The UC Berkeley School of Public Health is excited to announce the launch of the UC Berkeley Global Public Health Fellows Program. Piloted in 2018-19 as the Gilead Fellowship for the Advancement of Global Public Health, the fellowship served 5 international fellows.

In 2021, the revamped fellowship will support 33 international and domestic graduate fellows from the incoming 2-year residential MPH, DrPH and online/on-campus MPH programs. Each fellow will receive a $40k fellowship stipend package ($20k per year) to support two years of studies. The program is made possible by a generous $1.4m gift from Gilead Sciences, with four fellowships awarded to online MPH students based in India thanks to a generous gift from the Morris Family Fund.

2021 Program Components

                         Recipients of our 2021 Global Public Health Fellowship for the Advancement of Global Public Health               

Olufunke Fasawe, DrPH

Olufunke Fasawe is a DrPH candidate at UC Berkeley School of Public Health starting fall 2021. She is a Senior Director at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI Inc.) where she works on Primary health care strengthening towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in low and middle income countries. She is also the Director of Programs and technical lead for Sexual and reproductive health at the CHAI Nigeria office. Prior to joining CHAI in 2012, she worked as a health economics consultant at the UNAIDS, Geneva HQ, and interned with the WHO also in Geneva at the start of her global health career. Funke is passionate about equitable access to healthcare services and strives for women empowerment through girl child education and gender equality in healthcare delivery. Her goal is to be a leading global health expert and eventually return to her country, Nigeria, to join public service. She has a Bachelor's degree in Dentistry and a Master’s degree in International Health management, economics and policy.

Wafa Alawi, MPH (EHS/GHE)

Wafa Alawi is a first-year MPH candidate in the Global Health and Environment degree program. Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2017, Wafa has volunteered with numerous humanitarian relief organizations and NGOs that support the needs of migrant and marginalized populations both locally and abroad. Wafa hopes to explore the social and structural factors affecting health from an interdisciplinary perspective and play a role in creating innovative interventions to combat them. Furthermore, she’s determined to apply the concepts and theories learned in the classroom to real-life situations when working with vulnerable communities in the Middle East.

Andres Gonzalez, MPH (HPM)

Andres Gonzalez is an incoming MPH student in Health Policy and Management. An East Bay native, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Santa Clara University, where he studied Political Science and History. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a Case Manager for La Familia, a non-profit organization focused on providing health and social services to underserved communities in the East Bay. More specifically, he conducted home visits in order to coordinate services for individuals with developmental disabilities. He later worked for the County of San Mateo’s Human Services Agency as a Benefits Analyst, where he primarily focused on processing applications for public assistance, including Medi-Cal and CalFresh. He is interested in addressing systemic issues that would allow for greater access to healthcare for underrepresented communities, specifically undocumented immigrants.

Gabriela Perez-Garcia, MPH (EPI/BIOST)

Gabriela Perez-Garcia is in the MPH program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She was born in Houston, Texas, and after a brief time in Arkansas, grew up in Dallas, Texas. She then moved to St. Louis to receive her BA in Anthropology specializing in Global Health and the Environment from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019. She has worked on public health projects in Madagascar and New York addressing menstrual hygiene and mental health. After graduation, Gabriela worked as a research coordinator at UT Southwestern Medical Center, investigating the genetic determinants of liver disease. At Berkeley, Gabriela is interested in studying infectious disease epidemiology in migrant communities in the hopes of translating her experience as a first-generation Peruvian-American.

Mahika Khurana, MPH (Epidemiology)

Mahika Khurana is a student studying in the MPH master’s program at the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley, California. For the past 4 years, she has worked as a medical doctor in India, UAE, and the USA after graduating with a degree in medicine in India. She has also visited orphanages, homes for the elderly, leprosy and tuberculosis rehabilitation centers, rural hospitals, and centers providing nutrition to women and young children. This exposure made her realize the importance of these organizations and how they eradicate problems at the root level. Mahika is passionate about Global Public Health because it helps her understand every aspect of health. She has always been intrigued with how it defines health as not just being without disease but also looks at the root cause of a problem to prevent a foreseen or a recurring health issue and promoting health through a series of cumulative efforts made by society. Mahika enjoys learning about the natural history of diseases and how they affect people, identifying the risk between exposure and disease, working on reducing their incidence and prevalence, the mathematics behind it, and the correlation between health and disease. Mahika has been recognized in her field for her work in research. She has a few publications and she has always been interested in fighting antibiotic resistance and wants to research different methods to fight bacteria.

