme (grant agreement number F7-HEALTH-2009-242262) that resulted into over 25 peer-reviewed publications and facilitated several policy changes in partner countries.

Dr. Atukunda has key interests in outcomes research, medicine access, adherence, health care utilization and health policy reforms in maternal health. She has been investigating alternative, appropriate medicine/intervention use in low resource settings utilizing observation studies, surveys, modelling cost-effectiveness and randomised controlled trials. Notably, she led a team to investigate the role of misoprostol in prevention of post-partum hemorrhage, including modelling its impact and cost-effectiveness, a landmark study that successfully effected policy change in Uganda.

She is a recipient of a K43 award (K43TW011004) focused on developing and testing a novel intervention using mHealth technology and social support to encourage and support women to access maternity care to improve maternal-child health outcomes, for which Dr. Matthews served as her primary mentor. The R01 application to trial the K43-developed intervention scored 30 (18%) on first submission – council complete and funding pending. An updated proposal scored 10 (1.0%). She has successfully supervised and supported work of 18 MSc/MMed and 7 PhD students in Uganda.

Mohamed El Beltagy, MD, PhD, FACS, MBA

Professor of Neurological Surgery, Cairo University
Chief Neurosurgeon, Children’s Cancer Hospital – Egypt 57357

Dr Mohamed El Beltagy is renowned in the field of neurosurgery, currently holding the position of Professor of Neurological Surgery at Kasr-Al-Ainy School of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt. He also serves as the Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt (CCHE-57357). His notable contributions to the field include establishing and directing the Neurosurgery Department at the Children’s Cancer Hospital of Egypt in 2007 that under his leadership, conducts 600-800 complex brain tumor surgeries annually in children, making it the largest pediatric neuro-oncology hospital in the region. He has contributed to more than 80 publications in international journals of neurosurgery and wrote 13 chapters in different pediatric neurosurgery textbooks. In 2019, Dr. El Beltagy founded the African Pediatric Neurosurgical Oncology Society (APNOS), further highlighting his commitment to advancing neurosurgical care and research in Africa. His wealth of experience, leadership, and dedication to pediatric neurosurgery make him a valuable contributor in the field.

Jeffrey Blount, MD, MPH

Chair and Professor of Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery
UAB Heersink School of Medicine
Children’s of Alabama

Dr. Blount is a renowned Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Division Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Children’s of Alabama. With over two decades at UAB, he’s a board-certified expert in pediatric neurosurgery, specializing in epilepsy, spina bifida, transitional care, and global public health. His extensive research, exceeding 100 papers, impacts national and global neurosurgery. Dr. Blount presents at leading conferences and has been a visiting professor at thirteen institutions, spearheading discussions and courses.

Dr. Blount’s academic journey includes Washington and Lee University, medical school at the University of Rochester, neurosurgery residency at the University of Minnesota, and service in the US Navy. He expanded his knowledge at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London and completed a Pediatric Neurosurgery fellowship in Toronto.

Recently, Lister Hill Center’s Pilot Grants for Health Policy Research awarded him and Anastasia Smith a grant to study feasibility of salt as a vehicle for fortification with folic acid to prevent spina bifida. He’s a co-founder of the Global Alliance for the Prevention of Spina Bifida (GAPSBiF), a key advocate for large-scale food fortification to prevent neural tube defects. GAPSBiF’s collaborative efforts led to a significant global milestone in spina bifida prevention policy in 2023 with the adoption of the WHA resolution 76.19  to accelerate efforts on food micronutrient fortification, like folic acid, to prevent congenital malformations like spina bifida.

Elizabeth A. Bukusi, MBChB, M.Med, MPH, PhD, PGD, MBE

Senior Principal Clinical Research Scientist, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)
Volunteer Professor, Dept. Of OBGYN and Reproductive Sciences, University of San Fransisco (UCSF)
Research Professor, University of Washington, Depts. Of Global Health and OBGYN

Professor Elizabeth Anne Bukusi: MBChB, M.Med (ObGyn), MPH, PhD, PGD (Research Ethics), MBE is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (FAAS). She is a Senior Principal Clinical Research Scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), a Research Professor at the University of Washington (Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Global Health), an honorary lecturer at Aga Khan University in Nairobi and Maseno University (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology) and Volunteer Clinical faculty – Professor at the University of California San Francisco (Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences). Prof. Bukusi, in collaboration with Dr. Craig Cohen at UCSF, established the KEMRI Research Care and Training Program in 1995. She is also the lead faculty for the Bioethics program at Amref International University (AMIU). In addition to substantial experience in conducting socio-behavioral and biomedical research and providing HIV care, mentoring, and training health care and research personnel to enhance local and international capacity, she has a strong interest in research and clinical ethics and the development of systems and structures for regulation of research. She was the founding chairperson of the National Bioethics Society of Kenya (BSK), a board member of AVAC, and chaired the WHO HRP Alliance (capacity building for RH research) from 2016 to 2021, and is a trustee for the HIV Trust.

Gail H. Cassell, PhD, DSc (Hon.)

Senior Lecturer, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Senior Research Scientist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Gail H. Cassell, PhD, DSc (Hon.), is Senior Lecturer, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine [formerly the Institute of Medicine (IOM)] of the National Academy of Sciences and served two terms on the IOM Council, the governing board. She founded the IOM Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation and she was the inaugural Co-Chair of the Forum during which time she organized 6 IOM workshops in South Africa, Russia, India, and China in collaboration with the National Academy of Sciences in these countries to assess the realities of Drug Resistant TB and to develop a blueprint for action.

She is former Vice President for Scientific Affairs and Distinguished Lilly Research Scholar of Infectious Diseases and former Vice President for Infectious Diseases Drug Discovery and Development of Eli Lilly and Company Indianapolis, Indiana. In this capacity, among other things, she was responsible for initiating and leading the not-for-profit Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative launched in 2007. In 2003, she was one of two individuals at Lilly who initiated and developed the Lilly Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDRTB) Partnership. The partnership has resulted in company support to date exceeding $170 million dollars.

Prior to moving to Lilly in 1997, Dr. Cassell was the former Charles H. McCauley Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Alabama Schools of Medicine and Dentistry at Birmingham, a department which ranked first in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during the decade of her leadership.  She obtained her B.S. from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and in 1993 was selected by that institution as one of the top 31 female graduates of the Centennial following the admission of the first female to the University in 1893. 

She obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was selected as its 2003 Distinguished Alumnus. She is a past President of the American Society for Microbiology and is currently serving her second elected term on the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Cassell is an elected life time member of the U.S Council on Foreign Relations. She was named to the original Board of Scientific Councilors of the Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and served as Chair of the Board. She has served on the Advisory Board of the of the Director of NIH, Director of CDC, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services Advisory Council of Public Health Preparedness, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Science Board, the Advisory Committee to the Commissioner. She was a member of the NIH Science Management Board and Advisory Councils of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Fogarty International Center of NIH.

For two decades she was a member of the Steering Committee of the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Medical Sciences Program responsible for advising the respective governments on joint research agendas, (U.S. State Department/Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs). She was instrumental in establishment of the U.S./Russia Cooperative Medical Sciences and Training Program under the Bilateral Presidential Commission in 2009 which was a collaboration involving NIH, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2012, the American Society for Microbiology and the Federation of European Microbiology Societies established the Mäkelä–Cassell Exchange Program for pioneering international engagement for young scientists. She has served on several editorial boards of scientific journals and has authored over 350 articles and book chapters.

