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Basu Gaurab

Gaurab Basu, MD, MPH is an instructor at Harvard Medical School, primary care physician at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), and Co-Director of the Center for Health Equity Education & Advocacy (CHEEA). He is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader, a health equity leadership development fellowship. He is Co-Director of the CHA Internal Medicine Residency's Social Medicine & Research Based Health Advocacy course, and the Co-Director of Harvard Medical School's Social Medicine course. He has been a Harvard Medical School Academy Fellow, a Harvard Macy Scholar, and received the Charles McCabe Faculty Prize in Excellence in Teaching Award at Harvard Medical School and Academic Council award at CHA for his work in medical education. He previously was a Sommer Scholar at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Basu is trained in community organizing and has served as a coach for workshops run by Harvard Kennedy School Professor Marshall Ganz. He has interests in human rights, global health, climate change and has previously worked for the Gates Institute, Partners in Health and Last Mile Health.

Gaurab Basu, MD, MPH

Speaker Bios

Plenary Lectures
Dr. Gaurab Basu

Jay C. Butler, MD is the Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases. In this capacity, he provides leadership to the efforts of CDC’s three infectious disease national centers and helps to advance the agency’s cross-cutting infectious disease priorities. Dr. Butler has 30 years of experience in increasingly complex public health leadership and management positions. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in zoology, received his MD at the University of North Carolina, and did internship and residency training in medicine and pediatrics at Vanderbilt. After completing CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service in the Wisconsin Division of Health, Dr. Butler completed a preventive medicine residency with the Respiratory Diseases Branch in the National Center for Infectious Diseases, and an infectious disease fellowship at Emory University. He is board certified in medicine, pediatrics and infectious diseases, and has served in public health positions at federal, state, and tribal government, including completing more than 22 years in the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service, from which he retired at the level of Captain (Medical Director) in 2012.

Butler Jay
Jay Butler, MD
Dr. Jay Butler
Chunara Rumi

Dr. Chunara's mission is to develop computational and statistical approaches for acquiring, integrating and using data to improve population-level public health. Considering health from a comprehensive perspective means the data comes from inside and outside the clinic.

Dr. Rumi Chunara
Rumi Chunara, PhD

Andreas I. Pottakis studied Law at the Universities of Athens and Oxford where he was awarded a doctorate (D.Phil.) in EU Public Law. He has lectured at various European Universities, in the UK, in Italy, in Turkey and in Greece where he has also pursued a career as a lawyer before the Supreme Court. He is a professor and the Provost for postgraduate studies at the European Law and Governance School (ELGS), and the Alternate Director of the Academy of European Public Law. Further, he has considerable experience in organising and running vocational training and Inter-University courses in several countries in Europe and abroad as scientific director of the European Centre for Continuing Legal Education (ECCLE). From 2011 until 2015, Andreas Pottakis served as legal advisor to the General Secretariat of the Hellenic Government, while from 2015 until early 2016 he was appointed at the position of Head of the Legal Office. He has published extensively on a wide range of areas, including, inter alia, European Public Law, Comparative Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, and the legal protection of Human Rights

Andreas Pottakis
Andreas Pottakis, D.Phil
Dr. Andreas Pottakis
Solomon Caren
Caren Solomon, MD, MPH

Dr. Caren Solomon is a Deputy Editor at the New England Journal of Medicine , an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a physician at the Fish Center for Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. At the New England Journal of Medicine , she founded and edits the Clinical Practice series (a triweekly series of evidence-based review articles relevant to the practicing clinician) and is in charge of the Clinical Problem Solving series (a monthly series of case discussions), Interactive Medical Cases (a bimonthly series), and original articles related to women's health. Dr. Solomon is a member of the Harvard Medical School Faculty Council, where she co-chairs the subcommittee on climate change. Her recent publications include articles on the health risks associated with climate change and the role of health professionals in addressing the climate crisis.

Dr. Caren Solomon
Research Talks - People
Shaunagh Connaire

Shaunagh Connaire is an Emmy nominated and duPont-Columbia award winning journalist and filmmaker. She was the first documentary maker to enter the Ebola zone in Sierra Leone in 2014 where she made a film for Channel 4 and PBS Frontline. The CDC used this film to help train health workers in West Africa. She's operated undercover in China exposing clinics that offer electric therapy as a so-called cure for homosexuality. She's also extensively covered the refugee crisis in the Middle East - one of her films with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon led to a family being resettled in Sweden. She currently works for the Financial Times in New York. Before turning to journalism, Shaunagh trained as an accountant with KPMG.