Susan Awor, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Susan Awor is the founder of Ultrasound Without Borders, a non-profit start-up that provides ultrasound services to disadvantaged groups in low-resource settings. Her background is in radiography and is deeply involved in community service, particularly around Maternal and Child Health. Upon graduation with a Master's in Public Health, she will use the knowledge and skills acquired to take on a research role to design interventions for equitable access in maternal and child health. Awor aims to provide leadership and mentorship to research teams with similar interests and contribute to the implementation of strategies to strengthen health systems and streamline healthcare for disadvantaged groups in Uganda and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lesly Joseph, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Born in Haiti, Dr. Lesly Joseph is a dentist by profession and a global health practitioner by training. With over ten years of clinical experience, he graduated from the State University of Haiti Dental School where he is now teaching Introduction to Health Economics and Assistant Professor for Preventive Dentistry. Two times grantee of the US Department of State, he was first trained in Leadership and Civic Engagement at the University of Delaware in 2010 and, as a Fulbrighter, he completed his master’s in Global Health Policy and Management from the Heller School at Brandeis University in 2016. Dr. Joseph is driven by his passion for dental care delivery, health systems strengthening, and gender-related issues. His early career contributions were focused on applying his knowledge to advocate in order to foster local government in Haiti to efficiently and effectively insert oral health in their public health agenda. Then, with some colleagues and friends, he founded in 2016 Saint Apollonia Mobile Dental Clinic that operates in Haiti to bring quality and affordable dental care in underserved communities. He also offers his expertise to other non-governmental organizations in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic to improve quality and access to health care.

Bongekile Esther Nkosi, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Bongekile Esther Nkosi is a clinical research associate at ICON Plc, who is passionate about conducting research, saving and improving lives, protecting research patient's rights, and ensuring research is done with utmost integrity. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Physiology from University of Johannesburg. Nkosi has worked as a research study assistant and research interviewer at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), in addition to having prior experience as a clinical research data administrator at ​​Wits VIDA Research Unit.

Moliehi Mokete, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Moliehi Mokete is a first-year student in the MPH program for Epidemiology & Biostatistics. With a Bachelor's of Science in Statistics from the National University of Lesotho and current role as a data manager at SoldierMed, Moliehi has expressed great interest in learning more about epidemiology and biostatistics through the MPH program. Molehi is planning to work in the research focusing on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) prevention and care in the communities and at health centers in both Mokhotlong and Butha-Buthe under Community Based Chronic Care Lesotho (ComBaCaL) study within SolidarMed organization.

Bhavya Joshi, DrPH

As a first year DrPH student, Bhavya Joshi is working at the intersection of global public health and human rights. Her research organization WomenSARRA, works toward the full realization of Sexual and Reproductive Health as a Human Right. For more than 5 years, Bhavya has managed, implemented, and evaluated global public health projects in South Asia. Among other projects, she has worked on a BMGF human-centered design intervention on MCH; managed the evaluation of USAID project on Family Planning, Child Health and SRH and supported the development of the national strategy for India and Bangladesh on SRH for Deaf Young Persons for DCW. Within India, she has worked in 18 of 28 states. Bhavya obtained an MA in International Law and Human Rights from the UN mandated University for Peace. She is finishing her second MA in Peace, Security, Development and International Conflict Transformation from University of Innsbruck. Her bachelor is in Political Science from Delhi University. Using her multidisciplinary academic background, Bhavya is passionate about using community-based approaches embedded in human rights mechanisms to aid women’s reproductive autonomy and informed healthcare decision making in developing countries. She is a travel enthusiast, fond of drinking coffee and experimenting with cuisines.

Nam Nguyen, MPH (EPI/BIOST)

Nam Nguyen recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Molecular Environmental Biology and a concentration in Environment and Human Health. As an incoming MPH student in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, he will leverage his experience as a research apprentice and data analyst for three UC Berkeley projects ranging from animal studies to health policy. This summer he is interning at OHSU in Portland assisting with cell and developmental biology research. His interests in epidemiology center on zoonosis, biostatistics, and global health. Specifically, he hopes to contribute to the development of predictive tools, preventative measures, and analytics/algorithms for global outbreak prevention, especially in connection with zoonotic infectious diseases. While earning his MPH, he wishes to identify additional feasible improvements in wet markets and the food-supply chain in developing Southeast-Asian countries to further reduce the risk of novel zoonotic diseases. In his free time, he enjoys e-sports, hiking, volunteering, animals, and spending time with family and friends.

