Past Visiting Scholar Award Recipients

2022 Awards

Study of filariasis transmitted by insects in the Colombian Amazon

Principal Investigator: Mostafa Zamania, Ph.D., Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine
Visiting Scholar: Mónica Palma, M.D., Ph.D., Colombia/Wisconsin One-Health Consortium

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of epidemiological surveillance and the use of molecular techniques to monitor pathogens. The One Health Colombia/Wisconsin Consortium (CWOHC, is studying filariasis caused by species of Mansonella and transmitted by Simulium and Culicoides flies in the heart of the Amazon, a neglected parasite that we have identified has a high prevalence in the region. With this project we will train personnel in the latest techniques of sequencing, characterization and analysis so it is available for areas of difficult access such as the municipality of Puerto Nariño, in addition to generating epidemiological data and genomic data on parasites that can help in the development of effective chemotherapies. It will also be a basis for a scientific research program that involves collaborating researchers from the National University of Colombia, the University of Wisconsin, as well as local public health authorities. All this will be done using funds from the Visiting Scholar Award in training at UW-Biotechnology Center on the Next Gen Sequencing Data Analysis. 

2021 Awards

Combatting antimicrobial resistance: A complex systems approach

Principal Investigator: Jessica Hite, Ph.D., Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, with Dorte Dopfer, Food Animal Production; Jingyi Huang, Soil Sciences; Johanna Elfenbein, Pathobiological Sciences at UW-Madison; and Eric Fevre, University of Liverpool, and Andrew deRoos, Santa Fe Institute and University of Amsterdam

The evolution of antimicrobial resistance is a global health problem that inordinately affects livestock farmers in developing nations, and out-of-the-box, one-health approaches are urgently needed to sustainably limit its spread. Meeting this goal is challenging because antimicrobial resistance involves: 1) emergence at the molecular level, 2) transmission from individual animals to the herd, and 3) transmission from the herd to farmers and the community. While we have some understanding of how certain drugs affect the emergence of resistance at the molecular level, we know much less about how these processes affect the herd, farmers, or the community. Like other complex systems, this suite of interactions is multidimensional, nonlinear, and dynamic. Accordingly, the impact of management practices on the evolution of antibiotic resistance is difficult to predict using standard epidemiological models. The fields of ecology and evolutionary epidemiology, however, are increasingly harnessing quantitative tools to decipher this complexity. Our multi-disciplinary team will work with a visiting mathematician from the University of Amsterdam and the Santa Fe Institute to leverage existing databases and apply theory for complex systems to identify effective management options for farmers in developing countries.

2020 Awards

Influence of indigenous bacteria on reproduction in the dengue vector Aedes aegypti

Principal Investigator: Kerri Coon, Ph.D., Entomology, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; visiting scholar, Sebastian Diaz Zuleta, doctoral candidate, University of Antioquia, Colombia

Mosquitoes are well recognized as the most important arthropod vectors of organisms that cause disease in humans. Like most higher organisms, mosquitoes harbor resident microbes that play important roles in their physiology. However, while gut microbes have been shown to impact mosquito development, reproduction, and immunity, the impacts of microbes present in other mosquito tissues are not known. Here, we propose to examine the impact of bacteria that colonize the reproductive tract on reproduction in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Functional assays in Aim 1 will assess the fecundity and fertility of axenic (bacteria-free), gnotobiotic (colonized by a single bacterial species), and conventional (non-sterile) adult females mated to axenic, gnotobiotic, or conventional males. Transcriptome sequencing in Aim 2 will compare post-mating gene expression patterns in the reproductive tissues of axenic, gnotobiotic, and conventional adult females. Finally, paired matings between axenic adult females and conventional males will assess whether bacteria in reproductive tissues are sexually transmitted. Results from this study will fill a key knowledge gap in our understanding of the function(s) of bacteria associated with the reproductive tract of mosquitoes and the potential of their manipulation for mosquito-borne disease control.

UW-GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute One Health Collaboration

Principal Investigator, Ann Evenson, Family Medicine and Community Health, School of Medicine and Public Health; Visiting scholars: C. Rohit Kumar, head of National Veterinary Services, G.V. Ramana Rao, director of GVK’s Emergency Medicine Learning Center and Research

A team of thirteen UW-Madison and Wisconsin Department of Health Services human and veterinary medical professionals initiated a collaboration with GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) to foster mutually beneficial ‘One Health’ research. One Health describes the interdependency of humans, animals, and their shared ecosystems.  It is defined by a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to tackling issues such as food security, environmental sustainability, and emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases.

