VECD Fogarty Health Fellowship

The VECD (Vanderbilt, Emory, Cornell, Duke) Fogarty Health Fellowship program is a mentored research training program for pre- and post- doctoral students sponsored by several collaborating institutes, including the Fogarty International Center and the National Institutes of Health. Fellows participate in an 11 month clinical research program at an affiliated site, including sites in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. There are also over 100 faculty members who serve as mentors to the Fellows and are experts in a variety of topics, including infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer, nutrition, diabetes/metabolic diseases, cardiology, mental health, women and MCH, pediatrics, substance abuse, ophthalmology, dental/oral health, surgery, trauma, burn, anesthesiology, health systems/implementation science, behavioral/social sciences, nursing, neurology/stroke, lung diseases, and genetics.

Current Fellows 2017-2018

shaikh

Nida Shaikh

Fellowship Site: Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, India

Fellowship Project: Long-term effects of an individualized coordinated care intervention on dietary patterns and cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with co-morbid diabetes and depression: the INDEPENDENT study

Ms. Shaikh is a graduated doctoral student from the Nutrition and Health Sciences program at Emory University. She is a Registered Dietitian having graduated with an MS in Health Science (Nutrition) from Georgia State University, an MSc in Dietetics from University of Pune, India and a BSc in Foods and Nutrition from S.N.D.T. Womens’ University, Mumbai, India. Her research has focused on child malnutrition, non-communicable diseases and dietary assessment methodologies both in the United States and in India. Nida spent a year on the VECD NIH/Fogarty Global Health Fellows Program where she developed and evaluated a novel nutrition transition assessment instrument for older children in India. On this project, Nida recruited, trained and led a thirteen member field research team to validate the instrument. Against the backdrop of globalization and emerging nutrition transition in low- and middle- income countries, her dissertation is focused on understanding food consumption patterns, food behaviors, and body weight status among children in India. Her professional goal is to establish a career in child nutrition research, specifically in targeting and improving global childhood malnutrition.


Past Fellows 2016-2017

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Nurilign Ahmed

Fellow 2016-2017

Fellowship Site: Malawi, Zambia

Fellowship Project: HIV Self-Test Optimal Interventions by Incorporating User Preferences, the use of Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs) in Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe

Ms. Ahmed is a doctoral student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, focusing on Health Economics and Infectious Diseases. Her interests include working in health care systems in developing countries to advance economic strategies. Ms. Ahmed has worked on research at the University of Wisconsin, Emory University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has extensive experience working with the Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group, where she worked with local health offices to promote HIV testing, applied m-health technology, and developed a national strategy and guidelines for Couple HIV Counseling and Testing in partnership with the CDC and Botswana Ministry of Health.

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Sara Hanson

Fellow 2016-2017

Fellowship Site: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Fellowship Project: The role of maternal obesity, HIV and gestational diabetes on infant health, body composition and abdominal fat distribution in urban South Africa

Ms. Hanson has completed a B.S. in Human Nutrition from Virginia Tech, an M.S. in Nutritional Sciences from San Diego State University, and is a current PhD student in Nutrition and Health Sciences at Emory. Ms. Hanson has previously completed research at the University of the Witwatersrand Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit. While there, she worked on longitudinal birth and pregnancy cohort studies. She also has extensive data management experience and has worked at the World Health Organization.

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Leslie Johnson

Fellow 2016-2017

Fellowship Site: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India

Fellowship Project: Evaluating the Impacts of Integrated Depression and Diabetes Treatment in India: A Process Evaluation of the INDEPENDENT Study

Ms. Johnson is a doctoral student in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education department at Emory University. She has a B.A. in Anthropology/Religion from Emory, a Master’s in Theology from the University of St. Andrews, and an M.P.H. from Emory. She is interesting in examining the interactions between mental health and chronic health conditions. Ms. Johnson has research experience on a variety of qualitative and quantitative studies at Emory University, Indiana University, Dharamsala, India, and Nairobi, Kenya.

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Megan Quinn

Fellow 2016-2017

Fellowship Site: Hyderabad

Fellowship Project: Pediatric Injury

Ms. Quinn focused her research on Pediatric Injury.