She has received national and international awards for her research in infectious diseases, including: two honorary degrees; the CDC Honor Award in Public Health for exceptional leadership and contributions in the development and implementation of CDC’s Emerging Infectious Disease Plan 1997; a Citation from the FDA Commissioner for her role as Chair of the review of science and technology at the FDA and the Report FDA:  Science and Mission at Risk 2008.    

Girish Dhall, MD

Division Director, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, UAB Heersink School of Medicine

In 1994, Dr. Girish Dhall graduated from the Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India, where he received his medical school education. He moved to the United States in 1997 to enter a Pediatric Residency Training program at Saint Vincent’s Hospital and New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. From there, under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Finlay, he undertook Fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology-oncology at the New York University Medical Center (2000–2003), sparking his interest in pediatric brain tumors. Upon completing his Fellowship, Dr. Dhall moved to Los Angeles, California to further develop his expertise in Neuro-oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Shortly after, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California and promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and served as Vice-Chair of the CHLA Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Dr. Dhall is a Professor of Pediatrics and currently resides in Birmingham, AL where he serves as Benjamin Russell Endowed Chair in Pediatric Hematology & Oncology and Division Director of the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Blood Marrow Transplantation Program at the University of Birmingham in Alabama (UAB) and Children’s of Alabama. He is Deputy Director of Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium, and he is titled Senior Scientist at UAB’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also Head of the Pediatric Neuro-oncology program. Dr. Dhall currently co-chairs the “Head Start” 4, an international, multi-institutional clinical trial, and is also the Chair of the COG’s Young Investigator’s Committee and a member of COG CNS Steering Committee.

Camryn Durham, BS, MPH

Program Manager, UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health

Camryn Durham graduated from Auburn University with her BS in Global Health in Human Sciences in 2018. In 2020, she completed her MPH in Health Behavior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham along with the graduate certificate in global health. Camryn currently works at the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health as a Program Manager. Her main role is to assist students who are interested in global health educational and experiential learning programs. She is also a student in the new UAB joint MS in Global Health program.

Rebecca Edwards, MSN, DNP, PhD

Assistant Professor, UAB School of Nursing

Dr. Rebecca Lynn Edwards is an Assistant Professor at the UAB SON. She developed and coordinates the Palliative Care subspecialty program that is available for graduate nursing students, as well as post-graduate advanced practice registered nurses. She specializes in palliative and end-of-life care, clinical cancer care, health professions education, and global health. She is board-certified and has practiced for 23 years as a nurse practitioner in oncology and palliative care. Her research interests are focused on expanding palliative care in areas that are underserved and using interprofessional opportunities to foster nurse involvement in expansion efforts. Dr. Edwards’ PhD dissertation study in Jamaica was funded by the American Cancer Society’s Doctoral Degree Scholarship in Cancer Nursing. This was a mixed methods study that led to a better understanding of how best to equip healthcare professionals to practice palliative care across Jamaican health system settings. More recently, her ongoing work to foster interprofessional palliative care education was funded by a UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health pilot grant. Dr. Edwards is committed to advancing and positioning nurses to be full partners in addressing local and global cancer and palliative care workforce shortages. She received the Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner of the Year award from the Oncology Nursing Society in 2017, completed her MSN at Yale University, her DNP at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, and her PhD at UAB.

Alaa Elhaddad, MD

Head of Pediatric Oncology Department & Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
Professor of Pediatric Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University
Children’s Cancer Hospital – Egypt 57357

Dr. Alaa El Haddad is a professor of pediatric oncology and is currently the Head of the Pediatric Oncology Department in CCHE 57357. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University in 1980. In 1990 he earned his Doctoral Degree in Pediatric Oncology. He was also the former Dean of the National Cancer Institute, Cairo, Egypt during the period from 2011 through 2015. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT), and Pediatric Oncology in general, in Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East. He played and still plays a major role in the treatment of Children with cancer in Egypt through his work that is being done in CCHE 57357 both in research and medical care. His work in pediatric oncology and BMT has been cited many times by academics and scholars in the field of Pediatric Oncology. He is an active member of several prestigious international societies, such as SIOP, ASCO, ASH.

Paul Erwin, MD, DrPH

Professor and Dean, UAB School of Public Health

Paul Campbell Erwin, MD, DrPH is Dean of the UAB School of Public Health and Professor in Health Care Organization and Policy. Erwin earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of the South (Sewanee), his medical degree from the UAB School of Medicine, a master’s in public health from John Hopkins University and a doctorate in public health from the University of North Carolina. He is certified in internal medicine, public health, and preventive medicine and a leader in establishing formal Academic Health Department collaboratives with public health practice partners. Prior to becoming dean in 2018, Erwin was the Department Head for Public Health at the University of Tennessee, where he served for 11 years. Before joining academia, he was director of the East Tennessee Regional Health Office for the Tennessee Department of Health, overseeing 15 county health departments, mostly in rural Appalachia. He is an associate editor of the American Journal of Public Health and a member of the editorial boards for Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba Review and the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

Michael Feldman, MD

Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellow, Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery
UAB Heersink School of Medicine

Dr. Michael Feldman, the current Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellow at Children’s of Alabama, grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland. After high school, he spent a year of voluntary service on ambulances in Israel. He attended college and medical school at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NYl.

Dr. Feldman further did his neurosurgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He underwent specialized training in endovascular neurosurgery. Beyond surgical proficiency, he demonstrated a deep commitment to broader aspects of healthcare, including policy, socioeconomics, and advocacy through his engagement with the Tennessee Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

Adrian Gardner, MD, MPH

Executive Director, Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare
Director, Indiana University Center for Global Health Equity

Adrian Gardner, MD, MPH, is the executive director of the AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) Consortium and director of the Indiana University Center for Global Health Equity. He is the Donald E. Brown Scholar in Global Health and an associate dean for global health and an associate professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Gardner attended the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He first traveled to Kenya as a medical student in 2001 during the time that the AMPATH HIV program was first being conceived. This experience, along with clinical experience in the Rhode Island TB clinic, drove his interest in HIV and tuberculosis. He returned to Kenya and served as the AMPATH Team Leader in 2006-07. Dr. Gardner completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and earned a master of public health from Harvard School of Public Health. 

He joined Indiana University School of Medicine in 2012 as the executive site director of the AMPATH Consortium in Kenya and was based full-time in Eldoret, Kenya, during his seven years in this role. During this time, he worked closely with Kenyan program leadership to make strategic investments and policy decisions while also providing service to inpatients on the medical wards at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and outpatients in the HIV clinics and HIV resistance clinics.  

His areas of interest include program development and health systems strengthening in resource-poor settings, clinical and operational research in tuberculosis and HIV, global health training and education, and antimicrobial stewardship and infection control. He provides care for patients at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. 

Meredith Gartin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Global Health in the Department of Health Policy and Organization
UAB School of Public Health

Dr. Meredith Gartin (PhD Global Health, Arizona State University, 2012) is an Assistant Professor of Global Health in the Department of Health Policy and Organization at the UAB School of Public Health. Dr. Gartin’s main area of expertise focuses on the ways in which global processes converge in local communities to create health risks, specifically how global and local processes of climate change converge on human health and development issues, like food security, water resources, human migration, and non-communicable disease (like obesity and mental health). For over 10 years, Dr. Gartin has conducted cross-cultural, climate-related health research in Central and South America, the South Pacific, and the US. She is currently establishing research partnerships to focus on climate-displaced refugees and migrant populations in Latin America and the US. She is also on the board of the Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership, which serves refugees and asylum seekers in the areas of cultural integration to the US and accessing key resources for health and well-being.