EMRI is an Indian public-private partnership and the largest emergency services provider in the world. EMRI staff have provided human ambulance services since 2005 to 800 million Indian citizens and animal emergency services in 3 Indian States since 2017.

Because effective One Health work requires both human and veterinary partners, we propose that travel for both Drs. Ramana Rao and Rohit Kumar be supported.  Our shared research priorities are antimicrobial resistance and disease mapping.  The disease priorities with critical One Health implications include rabies, brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis. To complement a research partnership, we are interested in co-creating One Health and zoonotic disease training programs for veterinarians, paravets, and community members based on the international partner’s identified needs.

Population Health Research Dissemination

Principal Investigator: Laurel Legenza, PharmD, M.S., School of Pharmacy; Visiting scholar: Renier Coetzee, PharmD, University of Western Cape, South Africa

Purpose: The University of Wisconsin-School of Pharmacy (UW-SoP), in collaboration with the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa, will partner in a strengthening research collaborations and engagement of UW-Madison students.  This collaboration seeks to strengthen UWC and UW-Madison researchers currently collaborating on C. diff and the environmental impact water shortage has on infectious diseases in South Africa.  To ensure the strength and rigor of research, we aim to have all domestic and international participants trained in Dissemination and Implementation Science methodology.

Methods: Our UWC partner, Dr. Renier Coetzee, will participate in the Dissemination and Implementation Short Course workshop, taught through the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR).  Additionally, Dr. Coetzee will foster community engagement and garnering support within UW-Madison, its community partners, and the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin.

Results: Participation in the ICTR Dissemination and Implementation Short Course and campus and community engagements will result in appreciative learning and mentorship of both the UW and UWC faculty and foster international student engagement.

Conclusion:  Through an engaged partnership, we will set the standard for pharmacists and students engaged in global interdisciplinary team work, by cultivating relationships that are prepared to strengthen systems, address implementation and scalability both locally and globally.

2019 Awards


Principal Investigator: David O’Connor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH)

Of the nearly 37 million people living with HIV, nearly 22 million are currently on antiretroviral treatment. While we have seen dramatic reductions in the number of deaths from AIDS-related illnesses and new HIV infections, the threat of drug resistance remains for both those on treatment as well as those taking pre-exposure prophylaxis. However, current drug resistance technologies are expensive and complicated severely restricting utility in low- and middle-income countries hardest hit by HIV. Dr. Vojnov is currently the Diagnostics Advisor at the World Health Organization and has significant public health experience throughout Africa and Asia.

The goals of this project are to perform portable HIV drug resistance testing with a set of infected samples previously exposed to pre-exposure prophylaxis to generate a resistance profile and validate the performance of this upcoming technology. This will provide a clearer picture of the diagnostic pipeline and possibilities for future WHO consideration. Further, Dr. Vojnov will engage with and support the UW community through providing lectures in the Pathology/PBS 210 class, the Global Infectious Disease seminar series and GHI seminar series as well as engage with students and staff within the AIDS Vaccine Research Laboratory and Global Health Initiative communities.

Key personnel: Thomas C. Friedrich, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine; Lara Vojnov, World Health Organization; Dawn M. Dudley, SMPH


Principal Investigator: Dawd Siraj, Department of Medicine, SMPH

We are proposing a grant to strengthen our collaborative agreement with Jimma University by bringing institutional leaders and research collaborators to the University of Wisconsin. The Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics have started collaborative research projects at Jimma University. We will expand this work to include Jimma as a site for international elective rotations and additional research projects. The long-term plan is for this collaboration to extend university-wide, encompassing multiple departments, not limited to Medicine, Pediatrics, GHI and African Studies. With this funding, we will solidify our commitment to the bi-directional value of a productive partnership. We will bring leaders from Jimma University to the UW to meet with department and research leaders to form new relationships and generate new ideas for collaboration. Additionally, we will bring a current collaborator working with us on a microbiome research project for project-specific training that will help us meet our current project goals and develop microbiome analysis capacity within Ethiopia.