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Elizabeth Rhodes

Fellow 2016-2017

Fellowship Site: Public Health Foundation of India

Fellowship Project: An evaluation of social network-related intervention effects of a lifestyle intervention in India

Ms. Rhodes is a PhD student in the Nutrition and Health Sciences Program at Emory University. She is interested in reducing health disparities by developing, testing, and implementing and scaling up nutrition interventions and bridging the gap between research and practice. Through her dissertation and as a member of the Emory Global Diabetes Research Center, she is involved in implementation/translation research. Ms. Rhodes also has experience conducting research, writing knowledge summaries, and developing case studies to facilitate the translation of knowledge into global policy and practice through her work as a consultant for the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health at WHO and the UN World Food Programme. Ms. Rhodes has an A.B. in Sociology from Brown University and a S.M. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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Smitha Sarma

Fellow 2016-2017

Fellowship Site: Kerala, India

Fellowship Project: Improving tobacco cessation rates among heart attack survivors in India

Ms. Sarma is a third year medical student and recieved a Fogarty Fellowship to study tobacco cessation among heart attack survivors in India. Her reserach project examined the current approach to tobacco cessation counseling, evaluate the accessibility and affordability of medications used for tobacco cessation, and identify the steps necessary for establishing a state-level tobacco quit line. Ms. Sarma became interested in tobacco cessation as a first year medical student after participating in the Hult Prize, a social entrepreneurship competition challenging students to address the burden of chronic disease. After the competition, she continued working with Dr. Huffman to refine her ideas and create a targeted proposal to tackle smoking cessation in India.

shaikh

Nida Shaikh

Fellow 2016-2017

Fellowship Site: Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, India

Fellowship Project: Long-term effects of an individualized coordinated care intervention on dietary patterns and cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with co-morbid diabetes and depression: the INDEPENDENT study

Ms. Shaikh is a graduated doctoral student from the Nutrition and Health Sciences program at Emory University. She is a Registered Dietitian having graduated with an MS in Health Science (Nutrition) from Georgia State University, an MSc in Dietetics from University of Pune, India and a BSc in Foods and Nutrition from S.N.D.T. Womens’ University, Mumbai, India. Her research has focused on child malnutrition, non-communicable diseases and dietary assessment methodologies both in the United States and in India. Nida spent a year on the VECD NIH/Fogarty Global Health Fellows Program where she developed and evaluated a novel nutrition transition assessment instrument for older children in India. On this project, Nida recruited, trained and led a thirteen member field research team to validate the instrument. Against the backdrop of globalization and emerging nutrition transition in low- and middle- income countries, her dissertation is focused on understanding food consumption patterns, food behaviors, and body weight status among children in India. Her professional goal is to establish a career in child nutrition research, specifically in targeting and improving global childhood malnutrition.


Past Fellows 2015-2016

Beteal Ashinne

Beteal Ashinne

Fellow 2015-2016

Home Institution: Emory University and Duke University
Fellowship Site: Madras Diabetes Center, India
Research Topic: Diabetes

Ms. Ashinne spent her fellowship year at Madras Diabetes Center in Chennai under the mentorship of Venkat Narayan, MD, MSc, MBA and V. Mohan, MD, PhD, MBBS, DSc. Her research focused on assessing effects of vitamin D deficiency in patients with diabetic retinopathy in Chennai, India.

Ms. Ashinne is a third year MD/MPH candidate at Duke University School of Medicine and Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. As a native of Ethiopia, she became engaged in global health work to address the growing chronic disease burden and health disparities within low- and middle-income countries. Following her work experience at the Kaiser Family Foundation, she has been passionate about contributing to health system strengthening efforts and furthering medical research. Her clinical research interest focuses on non-communicable diseases and eye disorders, such as diabetic retinopathy. Ms. Ashinne holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University and is a former scholar of the Summer Medical and Dental Educational Program and the Emory Global Health Institute Multidisciplinary Team Field program.