Milciela Reyes, MPH (IDV)

Milciela Reyes is excited to be part of the incoming class of the Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology MPH program at UC Berkeley. Miciela graduated from California State University, East Bay with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Biological Sciences in Fall of 2020. Originally, she had planned to become an accountant, however her passion and love for wanting to work with animals made her decide to stay a little longer to take the prerequisite courses for veterinary school. During November and December of 2020, she volunteered as a COVID-19 contact tracer for Santa Clara County and as of April 2021, she has been working for San Mateo County as a COVID-19 contact tracer. She hopes to learn as much as possible and share her experiences with her fellow classmates. Milciela is especially interested in learning about zoonotic diseases, emerging diseases, and infectious disease control and surveillance. During her free time, she enjoys walking with my dog, reading, watching documentaries and cooking shows, baking, painting, and volunteering at local animal organizations.

Camila Solorzano Barrera, MPH (EHS/GHE)

Camila Solorzano Barrera (she/her) will be in the Global Health and Environment MPH program within the EHS Department at Berkeley. She just moved back from Bogota, Colombia where she had the opportunity to do environmental health research involving Wayuu Indigenous communities and other work that consists of a mobile phone survey project related to NCD surveillance in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. She hopes to continue working on research related to mHealth, epidemiological surveillance and environmental health in LMICs. During graduate school, she would also like to learn more about conducting community-based participatory research, particularly focused on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

John Mboya, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

John Mboya is a community health research enthusiast, with a BSc in Community Health and Development. Mboya has worked as a research associate at Innovations for Poverty Action, Kenya (IPA) for about 10 years, supporting RCT-based public health research in Kenya. He has been participating in research planning, manuscript writing, publications, and results dissemination to government and to other stakeholders in the health sector, with the most recent ones being the WASH benefits study in Kenya, non-communicable disease medicine access by the Novartis and MNCH service access during COVID 19 pandemic by UCLA. My interest is in using public health research and development in generating rigorous evidence to support the implementation of UHC in Kenya and for developing policies that can be used in reducing health disparities and inequities not only in Kenya but for other LMICs.

Amete Mihret, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Amete Mihret is a researcher at Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Clinical Bacteriology and Mycology Research Case team. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in medical laboratory technology from Hawassa University in 2010, and a Master’s degree in the department of diagnostic and public health microbiology from Addis Ababa University in 2014. Since 2014, she has been working in the national clinical bacteriology and mycology reference laboratory as a microbiologist, laboratory supervisor, and leading the research and laboratory team of the national reference laboratory. During her leadership of the team, the laboratory had achieved ISO 15189 accreditation of full scope manual bacterial culture identification and antibiotic susceptibility tests. The laboratory had also graduated as a five-star laboratory by the American Society for Microbiology. Amete has done more than 20 research projects in collaboration with her colleagues which mainly focuses on maternal and child health, bloodstream infection, contamination of selected urban and health facility water sewages by gram negative bacteria, human Salmonellosis diagnosis, and treatment, characterization of invasive pneumonia isolates, surgical site infections, implementation and lessons learned of antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Ethiopia, bacterial vaginosis. Amete is currently a Ph.D. student at Addis Ababa University, Department of Medical Microbiology.

Abel Wilson Walekhwa, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Abel Wilson Walekhwa is a first-year student in the Epidemiology & Biostatistics MPH program, with an interest in improving health outcomes by contributing to the prediction of infectious diseases. He holds a Master’s degree of Public Health from Mbarara University of Science and Technology and also Bachelor’s degree of Environmental Health Science from Makerere University. His past experiences include being the co-founder of Bukedi Action for Integrated Development Initiatives, research associate for epidemiology and field control strategies at Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE), and Africa youth advisor on disaster risk reduction at the African Union.

