New Global Health Center Meets Multiple Needs
|Dr. Robert Murphy|
Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine announces the formation of the Center for Global Health. Through this comprehensive center, the school will facilitate international experiences for its students, trainees, and faculty members, and will promote and build, through local partnerships, sustainable research and education programs worldwide.
The overall goals of the center will include identification of health research needs in resource-limited countries; leadership and infrastructure support for non-U.S. investigators in their countries; educational and training opportunities for Northwestern University students, residents, and faculty interested in working in international settings; collaborations with other University departments to develop joint-degree programs that enhance educational experiences for both international and Northwestern faculty and students; collaborative, clinical research programs to advance global health; and career opportunities to students interested in global health.
The globalization of the Feinberg School of Medicine is a priority for J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean. “The Center for Global Health will add a meaningful and important component to the excellent progress the Feinberg School of Medicine has made in developing structured student opportunities on multiple continents,” says Dr. Jameson. “We’re extremely proud of the dramatic increase in the proportion of our students who take advantage of these international opportunities, and we anticipate the same level of involvement from our faculty and research activities. The combination of research and training will help make a real difference in areas in desperate need of medical assistance.”
Robert Murphy, MD, John Phillip Phair Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Feinberg School, an attending physician in infectious diseases at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and a respected international health physician-scientist and innovator, will serve as the center’s founding director. Dr. Murphy joined the faculty of the Feinberg School in 1981. He supported AIDS prevention training efforts for U.S. Peace Corps physicians caring for volunteers in Western Africa in the early ’90s. In 1996 he founded the International AIDS Education Project and has served as its director ever since.
In 2003, Dr. Murphy was appointed Nigeria Country Director for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and in 2008, Dr. Murphy received two Fogarty International Research Collaboration Awards from the National Institutes of Health. These awards provide funds to foster international research partnerships between NIH-supported U.S. scientists and their collaborators in Mali, Nigeria, and other countries in the developing world.
“This center will allow areas in need around the world to develop self-supporting research activities and programs in their own countries,” says Dr. Murphy. “Plus we can offer opportunities for students and other members of the Feinberg community to pursue volunteer medical service. As the world becomes a smaller and more connected place, we have the responsibility and challenge to have a palpable impact on global research, training, outreach, and care.”