Given her focus on teaching global health courses, Dr. Gartin also directs the global health curriculum for the Global Health Certificate and the MS in Global Health degree. As a member of the Sub-Committee on Master’s and Undergraduate Degrees in Global Health with the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, Education Committee, Dr. Gartin and fellow colleagues have published a series of peer-reviewed journal articles mapping global health programs in US institutions with CEPH and ASPPH competencies

Martina Gonzalez Gomez, MD, MSc

Program Manager II, Global Neurosurgery Program, Department of Neurosurgery, Heersink School of Medicine

Dr. Gonzalez is a physician from Colombia, bringing substantial experience from both public and private clinical settings in her country, with a particular focus on neurosurgery. She earned a master’s degree in Global Health with Global Surgery at King’s College London and dedicated her dissertation to the topic of political priority of global neurosurgery.

In the realm of research, Dr. Gonzalez has been an active contributor, co-authoring case series, contributing to book chapters, and engaging in various research endeavors. Her previous work has revolved around traumatic brain injury and normal pressure hydrocephalus syndrome.

Beyond her academic and clinical pursuits, Dr. Gonzalez is a passionate advocate for global healthcare. She has actively participated in two GAPSBiF side events held in the World Health Assembly raising awareness about the need for this resolution to prevent health conditions like spina bifida, which result from micronutrient deficiencies, particularly folate, and assisted to the G4 Alliance Permanent Council meetings, participating in advocacy for surgical care worldwide.

Currently, Dr. Gonzalez holds the role of Program Manager at the UAB Global Neurosurgery Program. Her primary focus is on integrating global neurosurgery education within residency training programs and working towards the establishment of a formal global neurosurgery fellowship. Her commitment to advancing neurosurgery, coupled with her dedication to global health and education, positions her to actively contribute to the transformation of neurosurgery and the enhancement of surgical care access on a global scale.

Glenda Gray, MBBCh, FCP, DSc

President and Chief Executive Officer, South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)

An NRF A1-rated scientist, CEO, and President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Professor Glenda Gray is a qualified pediatrician and co-founder of the internationally recognized Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa. Prior to her appointment at the SAMRC, she was the Executive Director of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, an affiliate of Wits University. Glenda’s global profile includes a role as Co-PI of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), an international collaboration for the development of HIV/AIDS prevention vaccines. 

She has served as a Protocol Co-Chair of the multi-country Ensemble Study investigating the single-dose Ad26.COV2.S vaccine as an emergency response intervention. She received South Africa’s highest honor – the Order of Mapungubwe – for her pioneering research in PMTCT. She is a member of the board of GARDP, AAHI, and a member of the WHO TB-STAG. 

Lily A. Gutnik, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, UAB Division of Breast and Endocrine Surgery
Associate Vice Chair, Global Surgery Equity
UAB Heersink School of Medicine

Dr. Lily Gutnik joined the UAB Division of Breast and Endocrine Surgery in November 2021 as an assistant professor. She also supports the General Surgery Residency Program as assistant program director for global surgery. Additionally, Dr. Gutnik serves the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB as an associate scientist in the Cancer Control and Population Science Program. In 2022, she was appointed to the Sparkman Center for Global Health Scholars Program.

Dr. Gutnik completed her undergraduate degree at New York University and her Medical Degree at the Medical School for International Health—a collaboration between Ben Gurion University in Israel and Columbia University in New York. She also holds a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University.

Lily completed a research fellowship at the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Harvard University/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she gained valuable experience in health services research. Lily served on the Finance and Economics Committee of the Lancet Commission for Global Surgery. Her longstanding research passion has revolved around the impact of breast cancer screening and early detection in low-resource settings.

Lily was previously a Fulbright and Fogarty Fellow in Lilongwe, Malawi, where she established and evaluated the efficacy of Malawi’s first breast cancer screening initiative by activating laywomen to become trained breast health workers. In addition, she serves as an advisory board member for two international NGOs: (i) Know Your Lemons, which focuses on education and awareness materials; (ii) Discovering Hands, which focuses on training blind women to become clinical breast examiners. She is a committee member of PreTac—a franchisee of Discovering Hands in Geneva, Switzerland. She is currently collaborating on various breast cancer projects and initiatives in Tanzania, Malawi, and Nigeria, and with the WHO Global Breast Cancer Initiative. She is also a co-supervisor of a Ph.D. student in Moshi, Tanzania, whose thesis is on understanding factors contributing to late-stage breast cancer diagnosis.

Prof. Willem Hanekom

Executive Director, Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI)

Willem Hanekom is the executive director of the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He holds a professor position at University College London and affiliate professor positions at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, and Washington.

Willem has worked in TB vaccine development for most of his career. He serves in an advisory capacity for various vaccination-related committees, globally.

Renee Heffron, PhD, MPH

Director of the Center for AIDS Research
Professor, Department of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Renee Heffron, Professor of Medicine at UAB, is a clinical epidemiologist and HIV prevention researcher with experience that incorporates implementation science, behavioral science, and qualitative research. She leads numerous research projects focused on biomedical HIV prevention using pre-exposure prophylaxis, including studies of novel products and optimizing delivery of efficacious products with close collaborations in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa. She is also the Director of the Center for AIDS Research at UAB, a center with a 35-year history of supporting HIV research across disciplines of basic, clinical, implementation, and community sciences. Throughout her career, she has been a mentor to dozens of trainees, including doctoral students, fellows, and early career investigators at US and African institutions.

Mathew Heimann, MD

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Fellowship Director of Global Emergency Medicine
Associate Director of Global Health Education Programs, Mary Heersink Institute of Global Health
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Matthew Heimann is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from Florida State University College of Medicine. He went on to complete his emergency medicine residency training at UAB. Afterwards, his training continued at UAB by finishing the Global Emergency Medicine fellowship.

Presently, Dr. Heimann serves as an Assistant Professor of emergency medicine and the Fellowship Director of Global Emergency Medicine. He is passionate about the education of medical students/residents/fellows. He aims to incorporate his international experiences and knowledge into bedside teaching at UAB. Through continued engagement in emergency medicine locally, nationally, and internationally, he strives to remain clinically competent and be a leader in the practice of cutting-edge emergency medicine.

Furthermore, he serves as the Associate Director of Global Health Education Programs in the Mary Heersink Institute of Global Health. In partnership with the multidisciplinary team at the institute, he has been tasked with expanding innovative and learner-centric global health educational offerings for the institution and its collaborators. In this role and in partnership with the School of Public Health, Dr. Heimann is helping create and co-director UAB’s groundbreaking Master of Science in Global Health.

Anna Helova, DrPH, MA, MBA, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Organization
Deputy Director, Sparkman Center for Global Health, UAB School of Public Health

Dr. Helova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Organization and a Deputy Director of the Sparkman Center for Global Health at the UAB School of Public Health. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Global Health Operations Committee of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. She has over 20 years of experience in global health research, education, training, and practice in the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Central America, focusing primarily on knowledge transfer, behavioral science, operations, access to care, maternal and child health, mental health, HIV, cancer, and cross-sectional stigma.

