Visiting Scholar Awards
The Global Health Institute Visiting Scholar Award program supports visits to the UW-Madison campus by individuals who substantially enhance global health activities on the UW campus in collaboration with a sponsoring UW-Madison faculty member or faculty team. GHI will award grants in amounts of up to $8,000, for a duration of one year.
2017 Visiting Scholar Award recipients
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
“A Transnational Approach to Health, Wellbeing, and Women’s Leadership: Consolidating Collaborations for the UNESCO Chair on Gender, Wellbeing and a Culture of Peace,” Teresa Langle de Paz, Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain)- Foundation.
Principal UW host: Araceli Alonso, associate faculty, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies/School of Medicine and Public Health
In 2013, the alliance of UW Health by Motorbike (HbM) and the local Kenyan NGO Nikumbuke (N-HbM) under the direction of Araceli Alonso won the prestigious United Nations PublicService Award for its comprehensive health programs in southeast rural Kenya. The award marked the beginning of ongoing research collaborations. N-HbM combines basic health services provided to isolated rural communities with train-the-trainers programs, awareness raising campaigns, nutrition and disease prevention education, business incubators, etc. It started in Lunga Lunga, Kwale County where, in 2009, most of its population—diverse ethnic groups: the Digo (60 percent), the Duruma (25 percent), Kamba, Luo, Taita, Luhya, Shirazi, Maasai, and non-Africans—were estimated to be living in poverty and struggled with poverty-related health issues and higher-than-average child mortality. Infectious diseases spread rapidly and certain common illnesses easily become endemic.
School of Human Ecology Centers for Excellence
“Connecting Landscapes: Wisconsin and Jalisco Exchange for Campus-Community Engagement Projects,” Adriana Olivares, University of Guadalajara.
Principal UW host: Mary Beth Collins, director of the Centers for Research and Public Affairs, SoHE.
Olivares will be on campus for two weeks to discuss collaborations for campus-community engagement projects related to the Connecting Landscapes project and the environmental landscape museum in Guadalajara, Mexico. Connecting Landscapes was conceived as a way to invigorate and provide more focus to long-standing collaborative relationships among UW and UdeG faculty and their community partners.
The visit by Olivares will allow for more involved planning with UW colleagues related to these projects. Her time at the UW will be leveraged by conducting additional site visits and meetings with potential additional UW collaborators who have not yet been connected to the Guadalajara team. Olivares will then share her expanded orientation to the UW academic community and various Wisconsin environmental education illustrations with her colleagues in Mexico.
Department of Botany
“Physical constraints on long distance dispersal of plant pathogenic fungi,” Martina Iapichino, Ph.D. student, INPHYNI (Institut de Physique de Nice), Université Côte d’Azur, Nice, France
Principal UW host: Anne Pringle, associate professor of botany and bacteriology.
This research will focus on the physics and biology of long distance dispersal among fungi. The subject is of great practical relevance and may offer new solutions to fighting crop diseases. Fungal diseases are a severe threat to global food security: each year more than 25 percent of the global harvest is lost to pathogens like wheat and soybean rusts and rice blast. Martina Iapichino, a Ph.D. student under the supervision of physicist Agnese Seminara, will visit Pringle and train in biology. The aim of this project is to combine the knowledge and skills of people coming from different disciplines to better understand the complex determinants of spore movement, a fundamental driver of the fungal diseases that affect people and ecosystems across Wisconsin and the world.
This internship at the Pringle laboratory will focus on measuring survival times against UV light exposure, which is a fundamental constraint for spore dispersal in the atmosphere, and connects the physics of spore transport in the air with the biology of the fungal spore. Iapichino will have the possibility to interact with mycologists, plant pathologists and evolutionary biologists with a range of global health interests, as well as the broader global health community on campus, and her visit will strengthen the already strong relationship between Seminara’s group and the Pringle Lab.
