Global Health

people walking in woods

The international portfolio of research conducted by the School of Public Health Division of Epidemiology & Community Health addresses sustainable health systems, emergency medicine, forced migration, disease prevention and treatment, and worldwide health crises like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and Ebola.

Protecting the health of women and girls of color in sanctuary cities: A public health perspective 
Zobeida Bonilla

This project increases awareness of the public health impact that immigration policies have on the health of women and girls of colors, and documents the potential of sanctuary cities as safety nets to ensure the well-being of families and communities.


Quantifying the breadth and duration of immunity induced by Meningococcal B vaccine
Nicole Basta

Invasive meningococcal disease is a significant public health threat given the sudden onset, rapid progression and high case fatality even among previously healthy young adults. Two novel meningococcal serogroup B vaccines, Bexsero and Trumenba, were recently licensed in the U.S. to protect against the disease.

This study evaluates the kinetics of immune responses induced by these vaccines against a broad panel of disease-causing meningococcal B strains with both the gold-standard correlate of protection, serum bactericidal antibody assays using extrinsic human complement (hSBA), and a new serum bactericidal antibody assay using intrinsic human complement (iSBA). We aim to:

  • Provide evidence about the breadth and duration of immunity induced by meningococcal B vaccines to inform the design of optimal preventive vaccination strategies; and
  • Advance the field of vaccinology by increasing our understanding of the protective effects of vaccines.


Assessment of a community support intervention for persons living with HIV in rural Ethiopia
Alan Lifson

In Ethiopia, more than a quarter of HIV patients drop out of a health provider’s care one year after starting treatment, leading to greater risk in developing severe illness or even death, and are at greater risk of spreading HIV to others.

This study, which takes place in southern Ethiopia, is a randomized community trial evaluating the efficacy of partnering community support workers with HIV patients to provide education, counseling/social support, and linkage to the HIV clinic. 2,600 HIV patients who are newly enrolled in care will be followed for at least three years, with a primary goal of improving retention in HIV care, and secondary goals of improving client knowledge, attitudes, feeling of social support, quality of life, and clinical status. Read more about this study.


Keys to Preventing Cancer: Unlocking Barriers to HPV Vaccination in Low-Income Countries
Nicole Basta

This study investigates factors limiting high HPV vaccine uptake in low-income countries, building upon our University of Minnesota Seed Grant research in Uganda. We also aim to develop case studies of international perspectives on ethical controversies in vaccine research to enhance and internationalize the UMN curriculum.

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