2018 Awards

School Milk Achievement Project: A study to analyze aflatoxin exposure in Ethiopia

Mestawet Taye, Ph.D., Department of Animal Sciences, Hawassa University, Ethiopia

Principal UW host: Heidi Busse, postdoctoral research fellow

The goal of this Global Health Institute (GHI) Visiting Scholar proposal for Mestawet Taye, Chair of the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences (Hawassa University) is to advance interdisciplinary research to strengthen the institutional capacity of Hawassa University to work with local dairy processors to develop quality, safe, and nutritious school milk beverages from locally-available supplies of milk that can be safely consumed in regional schools in southern Ethiopia.

The issue Taye’s research will address is the lack of established aflatoxin limits and milk quality standards in Ethiopia, and the subsequent human nutrition and health impacts. This proposal has four strategic objectives: first, to assess the level of aflatoxin contamination in milk and dairy feeds in three agro-ecological zones in the Sidama Zone (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia). Second, to complete the UW Center for Dairy Research “Dairy Processing” short course and adapt content for a dairy processing and nutrition training module that can be taught at Hawassa University. Third, to convene a school nutrition specialist meeting in Ethiopia to share results from objectives 1 and 2 and collect recommendations to inform Ethiopia-specific milk quality standards. And, fourth, to engage with Wisconsin community partners to develop educational curricula on food systems and nutrition topics, to help ensure sustainability of Taye’s GHI Visiting Scholar grant.

Building Surgical Training Partnership

Dr. James Munthali and Dr. Emmanuel Makasa, University of Zambia

Principal UW host: Girma Tefera, School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Surgery

The Department of Surgery has recently committed more resources to a vital area in the field of surgery-Global Health. The 2010 WHO Global Status Report indicated that material shortage and lack of trained surgical work force is critical, especially in low and middle-income countries. In May 2015, the World Health Assembly adopted Resolution 68.15 declaring the need to strengthen basic emergency and essential surgery as an integral component of Universal Health Coverage, drafted and presented by one of the proposed scholars in this grant proposal. Understanding these challenges and opportunities, the UW Global Surgery Program would like to launch a global learning environment where sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships can be developed to build surgical workforce capacity in low income countries, in particular with the University Teaching Hospital of Zambia. The visiting scholars’ will contribute to the enhancement of global health activities on the UW campus, building upon the mutually beneficial partnership. The Scholars will be exposed to renowned administrative and leadership structure of UW; organize round-table discussions and Grand Round presentations from World Health Assembly perspective; provide lectures to fellows, residents and students; develop collaborative research projects; develop a MOA; and develop strategies for funding opportunities.

Read more about the partnership between UW, Ethiopia and Zambia to make surgery accessible for all.

Visiting Scholar MSc Sergio Graf University of Guadalajara Collaboration

Sergio Graf, University of Guadalajara

Principal UW host: Alberto Vargas, Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program

Funds are requested to bring to Madison Sergio Graf, former coordinator of production and productivity of the National Forestry Commission and currently Director of the Institite of Renewable Energy of the Universidad de Guadalajara.

Graf will:

  • Give a public talk co-sponsored by the Forest and Wildlife Department, GHi, Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and LACIS on “Forest and Climate Change Policy and REDD+ Implementation in Mexico.”
  • Meet with UW faculty associated with the Wisconsin Energy Institute to discuss collaboration on renewable energy and smart GRID.
  • Meet with UW faculty of the Global Health Institute to discuss poverty-health related projects focusing on the brick producers.
  • Meet with the leadership of the UW-UdG collaborative initiative to follow up on the recommendations from the Connecting Landscapes project. In particular, Graf’s input will be crucial to craft research and outreach activities centered on Bosque La Primavera and other periruban rural and natural landscapes.
  • Meet with students interested in forestry, energy and conservation issues.

Simulation Partnership with Ethiopia AAU

Tewodros Haile, M.D., Addis Ababa University (AAU) School of Medicine

Principal UW host: Krystle Campbell, Simulation Center Manager at the School of Medicine and Public Health

A global critical shortage in trained medical professionals exists. New medical schools have been opened globally with the aim of increasing the number of trained medical professionals annually. The development of new medical schools led to an increase of curricula utilizing classroom education, but lacked opportunities for training via clinical sites, resulting in a shortage of bedside education in the form of patient interaction. Simulation-Based Education (SBE) within these newly opened medical schools has been proposed as a solution to close this gap. The Addis Ababa University (AAU) School of Medicine, in the capital of Ethiopia, built a simulation center with a variety of simulation equipment to meet this need for clinical hours and teaching. Since its inception, the university’s simulation center has been grossly underused due to a lack of simulation content expertise. The aim of this project is to develop the partnership between simulation experts at the UW Health Clinical Simulation Program and AAU in order to champion and mentor the increase of SBE and effectiveness for medical education at AAU.