2016 Visiting Scholar Award recipients
Center for Rapid Evolution
“The role of natural selection in human disease susceptibility,” Wen-Ya Ko, assistant professor, Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Genome Sciences, Yang-Ming University.
Principal UW host: Carol Lee, professor and director, Center for Rapid Evolution.
The proposed research project aims to investigate how genome diversity is related to the causes of diseases among diverse human populations. We propose:
- To develop novel statistical methods for identifying recent selection in human genomes;
- To screen for the signatures of recent natural section in diverse human populations mainly using the whole genome genotyping and sequencing data available from several large-sample human genome biobank projects including Taiwan Biobank and the Nagahama Biobank project of Japan.
The project will promote knowledge integration of medicine (Kyoto University), computational bioinformatics (Tohoku University), and evolutionary biology (National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan and the Center of Rapid Evolution, (UW-Madison).
School of Veterinary Medicine
“Capacity building for virology and conservation in Rwanda,” Julius Nziza, country coordinator, Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and USAID’s PREDICT program, Rwanda
Principal UW host: Thomas Friedrich, associate professor of pathobiological sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine.
Emerging viral diseases are having a dramatic impact on global health. Outbreaks of Ebola, Zika and similar viruses have demonstrated the need for capacity building in African nations to detect and respond to such diseases. Rwanda is a country with a rich culture and diverse wildlife that is threatened by emerging infections. For example, the famous mountain gorillas live only in Rwanda and neighboring countries but are threatened by the same infectious diseases that afflict local people. Unfortunately, capacity to monitor and intervene in zoonotic viral outbreaks in Rwanda remains limited.
The goal of this project is to bring Julius Nziza to the UW-Madison for training in molecular virology and emerging diseases of primates. He would also engage with health professionals, researchers and students in multiple units across campus, through GHI. His visit will catalyze new collaborations between UW-Madison and the Rwanda Development Board, Gorilla Doctors and other organizations dedicated to “one health” in Rwanda.
School of Medicine and Public Health
“Addis Ababa University medical cardiac surgery program,” Mahelet Tadesse Ibssa, consultant, Addis Ababa University (AAU) Department of Anesthesiology.
Principal UW host: Martha Wynn, associate professor anesthesiology, School of Medicine and Public Health.
In 2012 the Ethiopian Health Ministry designated adult cardiac surgery a clinical priority. AAU collaborated with UW Cardiac Anesthesia to develop this program. Cardiac anesthesia is critical to good surgical outcomes and requires advanced specialized training.
After a 2014 visit to AAU, Martha Wynn, working with Rahel Tilahun, AAU’s first anesthesiologist to learn cardiac anesthesia, submitted a plan with goals, objectives and resources needed to start the cardiac surgery program. Tilahun spent September to December 2015 as a faculty observer at UW-Madison, learning advanced anesthesia monitoring techniques/management, echocardiography, and postoperative management of cardiac surgery patients.
In 2016, the UW program will bring a second AAU consultant anesthesiologist, Dr.Mahelet Tadesse Ibssa, to UW for anesthesia training. Training in cardiac anesthesia ensures cardiac surgery patients will receive advanced care and will, ultimately, improve care of all critically ill patients at AAU.
2015 Visiting Scholar Award recipients
School of Medicine and Public Health
Jean-Claude Tayari Kanyamanza, BPharm, MPH, Ph.D Candidate, Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), Republic of Rwanda.
Hosts: James F. Cleary, MD, Director, Pain & Policy Studies Group, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), Carbone Cancer Center; Paul Hutson, Pharm.D., MS, Professor (CHS), Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, UW-Madison School of Pharmacy
During the past year, Dr. Cleary and the Pain and Policy Studies (PPSG) have been working with Mr. Tayari from Rwanda as part of the PPSG’s International Pain Policy Fellowship (IPPF) regional program in Africa. The IPPF program assists Fellows in evaluating and addressing the systemic barriers to access and availability of essential opioid medications for providing pain relief and palliative care. Rwanda has the benefit of recently introducing a medication supply chain database, which can be expanded to include prescription-level information for opioid medications.