Ayesiga M. Herman, MD, MMed, FCS (ECSA), Cert. Gastroenterology (SA)

Colorectal Surgeon and lecturer at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College
Director of Surgical Services at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC)

Dr. Ayesiga M Herman is a Colorectal Surgeon and a lecturer at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College and the Director of Surgical Services at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, Tanzania. He specializes in the care of general surgical patients and has a special interest particularly in colorectal cancer. He has established a colorectal unit at KCMC and is working with a number of partners, including the University of Vanderbilt to assess genetics in colorectal cancer in an effort to better characterize the disease among the population in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. He works hand in hand with the oncology department at KCMC on awareness campaigns and surveillance for patients with colorectal cancer in the region. Dr. Herman won an International Travelling Scholarship in 2017 by the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons on which he traveled to the U.S. and continues to implement many of the lessons learned and developing relationships started during that period. Dr. Herman is a fully trained colorectal surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital South Africa and board-certified by the College of Medicine South Africa. He has given talks on his experience as a colorectal surgeon in Africa and health systems in Tanzania to students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Meghan Hofto, MD, MPH, DTMH

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
UAB Heersink School of Medicine

Meghan Hofto is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her pediatric hospital medicine fellowship at UAB, her pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, and medical school at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Dr. Hofto has a strong interest in global health in addition to hospital medicine; while in fellowship, she obtained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene through the Gorgas Institute. She is the faculty advisor for the pediatric resident Global Health Interest Group and leads the Pediatric Underserved and Global Health Scholars program. Her current research interests are focused on implementation of guidelines, particularly in community-acquired pneumonia, to achieve appropriate use of antibiotics in treatment of hospitalized children.

James Johnston, MD

Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, UAB Heersink School of Medicine
Director of Neurosurgery Pediatric Fellowship and Children’s of Alabama Global Surgery Program
Children’s of Alabama

Dr. Johnston specializes in pediatric neurosurgery, serving as a Professor in the UAB Department of Neurosurgery and director of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship. He practices at Children’s of Alabama and is the Director of the Global Surgery program. He actively researches intratumoral viral therapy for recurrent malignant brain tumors in children.

Before medical school, he spent two years in Dakar, Senegal, as a database coordinator for a hepatitis B and liver cancer study with the Fox Chase Cancer Center and Senegalese Military Health Service, solidifying his interest in global health. He earned his M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine in 2002 and stayed for neurosurgery residency training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital 2002-2009.

He pursued post-doctoral training in MR imaging at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology from 2006-2008. He served as a neurosurgical registrar at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, in 2007 and then served as Chief Resident in Neurosurgery at Washington University/Barnes Hospital 2008-2009. He completed a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship in 2010 at Saint Louis Children’s Hospital.

Over the course of his career, he has forged collaborations with partners in Vietnam, Ghana, Egypt, Uganda, and Haiti. He was an intern at the WHO Global initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (GIESSC) and studied Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene. He’s a co-founder of InterSurgeon.org, an online platform with over 900 members and 76 organizations from 105 countries that helps foster collaborations within global surgery. He is now the director of the UAB Global Neurosurgery Program, working to integrate global neurosurgery education within residency training as well as establish a formal global neurosurgery fellowship.

Trei King, BA, R EEG T, CNIM, CLTM

Director of Neurophysiology, Children’s of Alabama

Trei King is the Neurophysiology director of the COA with 26 years of experience in Neurophysiology providing all modalities of EEG in COA. Trei has been part of the Children’s of Alabama International Outreach Team in Vietnam since 2016. This work has consisted of training neurophysiology nurses in Vietnam and on the Children’s of Alabama Campus through seminars and clinical training. Remote help has also been utilized for many surgical cases and troubleshooting

Bhekumusa W. Lukhele, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Organization, UAB School of Public Health
Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Bhekumusa W. Lukhele (PhD, MPH, Kyoto University) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Organization at UAB. Dr. Lukhele’s teaching interests include Global Health, Global Health Governance, Infectious Diseases Global Health Significance, and Innovations in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases. He has been a teaching assistant at the School of Public Health at Kyoto University, under the Kyoto University Global Health Interdisciplinary Unit, and a voluntary Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine. He has published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of the International AIDS Society, PLoS ONE, and Emerging Infectious Diseases, and is co-author of a textbook chapter on Undernutrition, “Food Insecurity, and Antiretroviral Outcomes: An Overview of Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa”. His research interests include TB, HIV, and HPV. Other than teaching, and scholarly work, he has served as the Country Director at the Institute of Health Measurement Southern Africa and the Executive Director for Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Eswatini. In these different roles, he has provided leadership in implementing NIH, PEPFAR-USAID, World Bank, Global Fund, ViiV, and Projects Bristol Myers Squibb funded partnerships and projects. Until recently was a member of the H3Africa under the Collaborative African Genomics Network and the Trials of Excellence In Southern Africa III.

Sarah MacCarthy, PhD

Magic City LGBTQ Health Studies Endowed Chair, UAB School of Public Health

Dr. MacCarthy is the inaugural holder of the Magic City LGBTQ Health Studies Endowed Chair at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She has more than 15 years experience in applying systematic mixed-methods research to address LGBTQ health and wellbeing in the US and internationally. Dr. MacCarthy completed her masters and doctoral studies at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and postdoctoral training with the Brown University-affiliated Miriam Hospital Immunology Center. Dr. MacCarthy’s research utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine individual, programmatic, and policy related aspects of accessing services across diverse contexts. She has over 70 peer-reviewed articles and has also published her work in high readership venues such as Scientific American, US News & World Report, the The New Yorker.

Simon Manga, PhD

Deputy Director of Clinical Services, Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Service

Dr. Simon Manga is a Reproductive Health Specialist with a great interest in cervical cancer prevention. He pioneers the Women’s Health Program (WHP) of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS), the largest cervical cancer prevention program in Cameroon. After completing his Ph.D. in Nursing/Population Health at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2019, he returned to Cameroon and continued working in WHP. That same year, he got an admission into a post-doctoral training at the Center for Women’s Reproductive Health (CWRH) at UAB which he did remotely till 2021. He is currently the Deputy Director of the CBCHS in charge of clinical affairs and he holds an adjunct instructor appointment in the UAB School of Medicine. He recently completed a postdoc Fogarty fellowship in the Integrated Networks of Scholars in Global Health Research Training (INSIGHT) program consortium at Baylor College of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Maryland Baltimore, and University of Pittsburgh.

Adelais Markaki, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor & Director, Global Partnerships
Co-Director, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for International Nursing
UAB School of Nursing

Dr. Markaki combines an advanced practice background in public/community health nursing with a medical anthropologist’s perspective of global health. Her international career spans over clinical, administrative, and academic positions both in the U.S. and Greece. As a health systems researcher, she studies nursing contributions to primary health care and global health, with a focus on capacity building, collaborative practice, interprofessional teaching, and compassionate care. An accomplished educator, Dr. Markaki has extensively mentored nursing/medical/public health students, medical residents, and professional nurses and is the recipient of the UAB Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship.  

As a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and member of the Global Health Expert Panel, she strives to develop new connections across disciplines and cultures and raise awareness of constituents to achieve the WHO 2030 Sustainable Health Agenda. Within the Americas region, as Chair of the Pan American Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centers (PANMCC) network which includes 16 PAHO/WHO Centers, Dr. Markaki empowers and advocates for nursing and midwifery workforce development with a focus on low-resource settings

Jeanne Marrazzo, MD

Director, NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Former Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Heersink School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Marrazzo currently serves as a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is internationally recognized for her research and education efforts in the field of sexually transmitted infections, especially as they affect women’s health. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Marrazzo has chaired the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Council, and the ABIM Infectious Disease Specialty Board. She is board-certified in Infectious Disease. She conducts research on the human microbiome, specifically as it relates to female reproductive tract infections and hormonal contraception. Her other research interests include prevention of HIV infection using biomedical interventions, including PrEP and microbicides. Other research interests include pathogenesis and management of bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted diseases in HIV-infected persons, and management of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhea.

Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., has been selected to succeed Anthony Fauci, M.D., as the next director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) this fall. As NIAID director, Jeanne will oversee NIAID’s budget of $6.3 billion supporting research to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. The NIAID budget supports research at universities and research organizations around the U.S. and across NIAID’s 21 laboratories, including the Vaccine Research Center on NIH’s main campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Rocky Mountains Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana. NIAID also has a unique mandate to respond to emerging and re-emerging public health threats at home and abroad. The NIAID research response to outbreaks of infectious diseases, from HIV to Ebola to COVID-19, has led to new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies.

Shadi S. Martin, PhD, MSW, MPA/HAS, MA

Vice Provost for International Education
Dean Of Graduate School & Chief International Officer
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Shadi Martin serves as the Vice Provost of International Education, Dean of Graduate School, and Chief International Officer at UAB. Prior to joining UAB, Dr. Martin served as the Founding Dean of School of Social Work at University of Nevada, Reno – where she was granted Founding Dean & Professor Emerita status. Dean Martin served on the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Chancellor’s Mental Health Task Force in addressing COVID related mental health issues. Prior to joining UNR, Dr. Martin was a tenured professor and director of the graduate program at McGill University School of Social Work in Canada.

Dean Martin has extensive experience in international development and education, including her work with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Middle East.

She has a robust record of scholarship related to health & mental disparities affecting older African Americans, Hispanics and Middle Eastern immigrants. She has been awarded more than 20 research grants and awards including the prestigious Hartford Geriatric Faculty Scholar Award and Fulbright Fellowship.

She received her doctorate and master’s degree in social work from University of Utah, where she also earned master’s degrees in public administration, health services administration and political science.

Lynn T. Matthews, MD, MPH

Associate Professor and Director of Global Infectious Disease Research, Division of Infectious Disease, UAB Department of Medicine
Associate Director, Mary Heersink Global Health Institute
UAB Heersink School of Medicine

Lynn T. Matthews is Associate Professor and Director of Global Infectious Disease Research in the Division of Infectious Disease; and Associate Director for the Mary Heersink Global Health Institute, all at UAB Heersink School of Medicine.

She completed undergraduate training at Swarthmore College, a medical degree at the University of Miami, Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Infectious Disease fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and an MPH at Harvard School of Public Health.

She is an infectious disease trained clinician-scientist funded by NIH since 2011 to develop and implement HIV prevention programs in the context of reproductive goals for men and women affected by HIV. She has worked with partners in South Africa and Uganda since 2007 and 2010, respectively. More recently, she expanded the scope of her research to address gaps in HIV testing, care, and prevention in Alabama.

Ronald C. Merrell, MD

Emeritus Professor of Surgery
Previous Clinical Director, Health Systems Telemedicine Program
Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Merrell is Emeritus Professor of Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was Stuart McGuire Professor and Chairman of VCU’s Department of Surgery from 1999 to 2003. Dr. Merrell was also the Clinical Director of VCU Health Systems Telemedicine Program. Previously he was the Lampman Professor and Chairman of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. He was Vice Dean at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston and Professor of Surgery at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He obtained B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Alabama, which is his home state, and trained in surgery and biological chemistry at Washington University in St Louis.   

Dr. Merrell has had a long relationship with NASA as an advisor in aerospace medicine and a researcher in telemedicine. He was awarded the Public Service Medal by NASA on three occasions. He chaired the Aerospace Medicine and Occupational Health Advisory for NASA for ten years. He has served on the ISS Readiness Committee chaired by Gen. Tom Stafford since its inception and on its predecessor back to the MIR partnership in 1994. He is also a frequent advisor to the Department of Defense regarding telemedicine. Dr Merrell has established successful programs in industry and government in the field of informatics research. His innovative work in telemedicine includes early use of Internet telemedicine, sensor applications, transmission solutions, and program design. His efforts in international telemedicine have led to significant programs in ten countries and extensive work in remote and hostile environments, including Mt. Everest, the Amazon, and Africa. He was awarded the President’s Award by the ATA and a lifetime achievement award from the International Society for Telemedicine and e-Health. He has long been associated with telemedicine and surgical education programs. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Telemedicine Association.  

As a surgical educator, he has been recognized by the universities he has served and their students with many awards, including the Kaiser Award at Stanford, the John McGovern Award at the University of Texas Houston, and the Edward Storer Award at Yale. At Yale, he also founded the Yale Surgical Society. He has over 380 publications and serves on the editorial boards of several major surgical journals. Dr. Merrell was named to the Best Doctors in America list for the last decade of his practice. He was an editor-in-chief of Telemedicine and E-Health, the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association and the International Society for Telemedicine and e-Health. 

Dawn Munroe, PhD, MA, RN, RM

Lecturer and Head of the UWI School of Nursing, Mona
Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development in the Caribbean

Dawn Munroe, PhD, MA, RN, RM is a Lecturer and Head of the UWI School of Nursing, Mona. She is also the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development in the Caribbean, a member of the International Self-Directed Learning Society and a member of the Omega Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. Her primary research interests include learner-centered pedagogy in nursing education, curriculum development and professionalism. Her PhD work introduced the use of self-directed learning as an instructional method in undergraduate nursing education in Jamaica. 

Dr. Sherif Abouel Naga, MD

CEO of 57357 Group Board of Directors
General Manager
Professor of Pediatric Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University
Children’s Cancer Hospital – Egypt 57357

Dr. Sherif Abouelnaga, a Pediatric Oncology Professor in Cairo, Egypt, earned his education from Cairo University and the National Cancer Institute. He holds diplomas in healthcare administration and strategy from Harvard University and the American University in Cairo. Since graduating in 1984 and joining the National Cancer Institute faculty, he’s been a catalyst for healthcare improvement. Dr. Abouelnaga champions healthcare management to optimize resource use and system efficiency.

A healthcare philanthropy pioneer, he’s raised over 9 billion EGP in 30 years. Beginning as an intern at Cairo University teaching hospitals in 1985, he initiated the first national fundraising campaign. This campaign established 2 intensive care units and reformed the Blood Bank workflow, launching Egypt’s first fresh blood donation program. In 1986, he organized a philanthropic campaign to expand the pediatric oncology department at NCI tenfold by 1994, also creating pediatric oncology outpatient clinics. In 1993, he introduced clinical pharmacy to Egypt’s healthcare system and established a clinical pharmacy unit at NCI. Inspired by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he analyzed its success and sought to replicate it in Egypt’s challenging environment.

In 1998, he founded the Association of Friends of the National Cancer Institute (AFNCI), which later evolved into the Association of Friends of the National Cancer Free Initiative. AFNCI adopted a broader approach focusing on “Cancer of Poverty, Cancer of Ignorance, and Cancer of Health.” Projects encompassed infrastructure development, education, and healthcare access in underserved regions.

In 2007, CCHE 57357 opened with 180 in-patient beds and expanded over the years, receiving 3356 patients in 2020. Under his leadership, it became the world’s largest comprehensive cancer center for children, housing advanced technologies like the Cyclotron, Cyber-Knife, and Proton therapy.

Lerato Ndlovu, PhD

Post-doctoral Fellow, Africa Health Research Institute

Dr. Ndlovu holds a PhD in Medical microbiology and is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Wong and Ndung’u Labs at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa. In her research career, she aspires to combine basic science with social impact as she believes that translational research is the best approach to alleviating endemic diseases in her country such as HIV and TB. She is also passionate about engaging the community about scientific research and hopes to make that a significant part of her research career. In addition to being an INSIGHT Fogarty fellow she is also a Falling Walls Foundation: Female Science Talents (Intensive Track) trainee.

