M. Kariuki Njenga, research professor in the Allen School, has been awarded $3.4 million from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for infectious disease surveillance in human and animal populations, antimicrobial resistance studies, and efforts to determine the presence of the Zika virus in Kenya. The money will fund the first year of a five-year cooperative agreement with the CDC titled “Conducting Communicable Disease Research in Kenya.” Allen School co-investigators are Douglas Call, Eric Lofgren, Tom Marsh, Terry McElwain, and Jon Yoder.
Educating the “next generation” of leaders across the full spectrum of global health—from basic research that discovers new solutions to translating these discoveries into practice and policy—is central to the Allen School mission. The opportunities created by our faculty have attracted an incredibly international graduate student body: 65 percent of our students come to the program from outside the United States, representing over 20 different countries. Last year we initiated a new program with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that provides doctoral training for an integrated cohort of students from the United States, United Kingdom, and several African countries. By training side by side, students will develop a professional network that will extend long past their graduate education as they emerge as global health leaders. Importantly, the research takes place in east Africa, allowing the full cohort to develop the skills required to discover, develop, and implement solutions in the regional context. As you read in this issue’s “Notes from the Field,” Ashley Railey describes a day conducting eld research on foot and mouth disease in northern Tanzania. Her story illustrates the highly interdisciplinary research and the opportunities to study in a unique and challenging environment. That these challenges and opportunities are shared among all the students in the cohort provides a common understanding and a framework that will increasingly pay dividends as these individuals emerge as the next generation of leaders.
Creighton Endowed Chair and WSU Senior Director of Global Health