Symposium to Discuss New Priorities for Academic Global Health Sciences

After nearly two decades of substantial progress in improving health worldwide, the field of academic global health is entering a period marked by new challenges and opportunities. Political changes have created a less certain funding environment for universities, forcing global health leaders to rethink how they operate and secure resources for research and education programs. At the same time, dramatic reductions in the burden of infectious disease have emboldened the global health community to confront a new set of health conditions, ranging from non-communicable diseases to surgery to mental health – many of them once thought beyond the capacity of low-resource settings to address.

To explore how universities, specifically UC San Francisco (UCSF), can maximize their impact in this new era, the Institute for Global Health Sciences (IGHS) will host a day-long symposium on Friday, January 26 in Mission Bay. The symposium, “A new era in global health sciences,” features UCSF leaders who will discuss and debate the new priorities for academic global health and showcase how UCSF is responding to these challenges.

Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and former president of the Institute of Medicine, will give the keynote address.

The symposium will feature the U.S. launch of the third edition of Disease Control Priorities for Developing Countries (DCP3). A nine-volume series, DCP3 provides an up-to-date comprehensive review of the efficacy, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of priority health interventions with the goal of influencing program design and resource allocation at global and country levels. It also offers systematic and comparable economic evaluation of selected interventions, delivery platforms and policies, based on new analytical methods developed specifically for DCP3. Jaime Sepulveda, executive director of IGHS, will moderate a panel that includes series editor Dean Jamison, UCSF professor emeritus, and other UCSF authors and contributors to the DCP3 series.

Kirsten Bibbins Domingo, vice dean for population health and health equity, School of Medicine, will moderate a panel discussing new priority areas for global health where UCSF is playing a leading role. UCSF faculty Renee Hsia, Catherine Juillard and Susan Meffert, leaders in global emergency medicine, surgery, and mental health, are panelists.

Panels will also explore the potential for transdisciplinary research approaches to unlock sustainable solutions to global health problems, as well as the challenges academics face when working across associated traditional departmental silos. Paul Volberding, director of the AIDS Research Institute, will moderate a panel with Mike McCune, former head of the Division of Experimental Medicine, and Dana van Gorder, an HIV activist and leader of Project Inform, that will look at lessons learned from UCSF’s transdisciplinary research in the early days of the HIV epidemic. A separate group will also discuss how those lessons apply to current efforts to build a transdisciplinary research program around tuberculosis.

Sir Richard Feachem, director of the IGHS Global Health Group, will present closing remarks.

Speaker bios 

Register for the symposium.

A reception follows the symposium.

A New Era for Global Health
Friday, January 26, 8:30 am – 5 pm
Byers Auditorium, Genentech Hall
UCSF Mission Bay