Emory Report
January 16, 2007
Volume 59, Number 15




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January 16 , 2007
Impact of Global Health Institute to be felt around the world

By holly korschun

Emory is extending its work to improve health care around the world with the creation of the new Global Health Institute this month. Jeffrey Koplan, Emory vice president for academic health affairs and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been selected to lead the new institute.

“Emory’s schools of medicine, public health and nursing already have created many successful global health partnerships,” Koplan said. “Now, we have a tremendous opportunity, as well as an obligation, to involve the entire University in building collaborations that will benefit other nations as well as our own.”

The institute will operate with a budget of $110 million, including $55 million from the University’s strategic plan and building funds and $55 million from other sources including Emory schools and departments, foundations, private and governmental partners. The funds will support new global health faculty, programs and partnerships.

The Global Health Institute builds on Emory’s existing strengths in global health, with the specific intention of creating and enhancing partnerships with governments and academic and private institutions in the neediest parts of the world. The Institute also enhances Emory’s successful global health partnerships with neighboring institutions such as the CDC, CARE, the Task Force for Child Survival and The Carter Center.

“By making this considerable investment in global health, Emory will broaden and deepen its capacity in fields as varied as infectious diseases, chronic diseases, vaccine and drug discovery, leadership development, health economics and work force development,” said Michael M.E. Johns, executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

The inaugural program associated with Emory’s Global Health Institute is the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, an alliance of CDC-like institutions dedicated to optimizing global public health by improving public health infrastructure around the world.

Other programs identified for immediate support through the new Institute include:

The Republic of South Africa Drug Discovery Training Program, dedicated to developing skills in young African scientists in the discovery of new therapeutic drugs. The program will be led by Emory chemist Dennis Liotta, co-inventor of several of the world’s most successful and commonly used anti-HIV/AIDS drugs.

A vaccine discovery partnership with the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi, India will be led by Rafi Ahmed, director of the Emory Vaccine Center and one of the world’s experts in immune memory and vaccine development.

A program lead by Reynaldo Martorell, Woodruff Professor and chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health in the Rollins School of Public Health, to expand the current collaborative relationship between Emory University and the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica of Mexico. The expanded partnership will result in long-term sustainable strategies for research, capacity building, training, and student exchange that will improve global health.

Under Koplan’s direction, the Global Health Institute will provide direction and support for Emory faculty and their global partners who use innovative approaches to address serious global health issues; identify opportunities for faculty growth and support the hiring of world-class scholars; convene seminars and conferences to develop global health leaders; and expand opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students committed to helping solve problems in global health.

Other high-priority programs for the Global Health Institute will focus on public health research and training in developing nations, healthcare work force shortages, international bioethics, and the health impact of global migration. A new undergraduate minor in Global Health, Culture and Society is available through Emory College.

Emory’s current partnerships in global health include extensive HIV/AIDS work in Rwanda and Zambia; nurse training in Ethiopia, the Caribbean, Kenya, India, Bangladesh and Russia; diabetes efforts in India; nutrition research in Central America and Eastern Europe; improvements in emergency room services in the Republic of Georgia; and infectious disease research in South Africa

More information about the new institute is available at www.whsc.emory.edu/globalhealth.