Connaire Shaunagh
Shaunagh Connaire
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Wendy Parmet
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Wendy Parmet, JD

Wendy E. Parmet is the Matthews University Distinguished Professor Law & Professor of Public Policy & Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, where she is the faculty director of the Center for Health Policy & Law. She is the author of numerous books and articles concerning public health law and access to health care, and co-authored with Patricia Illingworth, The Health of Newcomers: Immigration, Health Policy & the Case for Global Solidarity, which was published by NYU Press in 2017. Currently she serves as the Associate Editor for Law & Ethics of the American Journal of Public Health.

Katherie Rucinski

Katherine Rucinski is an epidemiologist, HIV researcher, and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Rucinski’s research is focused on optimizing the health and well-being of women and girls at the highest risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. Specifically, her research aims to better understand diversity in structural vulnerability and sexual decision-making to inform more holistic sexual and reproductive health programs for adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Rucinski holds a PhD in epidemiology (UNC-Chapel Hill, ’18), a MPH in International Health (NYU ’09), and a BA in Religious Studies and Spanish Literature (NYU ’06). She is originally from New York City and currently lives in Baltimore.

Rucinski Katherine
Katherine Rucinski, PhD, MPH
Research Talks - Planet
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Gary Cohen
Cohen Gary

Gary Cohen has been a pioneer in the environmental health movement for more than 30 years, founding Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth, and Greenhealth Exchange. He serves on several boards, including Health Leads and Coming Clean. A MacArthur Fellow, Cohen has been recognized by the White House, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Skoll Foundation, the Huffington Post, and many more for his efforts to transform the health sector to become environmentally sustainable.

Gary Cohen
Laura Kuhl

Laura Kuhl is assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the International Affairs Program at Northeastern University. Her research examines climate adaptation and resilience in developing countries. She has studied innovation, technology transfer and adoption for adaptation as well as mainstreaming adaptation in development policy in East Africa and Central America. Current projects also address coastal resilience, adaptation finance, and national adaptation plans. Prior to Northeastern, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at the Tufts University Fletcher School. She has conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and New England and has collaborated with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Programme. She has a PhD and MALD in international affairs from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and a BA in environmental studies and anthropology from Middlebury College.

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Laura Kuhl, PhD
Brita Lundberg
Lundberg Brita
Brita Lundberg, MD

Dr. Brita Lundberg, trained as an infectious diseases sub-specialist and practicing as a physician health advocate, is actively engaged in increasing public awareness of the climate risks associated with fossil fuel infrastructure. An active board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Green Newton, she sits on the Committee for Environmental and Occupational Health at the Massachusetts Medical Society, where she has helped formulate policy to make  transparent the life cycle of natural gas and its human health impacts.

Madhavi Venkatesan

Madhavi Venkatesan is the executive director of Sustainable Practices, a 501(c)3 environmental advocacy nonprofit and a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Northeastern University.

Madhavi earned a PhD, MA, and BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. A recipient of a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship (Philippines), she has contributed to numerous books and journal articles on the subject of sustainability and economics. Her present academic interests include the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum.

Prior to re-entering academics, Madhavi held senior level positions in investor relations for three Fortune 250 companies. In this capacity she was a key point of contact for investors and stakeholders and was instrumental in the development of socially responsible investing strategies and corporate social responsibility reporting. She started her financial services career after completing her post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.

Venkatesan Madhavi
Madhavi Venkatesan, PhD
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Research Talks - Technology
Gonzao Bacigalupe
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Gonzalo Bacigalupe, MEd, MPH
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Gonzalo Bacigalupe, EdD, MPH, is Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston; Principal investigator of the Emerging Technologies and Communication for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN). His research asks the question of how citizen education and participation is enabled by and build community resilience for disaster risk reduction through emerging technologies, the impact of emerging media adoption on families, and the role of patient online communities. An abstract plastic artist, with an artist certification issued by the City of Boston, Gonzalo´s abstract work speaks about the ways we construct our environment, the territory we live in, as well as our fragile bodies. He has been showcased at several exhibitions, a book cover, peer review journals. Gonzalo is a Family Process Institute (2018-2021) board director and was president of the American Family Therapy Academy (2014-2016). He was recipient of the American Psychological Association Carolyn Attneave Diversity Award and this year is receiving the Innovative Contribution Award by AFTA.

