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.

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.

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’s 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. 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. 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 her 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.

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 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. 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 Master of Public Health degree candidate 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. 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.

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.

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.

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 (EPI)

Bekure Siraw is an incoming graduate student in the MPH program in Epidemiology. As a medical doctor from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Bekure has over four years of academic, clinical, and research experience. Bekure is passionate about solving the existing inequality in access to and quality of health care in the world in general and in Africa in particular.

Mahika Khurana, MPH (EPI)

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.

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

Tinkhani Mbichila

Tinkhani is a first year MPH – Epidemiology student at UC Berkeley. For the past six 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 join HIV/AIDS prevention clinical research at the University of North Carolina research Project in Lilongwe where he is a local lead co-investigator under the HIV Prevention Clinical Trials Network (HPTN). For the past three years, he has been studying the development of novel HIV prevention options for women in Sub –Saharan Africa who are disproportionately affected by HIV. These PrEP HIV studies are HPTN 077, a phase 2 study to evaluate safety of injectable Cabotegravir for HIV prevention, HPTN 084, a Phase III clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of injectable Cabotegravir for prevention of HIV compared to oral Pre-exposure prophylaxis (Truvada), and the AMP study that is evaluating VRC01, a broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibody, for HIV prevention. 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 is a UC Berkeley MPH student in Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology. His interest in this track were inspired by his experiences providing care as a physician in a resource-limited setting in Cameroon. Today he seeks ways to improve population health in a more holistic approach, taking the practice of medicine from an individual to a population level. 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. He is dedicated to alleviating the immense burden of infectious diseases in underserved communities across the globe.

Leandro Mendes

Infectious Diseases have fascinated me since my first years of medical school. 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 the past 8 years, after finishing my residency and obtaining my phD in virology, I have been working in hospital epidemiology / infection control and in direct patient-care at a public reference center for viral hepatitis and HIV. In Brazil, practicing within a universal-access public healthcare system is both vastly rewarding and particularly challenging. This opportunity to expand my understanding of the dynamics of public health in a global perspective will be invaluable!

José Victor Zambrana

José Victor Zambrana has worked in the field of arboviral diseases since 2011; he is currently a research assistant at the Sustainable Sciences Institute 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

Namara is a mid-level Medical Doctor interested in the interaction of Global Health and cutting edge clinical research in solving today's leading Tropical and Infectious Diseases. She has 3 years combined experience in Infectious Disease care and treatment specifically for HIV and Tuberculosis patients in developing countries. She currently serves as a Medical Officer and Technical Lead for the HIV/TB co-infection clinic at Makerere University Joint AIDS Program (MJAP) - a PEPFAR funded organization. Namara has been responsible for care and treatment, and follow up for over 3,000 patients annually during her time at MJAP in Kampala, Uganda. She envisions an evolving career that places her at the heart of shaping patient care, and supporting the improvement of Global Health Policies and implementation in Uganda and abroad. Namara is a Dean’s List graduate of Makerere University School of Medicine in Kampala.

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