Jaspreet Singh, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Dr. Jaspreet Singh is a Physician (Pediatrician) at US Embassy, New Delhi, India. He has done his undergraduate degree in medicine, MBBS from Subharti Medical College, Meerut (under Dr. B R Ambedkar University, Agra, India) followed by his residency (post-graduation) in Pediatrics from Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India, (under Baba Farid University, Faridkot,  Punjab, India). He has done visiting fellowships from Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA and Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He has experience in seeing adult patients in addition to pediatric age groups. He has great experience in handling international patients, having worked at Max Hospital, Fortis Hospital, and US Embassy. Through this fellowship, he targets to gain expertise in public health in order to treat patients better and more so approach any medical condition with the public health angle attached to it.

Yao Doe, DrPH

Yao Doe is a physician from Togo but born and raised in Ghana. He will be in the DrPH program. Yao has 8 years working experience in Obstetric and Gynecology. Besides working as a medical doctor, he took active roles in community outreach programs such as screening for breast and cervical cancer, HIV prevention, vaccination programs, chronic-care home visits in underserved communities, and vesicovaginal and rectovaginal fistula repair in sub-regions of Ghana. His recent work includes clinical outcomes of community-based antiretroviral therapy program for HIV positive pregnant women and nursing mothers in rural Togo, and also introduced an innovative program that employed the use of prophylactic misoprostol for postpartum hemorrhage and provided training for midwives and nursing assistants in various regions in rural Togo. Postpartum hemorrhage is the major cause of maternal mortality in developing countries and his ambition is to see drastic reductions in postpartum hemorrhage and subsequent reductions in the evidence of maternal mortality and hospital referral rate in underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries.

Natalia Smith, MPH (PHN)

Natalia Smith is an incoming MPH student in Public Health Nutrition at UC Berkeley, specializing in nutrition and maternal and child’s health. She was born and raised in Mexico City. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science from the Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México, and a certificate in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Currently, she is a full-time licensed dietitian in Mexico, and a Co-Researcher, participating in wide-reaching projects. Her areas of interest are Nutritional Epidemiology and the design and implementation of Global Public Health Policies and Programs. Growing up in Mexico and having witnessed the abysmal health disparities and contributing factors of malnutrition such as poverty, food insecurity and unequal access to health care motivated her to be part of the solution and pursue a career in Global Public Health with a special focus on Nutrition. She believes that the best way to improve the lives of a country is through effective public policies designed and implemented according to the needs and culture of each society. Natalia feels very honored to have been selected for the Global Public Health Fellowship and is looking forward to educating herself alongside people with whom she shares passions and to make her fullest contribution to the healthcare system in Mexico and abroad.

Sabrina Adams, MPH (HPM)

Sabrina Adams is a first-year graduate student in the Health Policy and Management program at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a practice manager and new patient intake coordinator at a private mental health clinic in Newport Beach, California where she worked to connect patients to mental health services and providers. Sabrina has always been passionate about mental health advocacy and hopes to use her career to broaden mental healthcare access to ensure that it is more widely available and affordable for marginalized communities of color and low income families. She is particularly interested in studying social determinants of health, and how the current structure of our healthcare system perpetuates health disparities and systemic disadvantages for people of color. After earning her master’s degree, Sabrina hopes to work with a health policy advocacy organization to campaign for greater healthcare access and coverage for underrepresented groups.

Andrew Nguyen, MPH (EPI/BIOST)

Andrew Nguyen is a Southern California native and a graduate from UC San Diego. Throughout his undergraduate career, he delved into projects at the intersections of community health, design thinking and spatial analysis. He led the development of a mobile mapping solution for the evaluation of the UC San Diego campus for safety concerns and for H-Hub, San Diego County’s geospatial data repository on homelessness. During the pandemic, Andrew built GIS COVID-19 dashboards and analytics for the UC San Diego wastewater monitoring program and performed needs assessments for the campus community. More recently, he has been pursuing climate epidemiology projects evaluating heat and smoke impacts on the health of vulnerable populations at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He’s excited to dive into the growing and urgent field of climate health epidemiology, especially through the lens of urban design and spatial relationships, and the translation of research into actionable policies and climate solutions. Andrew’s favorite pastimes include drinking teas, hiking, and buying records despite not owning a record player.