Ozlm Ergun

Dr. Özlem Ergun’s research focuses on the design and management of large-scale networks. She has applied her work on network design, management and collaboration to problems arising in the airline, ocean cargo and trucking industries. Recently, Dr. Ergun’s work has been focused on the use of systems thinking and mathematical modeling in applications with societal impact. She has worked with organizations that respond to humanitarian crisis around the world, including: UN WFP, IFRC, CARE USA, FEMA, USACE, CDC, AFCEMA, and MedShare International.

Ergun Ozlem
Ozlem Ergun, PhD
Gavin Skinner
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Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, BVSC., MSC., MPH, MRCVS
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Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner has more than 25 years of technical and policy experience in infectious disease surveillance and response. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and teaches courses on public health and hospital preparedness for disasters and terrorist emergencies, biological risk
management, and designing training exercises and drills. He currently is the Director of Strategic Partnerships in Disaster Medicine at both the Department of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and with the Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine on the island of St.
Maarten. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, C-SPAN and other news outlets to share his expertise in global health threats.
He learnt epidemiology as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and was a Global Health Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington DC. Gavin holds a Master of Public Health with a focus on epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Master of Science in Emerging Infectious and Zoonotic Diseases from the University of London in England. His Veterinary Medicine and Surgery degree is from The University of Queensland in Australia and he is a Member of the
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Tech Talks
Karim Azer

Karim Azer is the head of the Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) and DMPK modeling at the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. His work is focused on leveraging the spectrum of bioinformatics, systems biology, QSP and Pharmacometric modeling approaches, and data science, to address translational medicine needs of the institute, in the areas of tuberculosis, malaria, diarrheal and enteric diseases, and maternal neonatal health. Karim’s efforts are also dedicated to the development of supportive computational and mathematical approaches and pipelines are also dedicated to the development of supportive computational and mathematical approaches and pipelines to enable robust in-silico simulations and visualizations of models and model outputs. Karim received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU, and holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Courant Institute at NYU, and B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from Rutgers University. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years, employing a wide variety of modeling, both mechanistic and empirical, and computer science approaches to address drug discovery and development questions in R&D.

Karim Azer
Karim Azer, PhD
Shane Hebel
Hebel Shane

Shane Hebel is the Director of Product for UrSure., which makes diagnostic tests aimed at monitoring and improving medication adherence. Shane leads the company’s research and development and clinical validation teams. Prior to UrSure, Shane worked at McKinsey, where he focused on payor and regulatory healthcare clients, and UNAIDS, where he worked in HIV law and policy. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School.

Shane Hebel, JD
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Nelly Nganga
Nelly Nganga
Shah Nirav
Nirav Shah

Nirav Shah is the Founder of OnPoint Insights, a data analytics, software services and staff augmentation company. He has 15 years of industry experience - mainly in consulting on data analytics, big data modeling, process analytics and software tools, off-line and real-time data solutions, and training customers in data analytics,machine learning and data visualization. He consults and teaches in applying data analytics for manufacturing, operations, supply chain, process control strategies with clients to improve manufacturing process and operational efficiency. He has implemented real- time process monitoring data analytics and fault detection systems for leading bio-pharma customers and clients from other industries such as chemical, pulp and paper, food and beverages. He helps customers in providing better process insights using data driven solutions. He has taught courses and conducted workshops to industry clients and universities on Multivariate Data Analysis, Design of Experiments and Batch Process Analytics for ten years. He has spoken at leading data science conferences (ODSC East, ODSC India, Global AI, Minne Analytics). He has been a panelist on various Data Science, ML and AI panels. Recently, he joined Tufts University as a Part Time Faculty for Data Analytics Graduate Program. He completed his dual Masters in Chemical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts,Lowell and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Babson College . He likes to run and is looking forward to running Chicago marathon this year.

Nirav Shah
Workshop Leaders
Nish Acharya

Rebecca Riccio is the Khaled and Olfat Juffali Director of The Social Impact Lab at Northeastern University, an innovation hub that bridges sectors, disciplines, and generations to facilitate knowledge building in the social impact arena. The Social Impact Lab houses several programs that Rebecca has built on a foundation of twenty years’ experience working and teaching at the forefront of the social change arena, including Northeastern Students4Giving (NS4G), an experiential philanthropy education program, and Giving With Purpose, the world’s first massive open online course (MOOC), on effective charitable giving and informed civic engagement.