The effect of doctor-patient service agreements on the level of quality and continuity of care in Chinese community health service centers

Dr. Jing Ding, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Principal UW host: Kenneth Kushner, professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Community Health Service (CHS) centers play an important role in the delivery of primary care services to the general population in China. A main limitation to the quality and efficiency of services in the CHS centers is the lack of continuity of providers. Recently attempts have been made to establish primary care physician (PCP) relationship through “service agrements” between patients and general practitioners (GPs). In spite of the increased use of care agreements, it is unclear whether they have, at least so far, resulted in greater continuity of care or improved health outcomes. The goals of the visiting scholar’s activities at UW will be to (1) to identify issues and gaps in the existing electronic health record system in to improve the accuracy and interpretability of the information regarding services agreements and continuity of care, and (2) to evaluate the relationship of the PCP and service agreements on the continuity and quality of care in a CHS center in Beijing. We hope to provide empirical evidence regarding whether the contractual service agreements affects healthcare outcomes, as well as to gain a better understanding of the role of the continuity of care on the care outcome.

2017 Awards

A Transnational Approach to Health, Well-being and Women’s Leadership: Consolidating Collaborations for the UNESCO Chair on Gender, Well-being 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.

The thesis of the joint research project is that there is a model to the programs in Kenya—Health by AnyMeans (HbAM)—that can be expanded and exported to diverse geopolitical regions. Developing a plan of action to evaluate seven years of grass-roots work and to expand the model is currently due and is included within the first year calendar of UNESCO Chair. Teresa Langle de Paz in-campus presence is required to achieve this goal. Her presence will also boost the final revisions of a co-authored book on HbAM by Alonso and Langle de Paz that will be the first book publication of the Chair. Langle de Paz’s humanities training and expertise on feminist theory and affect theory bring up new analytical dimensions to health as wellbeing; her view complements Alonso’s social sciences and health practice expertise and is determinant to defining the uniqueness of HbAM.

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, School of Human Ecology

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.

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 Awards

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:

  1. To develop novel statistical methods for identifying recent selection in human genomes;
  2. 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).

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.

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 Awards

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:

  1. 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
  2. Discuss and analyze baseline information about the current status of opioid prescribing in Rwanda
  3. 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:

  1. Development of a comparative health systems perspective for all participants, using the WHO health system building blocks as a framework
  2. Mastery of essential skills for applied research, including monitoring, evaluation, and quality improvement
  3. 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, M.D., 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.’

School of Veterinary Medicine

Carlos Dib, M.D., MPH., Ph.D.. School of Medicine, Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia & Fundacion Salud para el Tropico, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

Hosts: Jorge E. Osorio, Department of Pathobiological Sciences; Bruce M. Christensen,Department of Pathobiological Sciences

During the past two years Osorio and Christensen have been working closely with Dr. Juan Carlos Dib to develop a field site in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (SNSM) in Colombia with the ultimate goal of studying and characterizing emerging arboviruses. Dr. Dib’s visit provides an opportunity to expand the connection already established between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and academic institutions in Colombia.

Dr Dib is the Director of the Tropical Health Foundation and Dean of the Medical School at the Universidad Cooperativa. He has extensive experience in the study of tropical and vector-borne diseases in urban and rural areas of Colombia. The SNSM offers a unique setting for a field site, as it is an isolated mountain range apart from the Andes chain that runs through Colombia. In this region, they have conducted preliminary studies that indicate dengue and yellow fever as clinically common illnesses, but lack of appropriate laboratory diagnosis has hampered its accurate differentiation from other common tropical febrile illnesses.

During the visit, Dr. Dib will work closely with Dr. Osorio and Christensen’s groups. Specific goals for the visit include:

1) Laboratory training on the multiplex PCR for emerging arbovirus panel. Dr. Dib will receive training at the Osorio lab with the ultimate goal of transferring the assay to his lab in
Colombia. In addition, they will conduct preliminary testing of field samples.

2) Dr. Dib will also receive training in how mosquito competence studies for dengue are conducted using artificial membrane feeding techniques.