Mahnoor Fatima, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Mahnoor Fatima is a first-year MPH student in the Epidemiology & Biostatistics program, with a passion for making science accessible and finding creative solutions in an environment based on discovery and development. She received her BSc in Applied Biosciences from the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST). Fatima continues to extend her reach as a science communicator and life sciences editor, where she refines scientific research and effectively communicates science for maximizing engagement at Cactus Communications and FlowCell. Outside of academics, Fatima is working as a communications strategist in external engagement at the Global Biotech Revolution.

Asiphas Owaraganise, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Asiphas Owaraganise is a physician and a clinical trial manager at the Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration (IDRC). He graduated from Mbarara University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees (MBChB) in Medicine and Surgery, as well as a Master’s degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has previous clinical experience as an intern doctor in Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda and as a study coordinator for clinical trials at the Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration (IDRC). As a first-year MPH student in the Epidemiology & Biostatistics program, Owaraganise hopes to nurture his abilities to advocate for equality in the provision of health services.

Suvarna Jyothi Kantipudi, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Dr. Suvarna Jyothi Kantipudi is an Associate Professor at Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER), India. She leads the post-graduate training program in psychiatry and oversees undergraduate electives in psychiatry at her university. She is a qualified psychiatrist and holds undergraduate degree in MBBS from Andhra Medical College, Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences and postgraduate degree in Psychiatry from Christian Medical College, Dr. MGR University of Health Sciences. She has received certificates of achievement in pharmacology and pediatrics during graduation, in addition to the Florence Nichols Prize, A.S. Johnson Memorial Gold Medal, Dr. Rose Chacko Prize, and Dr. MGR University gold medal for academic excellence during her post-graduation in psychiatry. As a UC Berkeley Global Health Fellow, she aims to gain expertise in the areas of epidemiology, environmental risk assessment, health program evaluation, behavioral economics, and health policy to work towards the promotion of maternal mental health and prevention of non-communicable diseases in persons with mental disorders.

Efison Dhodho, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Efison Dhodo serves as the director of strategic information, monitoring, evaluation, and learning at the Organization for Public Health Interventions and Development (OPHID). Efison has over 10 years of experience in leadership, health financing, health policy, monitoring, and evaluation in the both government and development world. Such experiences include leading multiple cross-functional teams for a combined 4 years at Population Services International, spearheading public health interventions as both Epidemiology and Disease Control Officer and Maternal and Child Health Officer at Mat North Province for a combined 3 years, as well as being at the forefront of technical assistance and project management in Results-Based Financing at the MOHCC HEAD OFFICE, on a World Bank and Government of Zimbabwe co-funded project.

Carolina Agudelo, DrPH

Carolina Agudelo is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Infectious Disease and Immunity program at UC Berkeley. She completed her BSc in Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida. During her time at UF, Carolina studied the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), looking into how the human transcription factor TWIST1 interacts with EBV-transformed replication machinery to drive unscheduled cell proliferation. Carolina's interests include science communication and basic science translational research for infectious diseases. In her free time, she enjoys baking, learning languages, traveling, and hiking.

Korie McManus, MPH (IDV)

Korie McManus is a first-year MPH student in Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology. She recently received her B.S. in Global Public Health & Biology with a concentration in Genetics from NYU. Her interest in public health sparked during her various healthcare roles at Mount Sinai, Northwell Health, and NYU Langone. She started research while studying abroad in Australia, where she conducted a study about parental decisions to vaccinate children against influenza. She later worked both in a molecular genomics lab that focuses on gene interaction (epistasis) in yeast and the IDEAS lab where she focused on harm reduction strategies to reduce disparities in smoking addictions. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she volunteered as a COVID-19 vaccinator to help vaccinate communities throughout NYC. Korie envisions a career collaborating with healthcare professionals with similar desires to help underserved communities access affordable, equitable healthcare.

Lemlem Gebre, MPH (HSB)

Lemlem Gebre is an incoming student of the UC Berkeley Master’s in Health and Social Behavior (MPH) program. She has had the opportunity to work in diverse communities and see firsthand the extreme health disparities that characterize many parts of the United States. After graduating from college, she wanted to get into the world of public health. Understanding communities and seeing the implications of health behaviors and the effects is what she would like to focus on. She would like to become a public health advocate to implement better changes and health outcomes, and believes that being involved in public health will help her better understand the social and cultural drivers of health outcomes, as well as how health behaviors contribute to health disparities. She hopes to leverage her skills to enhance health research, health advocacy, and community engagement and implement that locally and globally. Also, to impact the lives of individuals and communities, in changing behaviors and attitudes by empowering others through knowledge.