Rebecca Riccio
Rebecca Riccio
Natasha Archer
Archer Natasha
Natasha Archer, MD, MPH

Natasha Archer, MD, MPH, is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and associate physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is also the senior health and policy advisor for Hematology at Zanmi Lasante (the Haitian sister organization of Partners In Health). Dr. Archer’s research focuses on the delivery of effective sickle cell disease care to children worldwide. Her research interests include the implementation of sickle cell disease screening and management programs in low resource settings and the effect of different hemoglobins on malaria infectivity. Dr. Archer completed her fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s in 2014 and her medicine and pediatrics residency in the Harvard Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency training program in 2011.

Brook K. Baker, a professor at Northeastern U. School of Law, teaches disability discrimination law, negotiations and is developing a new course focused on human rights, intellectual property, and access to medicines. He has taught and consulted in South African law schools and law school clinics since 1997. Professor Baker is an honorary research fellow at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa. Professor Baker is also a senior policy analyst for Health GAP (Global Access Project) and is actively engaged in campaigns for universal access to treatment, prevention, and care for people living with HIV/AIDS, especially expanded and improved medical treatment. He has written and consulted extensively on intellectual property rights, trade, investor-state dispute settlement, access to medicines, and medicines regulatory policy, including with the African Union, NEPAD, South Africa, Uganda, ASEAN, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Venezuela, CARICOM, UK DfID, the World Health Organization, the Millennium Development Goals Project, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Open Society Institute, UNAIDS, UNDP, Unitaid, the Medicines Patent Pool, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and others. He serves as a key advisor to NGO delegation to Unitaid, which acts to improve market dynamics and early market entry of medicines and diagnostics needed to address HIV/AIDS, TB, Hepatitis C and malaria. Professor Baker also works on policy issues concerning the Global Fund and the US PEPFAR Program, and how those priority disease initiatives might contribute more broadly to improving health care delivery in developing countries. Finally, he analyzes resource needs for global health, innovative financing mechanisms and IMF macroeconomic policies that restrict increased government and donor spending on health and education in developing countries.

Baker Brook
Brook Baker
Brook Baker
Catherine Brown
Brown Catherine
Catherine Brown, DVM, MSc, MPH

Dr. Catherine M. Brown has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s of Science in Wild Animal Health from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London and a Master’s of Public Health from Boston University. Dr. Brown was a wildlife veterinarian for eight years from 1997 - 2005. She worked for DuPage County’s Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Illinois and then moved to the Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts. Dr. Brown then served as an Applied Epidemiology Fellow with the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Infectious Diseases’ Zoonoses Program. She has served as the State Public Health Veterinarian at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health since 2006.

Sean Cahill

Sean Cahill, PhD is Director of Health Policy Research at the Fenway Institute, Affiliate Associate Clinical Professor of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, and Adjunct Associate Professor of the Practice in Health Law, Policy and Management at Boston University School of Public Health. Cahill serves on the Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission on LGBT Aging, and is Associate Editor at LGBT Health.

Cahill Sean
Sean Cahill, PhD
Tonya Colpitts
Colpitts Tonya

Dr. Colpitts has over 15 years experience working with arboviruses. The Colpitts’ lab research focuses on arbovirus pathogenesis and cellular interactions during infection in the mosquito and the mammal, with an emphasis on examining the host-virus-vector interface. We aim to uncover mechanisms at play during the entire arboviral transmission cycle, from infection in the mammal to acquisition in the mosquito vector, and transmission from the mosquito back to the mammal. Ongoing projects include examining the interactions of mosquito proteins with both viral proteins and mammalian host proteins, developing transmission-blocking vaccines for arbovirus prevention, investigating mosquito-human immune crosstalk and the role of exosomes in arboviral infection and transmission.

Tonya Colpitts, PhD
Julia Cromwell
Cromwell Julia
Julia Cromwell, MD

Julia Cromwell, from Baltimore, Maryland, is a 2015 graduate from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a current fourth year resident in the Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital Psychiatry Residency Program in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to medical school she studied French History at Duke University, then taught science and math as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso and as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Liberia. She is working with colleagues within her residency to develop an international educational collaboration between the MGH/McLean Psychiatry Residency and Psychiatry Residency at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Mbarara, Uganda.

