Post date: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 3:03pm

February 1, 2012. NU is sending its first team to Emory University's Global Health Case competition.  The multi-disciplinary team was among 20 other institutions to be accepted this year. In March 2012, Northwestern will send a multi-disciplinary team of students representing the Feinberg School of Education, Kellogg School of Management, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. The 2012 team is being sponsored by FSM’s Center for Global Health, Weinberg’s Office of International Program Development, and FSM’s Vice Dean for Education.

Participation in the competition is a tremendous opportunity for Northwestern to provide a unique educational experience on global health that would involve students from multiple disciplines and schools working collaboratively in a team on a national stage.  This dovetails nicely with the direction of the new strategic plan, which makes global health a top priority at NU and cites existing projects that rely on “collaborative efforts (that) draw on our expertise across many disciplines: science, medicine, business, engineering, communications and the social sciences.”  Read on...

Source: Feinberg Center for Global Health

Post date: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 1:25pm

January 30, 2012. Paul Farmer, physician, anthropologist and Harvard professor, known worldwide for his pioneering work in global health -- particularly in Haiti -- will speak at Northwestern University’s 154th commencement. 

Northwestern’s 2012 commencement ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 15, at the University’s Ryan Field.

Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., is the co-founder of Partners In Health, the international humanitarian organization dedicated to working with communities to fight disease and to deliver health care in resource-poor areas of the world.


Post date: Monday, January 23, 2012 - 1:28pm

January 19, 2012. Northwestern students enrolled in Introduction to International Public Health will administer a citywide survey to assess Evanston's community health needs. The survey is part of the Evanston Health Department's five-year plan to improve the city's health services.

The 2011-2016 Evanston Project for the Local Assessment of Needs, or EPLAN, is the plan that resulted from the health department's assessment of data collected over 18 months and published in late 2011. Priority health issues as determined by the Evanston Health Advisory Council included access to health care, chronic health conditions and obesity.

Carl Caneva, the city's environmental health manager, saidalthough results may not be evident this early in the 2011-2016 plan, the city is already working on several programs to combat health issues residents have deemed pertinent.

"What we're looking more to be is a convener," Caneva said. "So we're looking to involve our area partners ­— Northwestern University, the hospitals, the Rotary, the large employers here in Evanston — to work together to make a healthy community. The health of the community cannot only be the result of the city providing services but also has to involve the residents getting involved and helping each other out."

The health department's goal is to distribute surveys every year to gauge the success of the EPLAN and determine health trends in the community, Caneva said. NU students will market the 2012 survey to Evanston residents, gathering and analyzing their responses under the direction of Rebecca Wurtz, a global health studies professor. Caneva said the purpose of the new survey is not to compensate for any shortcomings in the previous one. Read on...  

Source: The Daily Northwestern

Post date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 9:18am

November 29, 2011. In a country with one of the highest HIV prevalence rates around the globe, South Africa is at the epicenter of the world’s HIV/AIDS crisis. On Thursday, Dec. 1, Jonny Steinberg -- a South African author, journalist and scholar who has written extensively about the pandemic -- will speak at Northwestern University. His presentation is part of the Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series.

Steinberg will discuss “HIV/AIDS in Africa and Beyond: The Story the Media Missed” at 4 p.m. in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. Presented as part of World AIDS Day by Northwestern’s Program of African Studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and Medill, the event is free and open to the public.

Steinberg has covered South Africa’s political and cultural landscape with rare insight, including the continuing HIV/AIDS pandemic in his country and on the African continent. He is the author of “Sizwe’s Test: A Young Man’s Journey through Africa’s AIDS Epidemic,” one of The Washington Post’s Best Books of 2008. Read on...

Source: Northwestern NewsCenter

Post date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 11:30am

November 23, 2011. If an HIV-positive mother in the United States learned there was a 44 percent chance she could transmit the virus to the child through her breast milk, she would have a readily available soultion to the problem: use formula.