Bekure Siraw, MPH (Epidemiology)

Bekure Siraw is an Ethiopian medical doctor who is an MPH candidate in the 11-months MPH program at UC Berkeley. His research interests are focused on both cardiovascular health and infectious diseases. He received his medical degree from Addis Ababa University College of Health Sciences in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has over four years of clinical and teaching experience and has worked in various clinical and educational roles in Ethiopia. He aspires to be a cardiologist and is thus seeking further training in Internal Medicine. He is passionate about solving the existing inequalities in access to and quality of healthcare in the world in general and sub-Saharan Africa in particular.

Belinda Ohdiambo, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Belinda Odhiambo is passionate about understanding the experiences of people living with HIV(PLWH) and knowing how to best support them through their journey. She is engaged in various HIV research studies to help explore and understand the dynamics of the virus. She interviews participants to know and understand their experiences, perceptions, and beliefs so as to identify points of intervention, improve their health outcomes, and help fight against new HIV infections. She is currently a study coordinator in a study (Healthy Mothers) trying to understand the impact of food insecurity and mental health in non-adherence to Option B+ in perinatal women living with HIV in Kisumu, Kenya. She has been working in the same community with different Non-Profit Organizations in different HIV research studies including Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (Kisumu breastfeeding study), Acceptability of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (Lottery study), assessing the acceptability of HIV self-testing kits (Ora Quick), HIV food security and agricultural livelihoods intervention (SHAMBA MAISHA), and identifying the challenges of adopting Option B+ (Bottlenecks study).

Jane Mwafulirwa, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Jane Mwafulirwa (formerly Jere) is a medical doctor, with a special interest in dermatovenereology. She is currently employed by the Malawi Ministry of Health as a Medical Officer at Rumphi District Hospital. Mwafulirwa has experience in outpatient care, inpatient care, clinical research coordination, and hospital management. She graduated from the University of Malawi College of Medicine with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 2012 and completed a rigorous 18-month internship in 2014. From 2014 to 2016, she worked for the Malawi Ministry of Health at a rural District Health Office (Mulanje District Hospital) as a Medical Officer, where she was responsible for the clinical care of patients as well as managing administrative functions. In 2016, Mwafulirwa joined the Malawi College of Medicine - Johns Hopkins University Project as a Medical Officer and later became a study coordinator working on HIV prevention and AIDS clinical trials. In 2019, she enrolled in the Dermatology International Graduate Training Program at Boston University School of Medicine. After graduating from the program, she is now pursuing an MPH at UC Berkeley to get a deeper understanding of Epidemiology and Public Health Research methods, which will allow her to improve the health of her patients beyond the wards and clinics.

Ivan Mufumba, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Ivan Mufumba is a biomedical laboratory scientist with a degree in Biomedical Laboratory Technology, training in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, and over 7 years of experience working within a science research laboratory setting. While he is in the process of choosing a concentration, he would like to work with organizations outside his country of residence or with a global influence to open up his exposure to something different and learn something new. Ivan will be running ELISAs for COVID19 antibody and malaria biomarkers through the next three months to summer. He is also engaged in manuscript writing, and he has about 2 papers he is working on. He plans to look for small grants to support his research ideas as he grows the skillset that will help him in his career. He is always asking himself this question: why do I do what I do and how can stress affect one’s health?

Maureen Kesande, On-Campus/Online MPH (OOMPH)

Maureen Kesande is a first-year student in the Interdisciplinary MPH program. Maureen is particularly interested in infectious disease epidemiology, intending to seek an internship opportunity at the World Health Organisation or CDC offices in Uganda who are the leading actors in the field of infectious disease epidemiology. Maureen is currently studying several topics around water sanitation and hygiene and its contribution to anti-microbial resistance, especially in rural and middle-income communities. Through the MPH program, Maureen has come to appreciate how cross-cutting public health issues are outside prevention and treatment of disease and how public health policies come into practice based on epidemiological findings and evidence.