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Saloni Dev
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Saloni was born and raised in India and moved to the States a few years ago to get her MA in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. She is currently a Population Health PhD Candidate at Northeastern University. Her principal area of research is social epidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology, and mental health implementation science research in low-resource settings. My current work focuses on improving implementation of community health worker-led mental health interventions in India, as well as investigating area-level income inequality and social capital as determinants of depression and suicide in the United States.

Saloni Dev
Andrew Driscoll

Andrew Driscoll is a recent graduate of Northeastern University School of Nursing. During his time at Northeastern he spent two months living in Lesvos, Greece volunteering for Iliaktida, a non-profit organization that aids in the health and resettlement of unaccompanied refugee minors. While there, he worked with nurses providing medical care to unaccompanied minors, taught education classes on newborn child care, mental health, and self harm, and staffed a local clinic providing healthcare and guidance to refugee men, women, and families. Currently, he is working as a registered nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on the pediatric intensive care unit.

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Andrew Driscoll, RN
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Bio Coming Soon!

Bria Dunham
Lori Ferrns

Dr. Ferrins’ research is focused on drug discovery for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which are a collection of 20 communicable diseases as defined by the World Health Organization. Currently, she is leading three projects in the Pollastri lab which focus on repurposing known human kinase inhibitors for use against the parasites responsible for malaria (P. falciparum), and the NTDs human African trypanosomiasis (Trypanosoma brucei), Chagas disease (T. cruzi), leishmaniasis (Leishmania spp.), and schistosomiasis (S. mansoni). Dr. Ferrins has also been involved with the International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN) since early 2017, first as chair of the Public Outreach Subcommittee and more recently as the vice-chair of the organization. The goal of IYCN is to reach like-minded scientists and create a platform for scientific exchange. With a focus on building a global network, IYCN is working to spread scientific knowledge, mentorship, and encourage a passion for chemistry in all.

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Lori Ferrins, PhD
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Megan Gallagher
Gallagher Megan

Megan Gallagher, MD, MPH, is an infectious disease physician at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA, and assistant professor of Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School—Baystate. Her clinical and research interests include immunizations and other infectious disease issues in occupational health and optimizing delivery of care to patients on outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT).

Megan Gallagher, MD, MPH

Dr. Kyle Gobrogge is a lecturer at Northeastern and BU. As a teacher-scientist, Dr. Gobrogge uses evidence-based pedagogical methods to enhance best teaching practices to foster effective student learning in both lecture and laboratory curriculum. Through his teaching, research and publications, Dr. Gobrogge aims to develop a better understanding of the neurobiology programming motivated and dysregulated behaviors. He earned his B.S. in psychology from Michigan State University, his M.S. and Ph.D. from Florida State University, and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Tufts, and Boston College.

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Kyle Gobrogge
Kyle Gobrogge
Jenka Garfinkel

As UX Lead at athenahealth, a network of more than 160,000 providers and 110 million patients, Jenka designs platform-scale solutions to empower patients, grow provider business, and improve population health outcomes. She has previously designed customer experience solutions for some of the world’s largest brands and organizations, including Toyota, AARP and Live Nation. Her work and writing have been featured in Wired, TechCrunch, The LA Times, WBEZ, iO9, and more. Jenka believes all designers are agents of public health, and has developed a framework to align technology design practice with health-centered design values.

Gurfinkel Jenka
Jenka Gurfinkel

Sade Iriah is a current PhD candidate at Northeastern University in the neuroscience program. Her focus is drugs of addiction and looking into novel treatments that can aid with neurological protection and recovery. She’s been published 7 times on topics ranging from Parkinson’s diseases to Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussions). She earned a masters in Public Health in 2019 and also became a Doula, where she focuses her attention on the needs and health success of Black health during and post pregnancy.