Celestino Obua, MD, MSc, PhD

Professor, Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Fellow of the Uganda Academy of Sciences
Vice Chancellor, Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Dr Celestino Obua (MD, MSc, PhD) is a Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Fellow of the Uganda Academy of Sciences (FUNAS), and the current Vice Chancellor, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). He lectured Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, for over 12 years before serving as the Deputy Principal, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University for 4 years, after which he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of MUST to date. Prof Obua has a strong passion for research and capacity building at the individual as well as institutional levels yielding over 100 publications. He is the Principal Investigator/Program Director on several previous and current extramural research grants/projects at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

He is currently the Hub Director/Contact MPI for the NIH-funded Mbarara University Data Sciences Research Hub (MUDSReH) Grant U54TW012043, part of the Data Science – Initiative Africa consortium. He is also the PI of the following NIH grants: Building Capacity for Implementation Science Research in Non-Communicable Diseases (BImS-NCDs) Grant No. D43TW011964; Health-professional Education Partnership Initiative – Transforming Ugandan Institutions Training Against HIV/AIDS” (HEPI-TUITAH) Grant No. R25TW011210, with two supplements; “Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Health Professions Training Initiative” (ARDHePTI) R25TW011210-04S2 (PI:Obua) and “Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Training (SHarPResT)” R25TW011210-03S1 (PI:Obua) both of which are focused on training undergraduate students (Over 1500 undergraduate health professions students trained) on prevention, care and research towards supplementing the national efforts in the fight against HIV, dementias and promotion of awareness, prevention and response training on sexual harassment in the research environment.

He has mentored and supervised over 30 graduate students, including 14 PhDs, while currently funding and mentoring five PhD candidates (two at Makerere University and Three at MUST). He served on the Board of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) where he chaired the Research and Publications Committee and the ICT Committee of the Board. Internationally, he has served as Chairman, Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the DNDi-LEAP 0104, LEAP 0208, LEAP 0714 and MILTEFOSINE-PAROMOMYCIN PHASE III clinical trials and as a member Advisory Committee of Afri-KA-DIA Projects the current DNDi LXE408 Trial. He is a Member of the Editorial Board – Journal of Public Health Policy, African Health Sciences Journal, and an International Advisor to – Somalia Health Action Journal (SHAJ), and Member of the IUPHAR Sub-Committee for Global Health Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

In his capacity as the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Obua has provided institutional leadership and support to the implementation of several grants awarded to MUST, such as the MUST Institutional University Cooperation – Community-Based Sustainable Solutions to demographic challenges in South Western Uganda IUC-UCoBS an 11-year project through institutional self-assessment and oversight institutional guidance funded by Belgian Government through Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad – Universitaire Ontwikkelingssamenwerking) (VLIR-UOS).

Oscar N. Ocho, DrPH, MPhil, RN

Director, University of the West Indies School of Nursing 

Oscar Noel Ocho, DrPH, MPhil, RN, currently serves as the Director for the University of the West Indies School of Nursing (UWISoN), St Augustine. He started off his career as a Nursing Assistant Trainee at San Fernando General Hospital in 1981 and qualified as an RN in 1987. He was a public servant for 34 years and has served in a number of departments within the Ministry of Health, encompassing Registered Nurse, Nursing Educator, Health Education Officer, Director, and Chief Nursing Officer (Ag) prior to joining the Faculty at UWI. 

His academic qualifications include a BScN (Education) UWI, Mona, Jamaica 1995; MPH (International Health) University of Washington, Seattle, USA 2005, MPhil in Sociology UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad 2007, and a Doctorate in Public Health with an emphasis on Public Health and Policy 2013. 

Dr. Ocho also has published in a number of refereed journals and has research interests in health systems as well as gender and health. He has served as a motivational speaker to youth in the Caribbean, including his home country Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Grenada, St. Vincent, Barbados and Guyana. He also served as Chairman for Casa de Corazon, a home for abused children in Trinidad and Tobago from 2005-2009. 

Jaime Huerta Peralta, PhD

Professor, Universidad Privada del Norte

Dr. Jaime Huerta Peralta is a Professor at the Universidad Privada del Norte in Lima, Peru, as well as an architect, consultant, and an internationally-renowned speaker and advocate for issues of disability, accessibility, and employment for people with disabilities. He is also a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). Dr. Peralta received a prestigious Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards in 2020. He has held various executive, managerial and advisory positions in public and private sector.

Bandaranayaka Panagamuwa, MD

Founder & Consultant Medical Director
Meththa Foundation

Manuel Ramirez-Zea, MD, PhD

Head of the Research Center for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases and Department of Nutrition and Chronic Diseases
Institute for Nutrition of Central America and Panama

Dr. Manuel Ramirez-Zea is a Guatemalan MD and PhD in exercise physiology obtained at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the head of the Research Center for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases and the Department of Nutrition and Chronic Diseases at the Institute for Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP). He has implemented research projects on epidemiology and interventions on primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases. Research interest areas: obesity, stunting, behavioral change, and healthy lifestyles, as well as chronic liver disease, NAFLD, and cardiometabolic risk factors. He has mentored +50 undergraduate and graduate students. He has +135 publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. He received the Science and Technology Medal, the highest distinction awarded by the Guatemalan government to professionals who excel in scientific research and technology.

Giuseppe James Raviola, MD, MPH

Director of Programs in Global Mental Health and Social Change, Harvard Medical School
Associate Director, Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Mental Health for Partners in Health

Giuseppe Raviola, MD, MPH, serves as the Director of the Program in Global Mental Health and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, Associate Director of the Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Director of Mental Health for Partners In Health. He is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Global Health Equity, Rwanda, and an Academic Consultant, the University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospitals Complex, Freetown, Sierra Leone. 

Maggie Reiyia

Director of Family, Gender and Education
Nashulai Maasai Conservancy

Maggie Reiyia was born and raised in Kenya and comes from the Maasai community. She is one of the lucky girls in her community to have had an education. She is an advocate against female genital mutilation and early forced marriages. She is the Director of Family, Gender and Education at Nashulai Maasai Conservancy, which is giving young girls an opportunity to have an education. She is passionate about mentoring and empowering her community women since she believes that women are the backbone of society.

Tina Kempin Reuter, PhD

Director, UAB Institute for Human Rights
Director,UAB Social Science and Justice Research
Professor, UAB Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Professor, Department of Anthropology

Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter is the Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Director of UAB Social Science and Justice Research. She is also a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and the Department of Anthropology, specializing in human rights, peace studies, and international politics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Dr. Reuter’s research focuses on human rights with a particular emphasis on the struggle of vulnerable and marginalized populations, including minorities, persons with disabilities, refugees and migrants, women, children, the LGBTQ community, and people dealing with the consequences of poverty. She is studies how international human rights principles, norms, and language develop effect at the local and grassroots level and how technology can be used to improve access, inclusion, and participation of marginalized communities in society. In addition, she is an expert on ethnic conflict and peace making with a geographical focus on Europe and the Middle East.

Before joining UAB, Dr. Reuter was the Director of the Reiff Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and Associate Professor of international and comparative politics at Christopher Newport University. She was formerly associated with the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, University of Pennsylvania, the Institute of Public International Law at the University of Zurich, and the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Dr. Kempin Reuter holds a PhD in International Relations and International Law and an MA in Contemporary History, Economics, and International Law from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. She is the author of numerous publications in her field and has been awarded multiple prizes and grants to expand her research and teaching.

Brandon Rocque, MD, MS

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery
UAB Heersink School of Medicine
Children’s of Alabama

Dr. Rocque is an Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He specializes in pediatric neurosurgery, particularly focusing on hydrocephalus, spina bifida, pediatric brain tumors, spasticity, peripheral nerve injuries, and Chiari malformation. He also practices general adult neurosurgery with an emphasis on spinal disorders at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. He actively participates in leading neurosurgical organizations.

