There are multiple approaches available to students who seek international learning opportunities.
- Pursue the Advocacy/Global Health Pathway in the EXPLORE component of the Gateway Curriculum. Phase One offers optional noon-hour sessions focused on these themes, and Phase One’s required four-week EXPLORE immersion can be global health-focused. Optional Phase 2 global health facets include learning and networking opportunities, and project planning. Up to 16 weeks of EXPLORE elective time in Phase 3 may be done internationally–for example, carrying out Global Health-related scholarly work. Phase 3 offers Global Health electives and an option for an international rotation.
The Global Health rotations in Phase 3 occur in any department of WashU’s 12 partner sites and 64 AAMC-approved global partners. Partner sites are currently in Korea, Japan, Thailand, Germany, Lebanon, Ireland, Ghana, France and Australia. The list of partner sites is expected to evolve as more partnerships are negotiated. Jonathan Mann Fellowships are available in Phase 3 to spend an elective month abroad. Preference is given for rotations with a health equity focus and to students seeking distinction in Global Health/Advocacy.
- Collaborate with faculty members who have international connections and ongoing, longitudinal research projects (see a partial list of such faculty, below). Students could take a year-long research year (MD5) focused on global health.
- Dual degree opportunities like the Masters in Public Health (MPH) are offered, if a medical students wishes to take an additional fifth year.
- Identify learning, service and networking opportunities through the student-run group Global Health & Medicine.
- Design your own path!
Using these approaches, over the past four academic years one or more of our students studied and worked in the following countries: Australia, Belize, Bhutan, Chile, China, Egypt, England, Ghana, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, N. China, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam.
WUSM Global Health & Medicine
WUSM Global Health & Medicine (formerly known as the Forum on International Health and Tropical Medicine), is a medical-student-run group that aims to enlighten the medical community about international-health concerns both by getting out into the world and by bringing knowledge home. A major focus is facilitation of international experiences for medical students. Each year, 10 fourth-year medical students receive scholarship funds to pursue international rotations. For example, current students have plans to study in Egypt, Bangladesh, Peru, Israel, Guatemala and Honduras.
For alternative spring breaks, second-year students visit Nicaragua to work on public health clinics and clinic-building projects. The Global Health & Medicine student organization sponsors fund-raising events and organizes an annual symposium focused on international health. The symposium featuring poster sessions, a keynote address, breakout sessions and a lunch panel. It is held in conjunction with Washington University Institute for Public Health’s Global Health Symposium.
WashU-related news stories with international themes:
- Amarasinghe and multi-institutional team awarded $16.8M NIH grant for Ebola virus research
- Dahiya named to international brain tumor working committee
- In Afghanistan, poverty, lack of education associated with dementia
- Podcast: International effort aims to help those at risk for serious psychiatric illness
- WashU’s 9th Annual Global Health Conference–March 2023
- Apte receives Bárány Prize from the International Society for Eye Research
- The inspiring work of Fred Ssewamala, PhD, and his research team, located both in St. Louis and in Uganda, is featured in this expansive article and video. Ssewamala is the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Transdisciplinary Research in the George Warren Brown School and a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the School of Medicine.
- A working group led by Jorge Llibre-Guerra, MD, assistant professor of neurology, published a perspective piece arguing for including more people from low- and middle-income countries in Alzheimer’s clinical trials.
- WashU research spurs changes to global guidelines for feeding malnourished kids
- Gut bacterium supports growth in infants with severe acute malnutrition
- Blood test for Alzheimer’s highly accurate in large, international study
- Improving medical care in Nigeria–profile of Stanley S. Chibueze, WashU MD candidate, Class of 2023
- Bringing life-saving therapy to the poor; WashU Medicine spearheads collaboration to install radiation machine in Guatemala
- Fighting cancer in impoverished areas
- “Life-Changing Journey,” WUSM Outlook magazine
- “A World of Health Care,” WUSM Outlook magazine
- “New Focus on Emerging Diseases”, Curiosus magazine
Examples of Faculty with Internationally-focused Research Interests
Phillip Budge, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Research Interests: Global elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF) and other neglected tropical diseases. Current work focuses on development of diagnostic tools for these diseases that can be used in the context of global public health programs.