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Sade Iriah
Sade Iriah
Sarah Jensen
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Sarah Jensen
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Dr. Sarah Jensen is a postdoctoral fellow in Global Practice at Boston College School of Social Work. She currently works on a home-visiting based parenting intervention delivered to poor households in rural Rwanda. Dr. Jensen's work aims to uncover linkages between children's psychosocial experiences, including experiences of stress and caregiving, and long-term mental and physical health outcomes. She also has extensive experience conducting neuroimaging in both low and high resource settings. She gained her PhD in Developmental Psychopathology from King's College London and previous postdoctoral training includes a fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital / Harvard Medical School where she worked on a project following children growing up in an urban slum in Bangladesh. Dr. Sarah Jensen is a postdoctoral fellow in Global Practice at Boston College School of Social Work. She currently works on a home-visiting based parenting intervention delivered to poor households in rural Rwanda. Dr. Jensen's work aims to uncover linkages between children's psychosocial experiences, including experiences of stress and caregiving, and long-term mental and physical health outcomes. She also has extensive experience conducting neuroimaging in both low and high resource settings. She gained her PhD in Developmental Psychopathology from King's College London and previous postdoctoral training includes a fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital / Harvard Medical School where she worked on a project following children growing up in an urban slum in Bangladesh. 

Susan Mello

Susan Mello is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. Dr. Mello’s research investigates how exposure to risk information in the media impacts individual beliefs and protective health behaviors, with a particular focus on cancer and environmental toxins. Her work has been published by the Journal of Health Communication, Risk Analysis, and Nicotine & Tobacco Research. At Northeastern, she teaches undergraduate courses on communication theory, risk communication, and health communication campaigns.

Mello Susan
Susan Mello, PhD
Shan Mohammed
Shan Mohammed, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Shan Mohammed is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Northeastern University and directed the Master of Public Health Program in Urban Health from 2007-2017.   He has taught courses on Community and Public Health; Health Policy; Health Management; Health and Human Rights, and Principles and History of Urban Health. 


Prior to coming to Northeastern University he was a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine where he directed the Global Health track in the MPH Program and taught an interprofessional course in Uganda on Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS.


Dr. Mohammed is a board-certified family medicine physician and fellow of the American Association of Family Physicians.  He obtained his MD degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH and his MPH degree from Boston University School of Public Health where he also received a Certificate in Health Care Delivery in Developing Countries.  Before beginning his graduate studies he served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer with the Thai Ministry of Public Health implementing and evaluating health education and health promotion campaigns targeting HIV/AIDS and Iodine Deficiency Disorders on the Thai-Laotian border.  He has worked clinically with Laotian and Burmese refugees.

Gibbs Nasir

Gibbs Nasir is the Director of Community Partnerships for Public Health United, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on improving science communication with the public. In his role, he has helped to build and strengthen both short term and long term partnerships, such as increasing the diversity of perspectives and fields on the PHU podcast, and enhancing the capacity of young professionals in PHU. He is also a Senior Scientific Associate at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, working on various neuro-degenerative diseases. Gibbs earned his bachelor's degree in molecular biology and a minor in philosophy from Cornell College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors. After working for two years on ion channel biophysics at the University of Iowa, he got his master's degree in molecular microbiology and immunology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he studied malaria immunology. In his spare time, he enjoys writing articles on various science topics and playing around with graphic design to convey complex ideas in simple ways.

Nasir Gibbs
Gibbs Nasir
Mercy Owuor
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Mercy Owuor
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A Heroine of Health 2017 Awardee from GE and Women in Global Health, Mercy came to Carolina for Kibera with over 10 years of program management and research experience. She leads efforts in growth and strategy development, capacity development, advocacy and partnerships. In addition, she provides oversight of monitoring, evaluation and learning for all initiatives, fundraising and proposal development. Previously, Mercy served as the director of community programs for Lwala Community Alliance, leading design and development, planning, implementation, evaluation and reporting for their community programs including public health outreach, education and economic empowerment. She also worked at the University of Nairobi’s College of Health Sciences as a field study coordinator.

Christina Potter

Ms. Potter is currently finishing her master’s degree in the International Health Department at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is completing her practicum and capstone at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security while she pursues a MSPH degree in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control and a Certificate in Humanitarian Health. She works on multiple projects at the Center for Health Security including coordinating the Outbreak Thursday blog, assessing Ebola preparedness and response measures in Uganda, investigating WHO Emergency Committee processes and assisting with the drafting of a new edition of WHO’s “Public health response to biological and chemical weapons.” Prior to starting her master’s program, Ms. Potter earned a BS degree in Cell and Molecular Biology and a Minor in Global Health from Northeastern University. She completed two co-ops at Northeastern University including RSV vaccine development at Sanofi Pasteur and qualitative research and typhoid fever surveillance at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine in Ghana.