His research aims to improve care for children with neurosurgical conditions and their families. He has received grants for transitioning spina bifida care and addressing psychosocial risks in families of children with brain tumors. Dr. Rocque explores the psychological effects of lifelong neurosurgical encounters for children with hydrocephalus. He received a UAB CCTS KL2 award to support his research on distress and psychosocial risk among families of children with newly diagnosed brain tumors. In addition to those ongoing projects, he is exploring the psychological effects of a lifetime of neurosurgical encounters for children with hydrocephalus.

Since 2013, He has collaborated with neurosurgeons in Vietnam, participating in expanding epilepsy surgery techniques and establishing an epilepsy monitoring unit in Hanoi. This partnership has significantly enriched epilepsy care and elevated surgical proficiency in Vietnam. He regularly travels to devote his expertise to training and supporting colleagues in the region.

Courtney E. Sullivan, PhD, APRN, CPNP-AC, CPHON

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UAB School of Nursing

Dr. Sullivan attained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Michigan State University. She earned both her master’s degree as an Acute and Continuing Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is presently a postdoctoral research fellow at UAB, where her research focuses on measuring pediatric oncology nursing quality and establishing an evidence-base of nursing-sensitive outcomes internationally. Her passion and focus are to support and enable nurses to improve practice and outcomes. Dr. Sullivan has worked with nurses internationally through St. Jude Global and other avenues for nearly a decade. While at St. Jude Global, she expanded its nursing outreach from 12 to more than 40 countries, transitioning from a twinning to a network approach. She established the Latin American Nurse Educator Network; St. Jude-VIVA Asia Pacific Nursing Institute; and co-led the development of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) Spanish chemo/biotherapy certificate courses in Latin America and laid the groundwork for Portuguese and Russian versions. As past chair of the APHON Global Outreach Committee, she led strategic planning efforts and transformed the International Task Force into a robust and productive committee with several work streams. She is presently the SIOP Nursing Network Chair and has been active in the Young SIOP Educational Day Working Group, Membership Committee, Global Health Nursing Working Group, and Baseline Nursing Standards. Dr. Sullivan is also engaged in the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) and is passionate about integrating nursing priorities within national childhood cancer control planning. 

Mohamed Sayed, MD

Clinical Research Fellow, Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery
UAB Heersink School of Medicine

Dr. Mohammed Sayed is currently a Pediatric Clinical research Fellow for the division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Dr. Sayed became a part of the Sohag School of Medicine in Egypt in 2004 and successfully earned his M.B.B.Ch. degree from there in 2009. He completed his residency program in Neurosurgery department in the same institute. Building upon this foundation, He pursued his master’s degree in Neurosurgery in 2015. During this time, his research focused on the “Management of spina bifida cystica with hydrocephalus” a subject of critical importance in the field. His dedication to advancing neurosurgery led him to embark on a Ph.D. in Pediatric Neurosurgery in 2016. In this ongoing endeavor, his research is centered on the “outcome of surgical management of 4th ventricular tumors in pediatrics,” with the aim of improving outcomes and quality of life for young patients facing this challenging condition.

Since then, he had the privilege of serving as a Lecturer Assistant of Neurosurgery at Sohag University Hospital, Egypt, where he contributed to the education and training of medical students as well as the next generation of neurosurgeons.

He was actively engaged in diverse clinical fellowship programs. He had a Clinical endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2021, in collaboration with the WFNS, where he conducted research into the latest approaches to addressing neurosurgical vascular pathologies. Additionally, he was a Clinical Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellow at Children Cancer Institute, 57357, Cairo, Egypt, in 2020 / 21. Currently, he is a Clinical Research Fellow on Pediatric Neurosurgery at Children of Alabama Hospital, UAB, which commenced in 2022. His area of interest focuses around contributing to the collective effort to improve surgical care for children and adolescents around the world.

Sadeep Shrestha, PhD, MHS, MS

Professor of Epidemiology, UAB School of Public Health

Sadeep Shrestha, PhD, MHS, MS, is a Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is a recipient of the Quetelet Endowed Professorship in Public Health that was awarded in 2018. He received his doctoral degree in epidemiology, with genetic epidemiology track, from Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University in 2004, followed by a one year post-doctoral training in the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at National Cancer Institute in Frederick. He joined UAB in 2005. He is the director of the Program in Epidemiology of Inflammation, Infection and Immunity (PEIII) and has established epidemiology and genomic research programs in Kawasaki Disease, HIV, and STI, specifically HPV. Dr. Shrestha has initiated an HPV screening program in Nepal, in collaboration with multiple stakeholders including local governments, academic institutes, and a local NGO with tremendous outreach access. The infrastructure and collaborations have provided research opportunities for MPH and Phd students as well colleagues, through the Nepal Health Research Initiative which he established and directs. He has a passion to mentor and help students and junior colleagues, as exemplified by the Graduate Dean’s Excellence in Mentorship Award that he received. He has served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Epidemiology and Human Immunology and currently serves on the editorial board of PLOS Global Public Health, Genes and Immunity and Kathmandu University Medical Journal and as an associate editor for BMC Infectious Diseases.

Izukanji Sikazwe, MBChB, MPH

Chief Executive Officer and Director
Center for Infectious Disease Research Zambia

Dr. Izukanji Sikazwe is an infectious disease physician, HIV program expert, and clinical researcher whose work has been funded by the US National Institutes of Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Izukanji has over 15 years of experience working within the public health sector in Zambia, establishing and supporting HIV care and treatment programs for both urban and rural communities. She previously worked as a technical advisor for the National ART program at the Zambia Ministry of Health. She is a valued mentor and educator of medical trainees in Zambia and practiced clinical medicine at the Adult Infectious Disease Centre of Excellence at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. She is currently the chief executive officer for the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), a local non-profit NGO. 

Izukanji graduated with an MBChB degree from the University of Zambia, School of Medicine. She then completed Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Disease fellowship at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore and the University of Maryland, respectively. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Michigan State University and is a Fellow of the Africa CDC Kofi Annan Global Public Health Leadership Program. 

Anastasia Smith, MPH, CCRP

Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery
UAB Heersink School of Medicine

DrPH candidate Anastasia Smith, is the Clinical Research Manager of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at UAB.  She is currently a fourth-year doctorate, here dissertation work centered on preventing spina bifida through salt fortification with folic acid and iodine to assess the feasibility of using salt as a staple for food fortification with folic acid, potentially benefiting vulnerable populations worldwide without access to enriched grains, which some countries already fortify with folic acid. Her career goal is to advocate for folic acid fortification as a safe and effective global public health strategy. Thus, her involvement in the multi-disciplinary team that produced this vital policy recommendation was particularly meaningful.

Smith actively participated in the resolution’s development process, commencing in early 2022. She had the privilege of contributing to the resolution’s creation and witnessing the diplomatic collaboration involving the Ministry of Health of Colombia, WHO liaison, and the civil/scientific community. Smith also has actively participated in two GAPSBiF side events held in the World Health Assembly raising awareness about the need for this resolution to prevent health conditions like spina bifida, which result from micronutrient deficiencies, particularly folate.

Dr. Julia Songok

Dean, Moi University School of Medicine, Kenya

Dr. Julia Songok is a Paediatrician and Dean at Moi University School of Medicine. She manages 15 departments that support the training for four undergraduate programs and twenty-five postgraduate programs. Before her appointment as Dean, she was Chair of the Department for Child Health and Paediatrics for two and a half years and Associate Dean for three years. One key area of her focus is sourcing for resources, including partnerships, towards more faculty members, scaling up of residency programs and clinical fellowship programs, improvements in infrastructure and equipment for biomedical sciences, and bilateral staff & student exchange.