In his position as the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Director at MPPD/RBC, Rwanda Ministry of Health, Mr. Tayari is responsible for oversight, estimation, forecasting, supply planning, and reporting of medications. He has also been involved in collaborative efforts to address policies, modify and update standard operating procedures for pain and palliative care as they related to essential medicines, including opioids.
During Mr. Tayari’s visit, PPSG staff will engage with him on the following activities that will contribute to this long-term research collaboration:
- Evaluate the existing database to identify information gaps, which will then initiate a process to determine new variables to add through input from current and potential users
- Discuss and analyze baseline information about the current status of opioid prescribing in Rwanda
- Engage with various campus groups and professionals from a variety of disciplines to solicit feedback that will benefit project conceptualization.
School of Pharmacy
Angeni Bheekie, BPharm, MPharm, Ph.D, School of Pharmacy, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.
Hosts: Connie Kraus, PharmD, School of Pharmacy; Trisha Seys Ranola, PharmD, School of Pharmacy
The University of Wisconsin-School of Pharmacy, in collaboration with the University of Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa, will launch a Comparative Health Systems Global Pharmacy Fellowship in July 2015. To ensure the strength and rigor of the fellowship, we aim to have all domestic and international mentors trained in the quality improvement process, and understand the principles of the WHO Monitoring the Building Blocks of Health Systems. This goal is achievable by having all mentors participate in the week long “Quality Improvement and Leadership for Low Resource Areas,” taught through the Global Health Institute.
The vision of this fellowship is to bring together exceptional pharmacists from around the world to prepare them to be part of global partnerships for improved health. graduates will be prepared to strengthen systems and address health disparities both locally and globally, through quality improvement (QI) research, advocacy and policy efforts, along with ongoing international collaborations. Our fellowship research program has three main foci:
- Development of a comparative health systems perspective for all participants, using the WHO health system building blocks as a framework
- Mastery of essential skills for applied research, including monitoring, evaluation, and quality improvement
- Development of skills in leadership, teamwork, and interprofessional communication
School of Medicine and Public Health
Henok Kurabachew, Ph.D, College of Agriculture, School Nutrition, Food Science and Technology, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia.
Hosts: Grima Tefera, MD, School of Medicine and Public Health
Consideration of the interrelationships between agriculture and health care have multiple benefits: improving health outcomes, reducing malnutrition and food insecurity, and alleviating poverty. In order to support integrated programs and train future professionals able to work across sectors, Hawassa University has recently been selected to become a Center of Excellence in Food and Nutrition, with Dr. Henok Fekedaselassie serving as the Center’s Director. The goal of Dr. Henok’s visiting scholar application to the Global Health Institute is to expand existing collaborative activities between HU and the UW and create new academic and community partnerships to further contribute to improved nutrition and health of smallholder farmers and rural communities in Ethiopia, and enhance integrated agriculture-health programs for the UW campus/community.
Hawassa University (HU) is one of the public universities in Ethiopia and has seven different colleges, one of which is the College of Agriculture which is home to the School of Nutrition, Food Science, and Technology (SNFST). SNFST has two programs, applied human nutrition and food science and the post-harvest technology, which offer both undergraduate and graduate (MSc) level degrees.
Using multidisciplinary approaches – particularly agriculture, nutrition, and health linkages – are very critical in resource-limited countries like Ethiopia where agricultural productivity remains a challenge and nutrition security is vital for poverty and malnutrition alleviation. These agriculture and nutrition challenges link to health in numerous ways, from health outcomes directly related to malnutrition, limited income to spend on health services, and other social and environmental determinants. In this regard, HU’s SNFST is very much interested to establish this collaboration with the UW to solve the deep rooted and multifaceted problems that arise from inter-related and cross-cutting issues.’
For more information on past Visiting Scholar awards, visit the 2013 Visiting Scholar awards.