3) Grant submission: the group is currently generating important data on the burden of dengue in tropical areas, the clinical presentation, molecular characterization of circulating viruses and the virus-mosquito vector interactions. These results will be used as preliminary information for grant applications.

School of Human Ecology

Professor Maria de la Luz Perez Padilla, Ph.D., Art and Foreign Cultures Department, Universidad de Guadalajara, San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico

Host: Lynet Uttal, Ph.D., School of Human Ecology
Article about Padilla’s visit to UW-Madison

Professor Maria de la Luz Perez Padilla shares a common interest with Professor Lynet Uttal (UW-Madison) in Mexican families who have family member(s) who has immigrated. The purpose of the time spent in the U.S. by Prof. Perez Padilla working with Prof. Uttal from August 19th to December 16th of 2013 will be to establish a research partnership. For both, the goal is to learn in more detail about each other’s work on immigrant families, health, and well- being. Professor Perez-Padilla will share her research from the Mexican side of the border and Professor Uttal will share her research from the U.S. of the border for Mexican immigrant families in order to create a more holistic research project about the impact of health on binational families. They will also explore the possibilities of collaborating on a research study on migration and health and how binational households impact the health and well-being of its family members and the communities they reside in order to create a better understanding of this social phenomenon, changes in the family households, its impacts on health, and identify factors that mediate the effects of migration on health. They aim to better understand the objective levels of health as well as the subjective stresses and adaptations of members of families in Mexico and in the US.

During this time, they will work in Madison analyzing and discussing a database collected in Jalisco state, Mexico, during 2012 related to “Psychological Resources, Coping Styles, And Family Relationships of People that Have Migrated And that Have Migrants Family Members”. This will result in a manuscript by Prof. Perez Padilla.

Professor Perez-Padilla will participate in some of the academic activities the Global Health Community has underway at the UW-Madison while she is doing her academic stay. She will present a talk on the findings of her thesis project, which are related to Mexican “Migration, Health and Psychological Resources”.She will also explore with the Global Health Community the possibility of future collaborative research work between the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo (where she is a doctoral student), and Universidad de Guadalajara (where she is a professor). A collaborative research effort could lead us to a better understanding of the impact migration has on the health of the people in both sides of the borderland, hopefully, to the development psychosocial interventions to be used in both countries.

Department of Anesthesiology

Rahel Tilahun Melaku, M.D., Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Host: Martha Wynn, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine and Public Health

In 2012 the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia designated the initiation of adult cardiac surgery services in Addis Ababa, the capital, a clinical priority and charged Addis Ababa

University (AAU) Faculty of medicine to develop the program. In response to AAU’s request for educational support, cardiac anesthesia faculty in the UW Department of Anesthesiology have formulated a cardiothoracic curriculum and sent this, along with other electronic educational materials and textbooks to the Anesthesia Department in Addis. AAU has now identified Rahel Tilahun Melaku, a consultant who will be the first cardiac anesthesia specialist. Ms. Melaku will require additional training in order to be able to safely and effectively provide this care and to assume the leadership role required for the cardiac surgery program to succeed at their medical school. The long-term goal is to eventually train at least one other anesthesia consultant in cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia and these two together will establish the cardiac anesthesia service and going forward integrate this service into the residency training program. To begin to accomplish the additional education and training required we propose having the consultant spend time at UW and learn the cognitive and technical information required to do cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia.

Melaku will be here for several 2 to 3 month blocks of education and training, While here, she will observe cardiac, thoracic, and vascular anesthesia in the operating room, attend seminars and lectures on cardiac and thoracic anesthesia, and participate in simulator guided teaching sessions where both cognitive concepts and technical skills can be taught.

In addition to learning cardiothoracic anesthesia she will collaborate on cardiothoracic and vascular surgery outcomes research at UW as a preparation for doing similar outcomes research as part of the cardiac program established at AAU. This research effort will serve three purposes: to identify appropriate outcome measures at AAU and gain the skills necessary to setup an outcomes database, then use information to evaluate surgical results to improve patient care and perform collaborative research activities with the Department of Anesthesia at UW.

Sarvodaya USA/ Global Health Institute

Vinya Ariyaratne, M,D,, MPH, General Secretary, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Sri Lanka
Host: Sarvodaya USA/ Global Health Institute

Vinya Ariyarante is a medical doctor and a leading expert in Sri Lanka in the field of community health. His extensive experience in community health and public health in low resource and highly unstable settings transcends crucial areas that need to work together to bring forth a comprehensive understanding of the burden of diseases and establish effective interventions.