Samrawit Yisahak

Samrawit Yisahak

Fellow 2015-2016

Home Institution: Emory University
Fellowship Site: Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Research Topic: Nutrition

Ms. Yisahak spent her fellowship year at Addis Ababa University in Addis Ababa under the mentorship of Venkat Narayan, MD, MSc, MBA and Ahmed Reja, MD. Her research focused on the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among type 2 diabetes patients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ms. Yisahak is a PhD candidate in Nutrition and Health Sciences at Emory University. She received her bachelor of science in Nutritional Sciences and Global Health from Cornell University. Her research interest is in investigating the burden, risk factors and pathophysiological variations of diabetes and related metabolic diseases in understudied regions of the world. As a native of Ethiopia, she is primarily interested in African populations


Past Fellows 2014-2015

Debby Basu

Debby Basu, PhD

Fellow 2014-2015

Postdoctoral Fellow, Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis, Emory University
Fellowship Site: Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group, Zambia
Fellowship Project: Impact of Couples’ Voluntary Counseling and Testing and Antiretroviral Treatment on HIV-1 Transmission within Cohabiting Heterosexual Serodiscordant Couples in Zambia

Dr. Basu was born in Indiana, though she spent most winters with her extended family in India. Her interest in global health came at an early age with both her exposure to global health issues in developing countries and a special interest in the unfurling AIDS pandemic. This interest was solidified through her undergraduate training at Indiana University (B.S. in Biology) and Masters degree at Purdue University (M.S. in Biology), and was the driving force that led her to pursue her doctoral work at Emory University (Ph.D. in Immunology & Molecular Pathogenesis), where she focused on characterizing potential correlates of protection from HIV-1 superinfection in heterosexual African couples. Dr. Basu hopes to apply her training in molecular virology and immunology to the development of field-based diagnostic and point-of-care tools for use in low-resource countries and settings where poor access to care and patient retention exist.

Jorge Salinas

Jorge Salinas, MD

Fellow 2014-2015

Fellow, Infectious Diseases, Emory University
Fellowship Site: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fellowship Project: Biomarkers of Plasmodium vivax Malaria Severity in the Brazilian Amazon

Dr. Salinas is an Infectious Diseases fellow working with the Malaria Host Pathogen Interaction Center (MaHPIC), led by his primary mentor Dr. Mary Galinski, a research coalition involving Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia. He investigates the pathogenesis of malaria using systems biology approaches and is interested in how Plasmodium vivax leads to severe disease in some individuals while not in others in endemic areas. He also plans to study the clinical and biologic differences between American travelers, recent immigrants and long term immigrants to the US presenting with imported malaria.

Fernando Val

Fernando Val, PhD student

Fellow 2014-2015

Home Institution: Emory University
Fellowship Site: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fellowship Project: Biomarkers of Plasmodium vivax Malaria Severity in the Brazilian Amazon

Fernando Val is natural from Manaus, capital city of Amazonas state, has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy granted by the University of São Paulo (FMRP-USP, 2010). Has spent a year with clinical practice and doing research in cardiovascular rehabilitation at the Exercise Physiology Laboratory (Cardiology Department) and the Clinics Hospital in Ribeirão Preto-SP (HCFMRP-USP, 2011 – 12). Has worked for two years (2012 – 14) with infectious diseases in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Fundação de Medicina Tropical Doutor Heitor Vieira Dourado (FMT-HVD) in Manaus, Brazil. Is currently a graduate student (PhD level) at the University of Amazonas State (UEA-AM), interested in host-pathogen interaction in malaria. Is also member of the International Center on Malaria Clinical Research (CIPCliM), coordinating clinical trials in antimalarials and collaborating in malaria and HIV research with the local group and abroad.


Past Fellows 2013-2014

Mary Foote

Mary Foote, MD, MPH

Fellow 2013-2014

Fellow, Infectious Diseases, Emory University

Fellowship Site: Madras Diabetes Research Foundation

Research Interests: Exploring the diabetes and tuberculosis connection through bidirectional screening in India

Dr. Foote will spend her fellowship year at Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in Mysore and Chennai, under the mentorship of K.M. Venkat Narayan, MD, MSc, MBA. Her research will focus on investigating the epidemiological links between diabetes mellitus and tuberculosis infection.