                         Recipients of our 2022 Chevron-Funded Global Public Health Fellowship   

Maria Camila Gonzalez Rocha, MD

Maria Camila Gonzalez Rocha graduated from Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia as a medical doctor in April 2020 and began working as the sole doctor in a rural area during the height of the pandemic. During this time, Maria was able to witness the positive impact massive vaccination had on the healthcare system of her country. This situation motivated Maria to start working as a Clinical Research Associate in vaccine trials across Latin America at VaxTrials. Maria strongly believes that real change in healthcare systems occurs through policies supported by evidence. Going forward, Maria wants to make an impact on my country's public health by generating new strategies that assist vulnerable populations and help to close the gaps in healthcare systems.

Mercedes Flores-Casiano

Mercedes Flores-Casiano was born in Cruz Grande, Guerrero, Mexico, where Mercedes and her family later settled in East Oakland in 1995. Mercedes grew up in a low-income household selling tamales with my parents at the age of 8. The tamales she was embarrassed of selling put Mercedes through her undergrad years at SFSU where she earned her bachelor's. There, Mercedes was involved for 6 years in a non-profit student-led free health clinic, Clinica Martin-Baro, where she became passionate to serve the underserved community because she believes health care is a human right. In addition, she learned about the health disparities in the Mission District community of San Francisco that mainly consists of immigrant Latinx families that not only suffer from health inequalities but also displacement. Mercedes is proud to say she is first generation and a mother of a 2-year-old earning a master's degree.

David Padilla

David Padilla is an incoming MPH student in Health and Social Behavior. As an East Bay native, he worked as a Management Analyst for the City of Richmond, California in which he implemented Health in All Policies and co-created the Department of Children and Youth. More specifically, he co-led a strategic planning and grantmaking process to provide $1.6 million in local funding for youth and family programming. He later worked as an Administrative Officer for UC Berkeley’s Center for Global Healthy Cities in which he conducted research on community displacement, gun violence prevention, and global environmental interventions. He looks forward to engaging in innovative program evaluation, data analysis, and policy development that identifies and addresses social determinants of health for U.S. and global communities. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley with a concentration in Health Policy Analysis and Disparities.

Larissa Benjamin

Larissa Benjamin is an incoming DrPH student. Larissa was born in Detroit, MI to parents from divergent socioeconomic and racial backgrounds who were brought together by their shared commitment to fighting social inequality. Larissa earned a BS in Evolutionary Anthropology and English at University of Michigan and went on to work in health and science communications for 5 years at American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC. She completed her Masters in Public Health at UC Berkeley in Health and Social Behavior with a specialty in multicultural health as a Kaiser Permanente Public Health Scholar. She currently works as a Project Policy Analyst at UC Berkeley School of Public Health on health equity-centered research projects ranging from COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and uptake, police violence, and cardiovascular health disparities in a newly NHLBI-funded rural cohort study in the Southeastern US. She is excited to explore structural drivers of cardiovascular health inequities in this region as a first year DrPH student and Global Public Health Fellow at UC Berkeley this Fall. She is currently working with a multi-skilled team in the Vaccines and Immunization division in the Ministry of Health and as the chair of the service delivery pillar in the program she coordinates sub-regional levels and health development partners to ensure that immunization services reach the last child. Under her stewardship, the service delivery committee has developed national guidelines for new vaccine introductions including the COVID-19 vaccine, supported capacity building of regional immunization and supervision management teams at the respective regional referral hospitals and lower health facilities and is continuing to monitor implementation of quality routine immunization services in the difficult context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Rita Atugonza, MD

Rita Atugonza is a pediatrician from Uganda who completed her M.MED training in Paediatrics and Child Health at the College of Health Sciences; Makerere University in 2014 after which she worked with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative - Uganda Centre of Excellence coordinating care for children, adolescents, and families affected by HIV/AIDS before joining the Ministry of Health - Uganda in 2016 where she is still working to-date. Rita has always been driven to achieve key deliverables with each role she has held in the Ministry of Health. While working with the Maternal and Child Health division, she participated in the design and implementation of a pre-term birth surveillance project in three districts. She also steered the development of the roadmap for improved Adolescent Health service delivery (2016) which laid the foundation for the review and update of the current strategy for Adolescent Health in the country. When she transferred to the Care and Treatment Unit in the national STD/AIDS Control program, she was tasked with and successfully coordinated the then-novel HIV viral load testing for all clients on Anti-Retro-viral therapy (ART) in the country. She was also part of the secretariat that set up the national third-line ART committee that currently oversees the initiation of clients on salvage therapy across the country.