Ariyaratne works directly on the ground in war-torn areas, overseeing IDP (Internally Displaced People) resettlement, aid programs for war-affected people, as well as peace and reconciliation programs. In addition to his extensive experience with health and conflict he has unique knowledge of communicable and tropical diseases, environmental health, social impact on health determinants as well as peace and reconciliation. His expertise in health during times of conflict fills a gap in educational offerings on the topic at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

Ariyaratne is also General Secretary of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement. The movement, founded by Ariyaratne’s father more than 50 years ago, is the largest people’s organization in Sri Lanka with more than 15,000 villages taking part in holistic, sustainable development, village-level empowerment and conflict resolution programs. Under Ariyaratne’s direction, the movement was recognized by the United Nations World Habitat Award for its massive 2004 tsunami relief efforts. He has facilitated and hosted scores of student and professional groups in field experiences related to Sarvodaya’s holistic approach to development, including six student study-service programs from the UW-Madison, two of which were sponsored the Global Health Institute in 2011 and 2012.

Proposed Activities:

1. Conduct a one-credit graduate seminar related to health and conflict. 10-14 days of lectures(This course can be open to undergraduates), and

2. Present one or more public events related to wellness, peacemaking, poverty alleviation, community health and sustainable development, and/or

3. Present at least one non-credit master class, workshop or public discussion for medical students, community health and development professionals, and personnel in fields ranging from environmental health, and holistic approaches to individual, family, community, nationwide and global issues; and/or

4. Host at least one public speaking event to raise awareness about Sri Lanka and Global Health issues (funded by Sarvodaya USA).

Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies

Eduardo Santana Castellón, Ph.D., University of Guadalajara, México

Host: Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program (LACIS)

LACIS, in collaboration with other units on campus will bring Dr. Eduardo Santana Castellón, professor at the Universidad de Guadalajara (UdG), México to UW-Madison for one week in October 2014 to conduct research on environmental awareness and health linkages in central México and to solidify a new collaborative agenda between UW-Madison and Universidad de Guadalajara. This visit builds upon a long and proven collaboration between UW and UdG.

Dr. Santana has been recognized for “institution building” as part of the founding group, in collaboration with UW researchers, that promoted the creation of the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve and also for consolidating the Las Joyas Research Station. Now, Santana is working on an ambitious project to design and promote an “agent of social change” in Central Mexico though an environmental awareness living museum to connect high school students, teachers, researchers and the general public in a learning environment that brings together water, land, climate and urban issues.

Santana recently visited UW Madison (March 15, 2013) to make a presentation about this learning living museum to key potential partners at UW including representatives of the Gaylord

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Division of International Studies, UW System, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Ecology, and LACIS. Out of this visit, a need was identified to bring Dr. Santana for a longer period (10 days to 2 weeks) in the Fall of 2013 to define parameters of collaboration with UW colleagues in a variety of areas including: environmental design, health, biodiversity conservation and civil society engagement.

The objectives of his visit in October 2013 are:

a) to conduct research on the linkages of environmental awareness and health issues in a region in central Mexico that ought to be included in the living museum;

b) to consolidate an agenda and specific goals for a collaboration between UW and Universidad de Guadalajara in the implementation of the living environmental museum through the creation of “working groups” at UW involving faculty and students. Efforts will be made to identify research and internships opportunities for UW students at UdG.

c) to incorporate lessons from Santana’s research into modules or units in UW courses, such as the course ENV 900: Sustainable Development, offered by collaborator Alberto Vargas, Associate Director of LACIS.

One product of the visit will be a white paper on the collaborative agenda between UW and UdG, outlining the contributions of diverse “working groups” from UW in the living museum project.

Department of Nutritional Sciences

Chisela Kaliwile, MPH, National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC), Lusaka, Zambia

Host: Sherry Tanumihardjo, Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences

Ms. Kaliwile is an extremely talented individual who is currently working with the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) in Lusaka, Zambia. In September, she will be eligible for release time to pursue her PhD at the University of Zambia under the mentorship of Dr. Charles Michelo and Dr. Sherry Tanumihardjo. Ms. Kaliwile will return to Madison to analyze her samples that contribute to a project assessing the diets and vitamin A status of lactating and non-lactating women in Zambia. Ms. Kaliwile will also give guest lectures on campus during her stay.