Dr. Foote grew up in Tucson, Arizona and was greatly influenced by her experiences growing up in a multicultural border region. She earned her MD/MPH from the University of Arizona before going on to a residency in social internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. She is currently a Fellow in Infectious Diseases at Emory University with research interests in TB/HIV and their relations to social determinants of health and chronic diseases. Dr. Foote has been a traveler from an early age and believes that a career in global health is the perfect combination of her interests.

Martha Ryan

Martha Ryan, MDc

Fellow 2013-2014

Medical Student, Emory School of Medicine

Fellowship Site: PHFI/ Madras Diabetes Foundation

Research Interests: Diabetic retinopathy in Chennai, India

Ms. Ryan will spend her fellowship year at Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai, under the mentorship of Andrew Hendrick, MD. Her research will focus on a comparison of non-mydriatic and mydriatic screening methods for diabetic eye disease in the Indian population, as well as an examination of the prevalence of macular edema and retinopathy in prediabetic patients.

After growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ms. Ryan attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, where she earned a degree in chemical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering. After graduation, she applied to medical school while working at a community health center in Oakland, CA through the AmeriCorps program. The following year, she began her studies at Emory University School of Medicine, and after graduation, she plans to pursue a residency in ophthalmology.


Past Fellows 2012-2013

Ameeta Kalokhe

Ameeta Kalokhe, MD, MSc

Fellow 2012-2013

Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology T32 Fellow, Emory University

Fellowship Site: National AIDS Research Institute, India

Research Interests: Development of a culturally-tailored scale to better measure, characterize, and subsequently screen for domestic violence (DV) among women in India, including heightened susceptibility of DV survivors to infectious (i.e. HIV/STIs) and non-communicable (i.e. chronic pain, miscarriages, irritable bowel syndrome).

Dr. Kalohke has just finished a T32 fellowship at Emory University, where she worked extensively on projects related to intimate partner violence, HIV-AIDS health behavior, as well as laboratory-based and basic science research on HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis

Timothy Love

Timothy Love, MD, MPH candidate

Fellow 2012-2013

General Surgery Resident and Research Fellow, Emory University

Fellowship Site: Addis Ababa University, Myunsung Christian Medical Center, Soddo Christian Hospital, Ethiopia

Research Interests: Reducing non-communicable disease mortality through a multi-level intervention: focus on breast cancer

Dr. Timothy Love is a general surgery resident on a two year research hiatus. He spent the first year pursuing a MPH in global health at the Rollins School of Public Health and will conduct his Fogarty fellowship his second year. Dr. Love seeks to enhance his clinical research expertise by targeting non-communicable diseases that represent rising mortality in low-middle income countries and incorporating surgery into the global health agenda. The research during his fellowship would focus on non-communicable diseases optimally addressed by surgical treatment, specifically breast cancer. This feasibility project will design and implement a multi-level intervention to promote early detection through training health workers in clinical breast exams; evaluate post-surgical outcomes in the centers where he will be working; investigate the application of screening/diagnostic ultrasound in individuals with suspicious findings from the clinical exam; and measure specified endpoints. The fellowship will also support exploration of the interventions’ sustainability through clinical education and health system development.

Nida Shaikh

Nida Shaikh, MS, RD

Fellow 2012-2013

PhD Student, Emory University

Fellowship Site: B.L.D.E University, Bijapur, India

Research Interests: Child health and malnutrition, cardio-metabolic diseases.

Nida Shaikh is a Registered Dietitian and doctoral student in the Nutrition and Health Sciences program at Emory University. The research during her fellowship would focus on the role of gender differences and home environment in explaining unhealthy weight in adolescents. She is a graduate of Georgia State University, University of Pune, and S.N.D.T. Womens’ University, Mumbai where she completed her Masters’ degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics and undergraduate degree in Foods and Nutrition. Her overall professional goal is dedicated towards establishing a career in child health and nutrition research, specifically in targeting and improving childhood malnutrition.


For more information, please visit the VECD Fogarty Global Health Fellowship website at http://www.vecd.org/.