                         Meet our alumni! Awardees of the 2019 Gilead Fellowship for the Advancement of Global Public Health               

Tinkhani Mbichila, MD

Tinkhani Mbichila is a medical epidemiologist and an alumna of the MPH program in Epidemiology at UC Berkeley. Upon graduation, Mbichilla now works as a COVID-19 Outbreak Medical Epidemiologist at the CDC Foundation. For 6+ years, he has been active in medical practice, senior management, and clinical research. He completed his medical training at University of Malawi College of Medicine in 2011 before serving as a district medical officer within the Ministry of Health in Malawi. His experience of treating patients in rural communities in Malawi led him to embrace a deeper interest in public health approaches to infectious disease prevention. He has vested research interests in global health, prevention and control of infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. This passion for infectious disease epidemiology led him to pursue HIV/AIDS prevention clinical research at the University of North Carolina Research Project in Lilongwe, where he previously served as a local lead co-investigator under the HIV Prevention Clinical Trials Network (HPTN). The Global Health Gilead Fellowship at UC Berkeley came off as a great opportunity to advance his skills and knowledge in infectious disease epidemiology to improve the health of all people at a global scale.

Bryan Tegomoh, MD

Bryan Tegomoh is a medical doctor and an alumna of the MPH program in Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at UC Berkeley. Today, he works as a medical epidemiologist at the CDC Foundation, serving the State of Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Response. His interest in infectious diseases and vaccinology was inspired by his experiences providing care as a physician in a resource-limited setting in Cameroon. He obtained his medical degree with distinction from the University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon, and was previously a visiting researcher in Pediatric Infectious Disease and Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, in Dr. Audrey Odom John’s Lab, with primary research goal to understand the biological role of specific metabolic pathways in the malaria parasite in order to identify new antimalarial drug targets and biomarkers for a breath-based diagnostic test for malaria. Tegomoh is dedicated to alleviating the immense burden of infectious diseases in underserved communities across the globe.

Leandro Mendes, MD

Leandro Mendes is an alumna of the MPH program in Epidemiology at UC Berkeley. Since his first years of medical school, Mendes has been fascinated by infectious diseases — not only for the vast and rich science permeating the field, but for the unique opportunity to connect with a myriad of diverse patient populations and realities from around the globe. For over 8 years, after finishing his residency and obtaining his PhD in virology, Mendes has been working in hospital epidemiology / infection control and in direct patient-care at a public reference center for viral hepatitis and HIV. Mendes expressed how in Brazil, practicing within a universal-access public healthcare system is both vastly rewarding and particularly challenging. This opportunity to expand his understanding of the dynamics of public health in a global perspective will be invaluable.

José Victor Zambrana

José Victor Zambrana is an alumna of the MPH program in Epidemiology at UC Berkeley. Having worked in the field of arboviral diseases since 2011, Zambrana is now working as a research scientist at the Sustainable Sciences Institute (SSI), where he implements arboviral research studies by analyzing pediatric and adult cohort samples for Zika virus (ZIKV), dengue virus (DENV) chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infections. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Sustainable Sciences Institute (SSI), where he has worked mainly in the development and optimization of in-house diagnostic methods for Zika and Dengue. He learned the basics of data analysis in a self-taught way, a tool that has allowed him to analyze epidemiological information for peer-reviewed research. In his spare time, he reads world literature, enjoys languages and Indie music. He graduated from UNAN Managua with a degree in Clinical Bioanalysis.

Daphine Kaana Namara, MD

Daphine Kaana Namara is a medical doctor and an alumna of the MPH program in Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at UC Berkeley. Today, she leads as the CEO and Co-founder of Accompanied Health Initiative (ACHI), whose mission is to advance access to quality and affordable healthcare for low-income elderly without health insurance or social security in rural Uganda. She is particularly interested in the intersection of global health research in infectious and non-communicable diseases. Her current research project focuses on understanding the risk of diabetes among persons living with HIV who are Initiated on Dolutegravir (DTG), an anti-retroviral drug in a high density clinic in Kampala, Uganda. Namara is a Dean’s List graduate of Makerere University School of Medicine in Kampala.

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