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Christina Potter
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Harlan Pruden
Pruden Harlan
Harlan Pruden
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Harlan Pruden is a proud member of the Cree Nation, or nēhiyo in Cree. Harlan's mother is from the Beaver Lake Reservation and father from the Whitefish Lake Reservation, both located in northeastern Alberta – Treaty 6 territory. After living in New York for 20 years, Harlan moved to Vancouver and now lives, works and plays on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the shared territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Harlan works with the Two-Spirit community locally, nationally and internationally. Harlan is currently a Ph.D student at UBC's Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program and is focusing on Two-Spirit individuals, people(s) and communities. Harlan is also an Educator with the British Columbia Center for Disease Control's Indigenous public health program, Chee Mamuk, and is also the Managing Editor of, an interactive multi-platform Two-Spirit media/news site. Closer to home, Harlan is an appointee for the City of Vancouver's Board of Trustees for the Vancouver Public Library. Harlan serves as a representative to the International Indigenous Peoples Working Group on HIV/AIDS. Before moving to Vancouver, Harlan was co-founder and Director of the New York City's NorthEast Two Spirit Society and served as the principal Two-Spirit consultant to US' Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center. In August 2014, Harlan was appointed by President Obama to the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and provided advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the White House. (In December 2018, Harlan was fired from PACHA by 45 via Fedex.)

Srijana Srestha
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Srijana Shrestha is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College. She got her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Women’s Studies with a minor in Gerontology from Pennsylvania State University. Her work is interdisciplinary and covers topics related to improving the mental-health care and quality of life of older adults from underserved backgrounds in the United States and Nepal. She has also worked with refugees groups. She is currently examining mental health utilization and cultural tailoring of traditional psychotherapy to increase access to mental health care in Nepal.

Srijana Shrestha
Valeria Ramdin
Ramdin Valeria
Valeria Ramdin, PhD, MS, APRN-BC, CNE

Valeria Ramdin, PhD, MS, APRN-BC, CNE, Assistant Clinical Professor, and Director of Global Health Affairs – School of Nursing. Northeastern University. She has 30+ years in leadership, practice and academia combined. She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing, Master of Science and PhD from Northeastern University. Some of her leadership experience includes acute care hospital nursing administrator, Academic Assistant Dean for undergraduate studies, Chair positions on numerous committees and was Vice President of the NU Alumni Association, Board of Directors.

Alexandra Tarzikhan

Alexandra Tarzikhan has a dual degree in law from Northeastern University School of Law and a Masters in Public Health from Tufts University School of Public Health. She left her hometown of Aleppo, Syria right at the start of the war in 2011 and this has shaped her career path to date. She was selected to complete a Program for Human Rights and the Global Economy fellowship in Lesvos, Greece that allowed her to support refugees throughout the asylum procedure. During her free time between both degrees, she volunteered with the Emergency Rescue Center International and volunteered in several refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. She was selected as a Huntington 100 and gave a TedxTufts talk to raise awareness and humanize the refugee crisis. She believes that all of the refugees she met while volunteering, can succeed if only they had access to the opportunities she had. She is currently a clinical legal fellow in health and human rights at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law where she has been able to work on a variety of different projects in Nigeria, Ukraine, Botswana, Lebanon, and shortly in Greece.

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Alexandra Tarzikhan, JD, MPH
Richard Wamai
Richard Wamai
Richard Wamai, PhD

Dr. Richard Wamai earned his Ph.D. in international health and development from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Prior to joining Northeastern he was a research fellow in the Takemi Program in International Health at Harvard School of Public Health. Before that, Dr. Wamai was a researcher at Oxford University (UK) Department of Social Policy. His previous work experience spans a number of other institutions including the London School of Economics, the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Institute for Public Policy, the World Bank, the Nordic-Africa Institute in Uppsala Sweden, and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. His research areas are: HIV/AIDS, focusing on male circumcision for HIV prevention, cost-effectiveness and policy in Africa; neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Kenya; human papillomavirus in Africa; and health systems and policy. At Northeastern, with professor Pollastri, Dr. Wamai co-leads the Integrated Initiative for Global Health to champion global health efforts at the university.

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