Photos of the six Global Health Fellows from left to right: Amrita Gill, Dr. Annie Glover, Rebecca Carter, Dr. Jacob Todd, Dr. Firoz Abdoel Wahid, and Arioene Vreedzaam.

Six Tulane affiliates named Global Health Fellows

Six fellows with connections to Tulane University have been named to the Global Health Fellows and Scholars Program of the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health. The Global Health Fellows program is spread out across six different university consortia, and Tulane is part of the UJMT Consortium, administrated through the University of North Carolina.

“Tulane is proud to partner with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, and Morehouse School of Medicine to provide unique opportunities to global health fellows,” said Dr. Pierre Buekens, one of two directors for the Tulane site. “Pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows spend a year overseas collaborating with NIH funded researchers.”

“Tulane is lucky to have very strong applicants and a record number of approved fellows this year,” added Dr. Richard Oberhelman, co-director. “They will be the leaders of tomorrow’s global health research.”

Amrita Gill, a doctoral student in global community health and behavioral sciences (GCHB), will research the effect of neighborhood and peer social contexts on substance use and violence among adolescents living with and without HIV in India. Using a mixed-method approach, her research will aid in the development of context-specific and trauma-informed care and substance use prevention among adults living with HIV. Her project will be implemented at the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College clinical research site of the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education in Pune, India, with the mentorship of Dr. Nishi Suryavanshi, deputy director of the site, and Dr. Katherine P Theall, Cecile Usden Professor in Women’s Health in GCHB.

Dr. Annie Glover’s project will address unsafe abortions that result in a in high rate of injury and death for women in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Glover (HPM PhD ’19) currently serves as the director of research for the University of Montana Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development. During her fellowship she will work with medical and nursing schools and health providers in Kinshasa to provide high quality critical care for women who present to health facilities with abortion complications. Her proposal also includes offering safe and effective contraceptive options at the point of care. Dr. Jane Bertrand, Vanselow Endowed Chair in HPM, will serve as her mentor.  

Epidemiology doctoral student Rebecca Carter will conduct a mixed-methods implementation evaluation of a clinical mentoring program to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in two rural provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Her project will build on the results of the recently completed quasi-experimental study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and will run in coordination with UNICEF and the DRC Ministry of Health. The quantitative arm of her project seeks to address mentee motivation alongside barriers and perceptions of the program. The qualitative arm will use focus groups and in-depth interviews with key stake holders in Kinshasa. The project will be completed with mentorship from Professor Paul Lusamba at the University of Kinshasa School of Public Health. Her U.S. mentors are Dr. Pierre Buekens, Watkins Professor, and Dr. Xu Xiong, associate professor of epidemiology.

Dr. Jacob Todd is a senior resident in pediatrics at the Tulane School of Medicine He’ll work in western Malawi at the Mchinji District Hospital with Malawian faculty members affiliated with the University of North Carolina on an analysis of potential partial protection against severe malaria provided by the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine.

Dr. Firoz Abdoel Wahid (GEHS PhD ’18) is currently a postdoctoral fellow supported by the Caribbean Consortium for Research in Environmental and Occupational Health (CCREOH), which is also funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Fogarty International Center. As a global health fellow, Abdoel Wahid will research the role of nutritional mitigation on the neurodevelopment of children born to mothers exposed to lead and mercury at levels of public health concern in the interior of Suriname, a largely rural Amazonian region. Dr. Maureen Lichtveld, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) will lead Abdoel Wahid’s mentoring team.

Arioene Vreedzaam is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname and is also supported by CCREOH. Vreedzaam’s research will attempt to identify the origin of mercury found in the environment and how it influences the risk to women of reproductive age and young children through consumption of contaminated fish. Goldmining activities in the interior of Suriname are responsible for environmental contamination of local waterways in the area. Toxicology expert Dr. Jeffrey Wickliffe, associate professor in EHS, will serve as Vreedzaam’s lead mentor.