She provides consultancy to a USAID-funded maternal and child health program, and is a principal investigator in a couple of research projects revolving around community peer support groups for health education and microfinance for pregnant women, postnatal mothers, and their babies.

Ms. Kedest Tesfagiorgis

Deputy Director, Global Partnerships and Grand Challenges
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Kedest is a systems thinker who has dedicated her career to building coalitions to drive change. Her work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and through her volunteer positions, is centered around bringing together people with diverse perspectives because she believes empowered, engaged communities are the most powerful engines of progress. Currently, Kedest leads the foundation’s Global Partnerships & Grand Challenges team. In that capacity, she has grown Grand Challenges, the foundation’s flagship innovation program, into a global network with locally led partners across Africa, South America, and South Asia. Kedest also serves on the board of the Africa Diaspora Network and Worldreader. 

Alan T. N. Tita, MD, PhD

Associate Dean for Global and Women’s Health
Director, Mary Heersink Institute of Global Health
UAB Mary Heersink Endowed Chair of Global Health
Senior Vice Chair for Research and Innovation, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Professor, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Tita is UAB Mary Heersink Endowed Chair of Global Health, Director of the Mary Heersink Institute of Global Health, and the Heersink School of Medicine Associate Dean for Global Health. As Professor of Ob/Gyn and Senior Vice-Chair for Research and Innovation, he also leads the Center for Women’s Reproductive Health. His background is in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Perinatal Epidemiology, and International Health. Dr. Tita has led and continues to lead the design and conduct of collaborative multi-site and single-site clinical trials and observational studies that influence practice and policy globally. He also co-leads the Cameroon Health Initiative at UAB, a multidisciplinary venture to improve health care in collaboration with Cameroon partners. Dr. Tita serves or has served as consultant editor for the Green Journal and consultant for the World Health Organization, NIH (including NICHD National Advisory Council), and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Le Tuan Anh, MD

Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Neurological Center National Hospital of Pediatrics, Vietnam

Dr. Le Tuan Anh is a pediatric neurosurgeon with six years of experience at two renowned neurosurgical centers in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dr. Anh has presented his work at various meetings, including the annual meeting for the Japan Neurosurgical Emergency, where he focused on evaluating factors related to mortality in traumatic injuries. He has also shared his research on managing CSF leaks in giant prolactinoma cases during cabergoline treatment and presented insights into hemispherectomy surgery, including indications and initial outcomes at the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics.

Jonathan Underwood

Major International Programmes Lead
Wellcome Trust

Underwood leads engagement with and support for a portfolio of Wellcome’s major partnerships in low-resource settings globally. This includes Wellcome’s five Africa and Asia Programmes, with primary locations in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam, and two catalytic institutions through which Wellcome co-funds the funder: the Science for Africa Foundation and the India Alliance.

He is interested in the dynamics inherent in funder/fundee relationships and the opportunities and barriers these present to creating a truly equitable partnership, particularly in low-resource settings.

Tran van Si, MD

Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Neurological Center National Hospital of Pediatrics, Vietnam

Dr. Si has garnered sixteen years of surgical experience, with a particular focus on Neurosurgery, at the National Hospital of Pediatrics in Vietnam. He currently holds the position of Deputy Head of the Neurosurgical Department at the National Children’s Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. His international experiences include training in Israel, where he completed the International Advanced Course on Pediatric Laparoscopy and Thoracoscopic Life Support. Additionally, he gained expertise through a Neuronavigation practicum course for visiting scholars in Kolhapur, India, and a Neurosurgery training course for visiting scholars at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Si is a graduate of the CURE Uganda hydrocephalus and spina bifida fellowship and directs treatment of most of the hydrocephalus at his center in the National Hospital of Pediatrics (NHP) in Vietnam.

John Waters, MD

Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Coordinator, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition
INSIGHT Fogarty Scholars Partner

Dr. John Waters works for the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), the region’s largest civil society organization, grouping over eighty Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from throughout the Caribbean who work in Sexual and reproductive health and human rights. Waters is the Head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Research at the organization. He is also the director of CVC’s research arm, the “Robert Carr Centre for Action Research Resources,” which focuses on strategic information on key populations—namely men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, people in prison and confined settings, sex workers and transgender people, who are disproportionally affected by HIV; have an increased risk of infection, and yet are the least likely to have access to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services because of widespread stigma and discrimination.

Water is currently an international mentor in the Dominican Republic for U.S. and international trainees in the Fogarty Global Health Program for launching future leaders in global health, as well as providing special expertise in research on vulnerable populations affected by HIV. He is fully trilingual in both written and spoken English, French, and Spanish, with publications demonstrating his commitment to community-based participatory research and work with key populations impacted by HIV. These publications are also indicative of the work conducted with diverse teams of collaborators. Understanding and intervening in complex health problems such as HIV/AIDS benefit from the multiple perspectives of community members, organizational representatives, and academic researchers. He has spent the last fifteen years building and nurturing partnerships that enable the blending of lived experiences with sound science, developing deeper understandings of phenomena, and thus, producing more relevant and more likely successful and impactful interventions. His team’s approach has emphasized co-learning, reciprocal transfer of expertise, and sharing of decision-making power among community members, organizational representatives, and academic researchers. These efforts have yielded a variety of studies that meet the needs of various research priorities and/or marginalized.

Ray L. Watts, MD

President, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Ray L. Watts, M.D., UAB’s seventh president, has demonstrated visionary leadership in education, research, and patient care throughout his career. A Birmingham native and graduate of West End High School, Dr. Watts earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering at UAB in 1976. The collaborations he had with biomedical engineering students as an undergraduate sparked an interest in medicine and, four years later, he graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as valedictorian of his class.

Dr. Watts completed a neurology residency, medical internship, and clinical fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a two-year medical staff fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Thereafter he joined the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, where he was part of a team that created an internationally renowned research and clinical center for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

Dr. Watts returned to UAB in 2003 as the John N. Whitaker Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology. There he led the development of an interdisciplinary research program aimed at translating scientific breakthroughs into promising new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and played a key role in the establishment of the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. He also was named president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation.

In 2010, Dr. Watts accepted the position of Senior Vice President and Dean of the School of Medicine at UAB, and later was named to the James C. Lee Jr. Endowed Chair. As dean, Dr. Watts – in partnership with UAB Health System and Health Services Foundation leaders – initiated the AMC21 strategic plan to make UAB “the preferred academic medical center of the 21st century,” which has led to the recruitment of outstanding faculty, the launch of programs to accelerate research and drug discovery, and establishment of a third regional medical campus in Montgomery, among other successes.

Dr. Watts was named president of UAB in February 2013 by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System. He initiaited and is leading UAB’s most comprehensive-ever strategic planning process with campus- and community-wide partnership. During his tenure, UAB has made tremendous strides in all areas of its mission, including record enrollment and development of novel academic programs, substantial growth in research funding and the university’s international competitiveness, impactful service to the local and global community, and construction of new state-of-the-art facilities and campus beautification as part of the UAB Campus Master Plan.

Emily Wong, MD

Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, UAB Heersink School of Medicine
Based at the Africa Health Research Institute, South Africa

Dr. Emily B. Wong is an Infectious Disease physician-scientist whose work focuses on trying to understand TB pathogenesis, immunity and epidemiology in settings of high HIV prevalence. To address these questions, her lab uses a range of techniques that span molecular to population science. She is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama Birmingham and a member of the resident faculty at the Africa Health Research Institute in KwaZulu-Natal.