Dave B. Clifford, MD
Professor of Neurology and Medicine; Melba and Forest Seay Professor of Clinical Neuropharmacology in Neurology
Research Interests: Interested in the pathophysiology and treatment of neurologic infectious diseases, with a particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS-associated neurologic diseases. Active in clinical trials involving HIV, HIV-associated cognitive disorder, HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy and pain, HIV-2, and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.
Lisa de las Fuentes, MD
Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics
Research Interests: Dr. de las Fuentes’ ongoing clinical and translational research projects investigate the role played by common genetic variants in myocardial metabolism genes in modulating the hypertensive cardiovascular disease phenotype in humans. Of particular interest are the genetic, metabolic, and environmental predictors of left ventricular hypertrophy, left ventricular dysfunction, and vascular hypertrophy.
Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD
The Herbert S. Gasser Professor, Departments of Medicine, Molecular Microbiology, Pathology and Immunology
Research Interests: Research focuses on the interface between viral pathogenesis and the host immune response. For several years, we have been primarily focused on two globally important mosquito-borne human pathogens, West Nile virus and Dengue virus. Recently, we have begun to study another member of the same virus family, hepatitis C, which causes chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Investigations with hepatitis C virus are aimed at generating a novel mouse model and understanding the epitope specificity of protective antibodies against this virus.
Daniel E. Goldberg, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and of Molecular Microbiology; David M. and Paula L. Kipnis Distinguished Professor
Co-Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Research Interests: Interested in the biology of malaria and in developing new drugs for malaria.
Mark D. Huffman, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine; Co-Director of the Global Health Center, WashU Institute for Public Health
Research Interests: Improving global cardiovascular health and health care in low- and middle-income countries through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and policies and in bringing lessons learned back to the United States.
Jean Hunleth, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery, Instructor of Anthropology
Research Interests: The experience of caregiving and treatment seeking for infectious and chronic diseases in Africa (most specifically, Zambia) and in the United States. Especially interested in children’s experiences of and responses to illness, medicine, and health programming. Uses ethnographic and qualitative interview as well as observational methods and participatory techniques such as drawing, role playing, and photography. Her aim is to reduce disparities and improve health care delivery through focusing on the practical knowledge and lived experience of people typically left out of health programming and policy decisions.
Juliet Iwelunmor-Ezepue, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Research Interests: Using participatory and culture-centered approaches to implement and sustain evidence-based inventions in low and middle income countries.
Mark Manary, MD
Helene B. Roberson Professor of Pediatrics
Research Interests: Prevention and treatment of primary malnutrition in Africa, pathophysiology of kwashiorkor, development of novel foods to heal tropical enteropathy, use of plant genetic engineering to improve nutrition security. The locale of his work has been mostly in Malawi, although he works throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Manary is a member of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.
Thomas A. Odeny, MD, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology
Research Interests: Global oncology. Reducing disparities in eligibility for immunotherapy clinical trials and expanding treatment options for cancer in people living with HIV. Studying the effect of CD4+ T cell count on treatment-emergent adverse advents and survival among patients with and without HIV receiving immunotherapy for advanced cancer. Also studying the association between Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) subtypes and clinical severity of disease in patients with KSHV-associated diseases in North America and Africa.
Gary J. Weil, MD
Professor of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology; Gerald and Judith Medoff Professor of Infectious Diseases
Research Interests: Clinical parasitology, tropical medicine, travel medicine and global health. Laboratory conducts research on filarial nematode parasites that cause important tropical diseases such as elephantiasis and river blindness. This includes basic research on parasite biology and translational research to develop improved diagnostic tests and treatments. Weil serves as the principal investigator for the DOLF (Death to Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis) Project supported by the Gates Foundation.