In South Africa and other developing countries, however, the solution is not so simple. The World Health Organization recommends mothers breastfeed exclusively for six months not only because breast milk provides babies with essential nutrients and antibodies but also because formula is expensive in the developing world and could be mixed with unclean water. Yet more than 30 percent of pregnant women in South Africa are HIV positive, creating a dilemma for expectant mothers.

Enter students from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, who are eager to use their creativity to solve global problems like these. “The most pressing problems in the world, including global health, require both analysis and creativity,” says Julio M. Ottino, dean of McCormick. “Over the past several years our students have used these skills here and abroad with excellent results.” Read on...

Source: McCormick Magazine Fall 2011

Post date: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 10:14am

November 20, 2011. Sarah Smierciak, who graduated in 2011 from Northwestern University summa cum laude, won a Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most prestigious international fellowships in the world, Saturday, Nov. 19. 

Amazingly fluent in Arabic after learning the language for the first time during college, Smierciak currently lives in Cairo, Egypt, where she works as an educational consultant for FACE for Children in Need. A triathlete with energy to spare and an intellectual with boundless curiosity, she travels one and a half hours each way to her job, just outside of Cairo, where she works at a makeshift school, supported by the United Nations, on behalf of street children. She teaches, writes curriculum and works with other teachers in an effort to help students, mostly males, transition into the mainstream educational system and otherwise gain advantages for making a living.  

Rhodes Scholars receive full financial support to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Smierciak plans to pursue an M. Phil in development studies. She will use the degree to attain the economic expertise and methodological wherewithal to conduct research on development in the Middle East.

Smierciak visited the Middle East twice before moving to Cairo in the summer of 2011 and is committed to promoting development in the region, particularly in the realms of health and education. Read on...

Source: Northwestern NewsCenter

Post date: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 12:27pm

November 16, 2011. 



Post date: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 12:00am

November 16, 2011. A Northwestern Medicine program for mentoring urban minority high-school girls for college and careers in science and health was awarded the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring by President Barack Obama. The mentors will receive the awards at a White House ceremony later this year.

The Women's Health Science Program for High School Girls and Beyond, a four-year-old program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, targets primarily African American and Latina girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in Chicago. The young women can study at four different Northwestern academies: cardiology, physical science, infectious disease and oncofertility. The girls’ science program is part of the Institute for Women’s Health Research at the Feinberg School.

"We're delighted that President Obama recognized the impact of mentoring the next generation of female scientists and leaders and are humbled by the recognition of this award,” said Teresa Woodruff, director of the Institute for Women’s Health Research and the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Feinberg. “By helping women and girls we can help change the world." Read on...

Source: Northwestern NewsCenter

Post date: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 10:35am

November 9, 2011. Northwestern University will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for an innovative project that seeks to significantly decrease the price of drugs that treat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. 

Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide who are testing unorthodox ideas and tackling priority global health issues where solutions do not yet exist.

The prestigious award to Linda J. Broadbelt and Keith E.J. Tyo, professors of chemical and biological engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, is one of 110 Grand Challenges Explorations grants announced this week.

Broadbelt and Tyo will develop novel biosynthetic processes to make important drugs that are too expensive to be purchased in resource-poor countries. Current chemical synthesis methods for producing many of these drugs require expensive reagents and have very low yields. Biosynthetic processes use inexpensive reagents, such as sugar, and precisely control the chemistry, increasing yields. More efficient biosynthetic production could dramatically expand the use of these drugs in poor countries and reduce the mortality and spread of diseases.

“We believe in the power of innovation -- that a single bold idea can pioneer solutions to our greatest health and development challenges,” said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to identify and fund these new ideas wherever they come from.” 

Broadbelt and Tyo will receive an 18-month grant of $100,000. Successful projects have an opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.

Source: Northwestern News Center

Post date: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 1:01pm

October 26, 2011. Researchers including Northwestern anthropology Prof. Thomas McDade and School of Education and Social Policy Prof. Emma Adam published a study Oct. 20 showing that low-income women with children who move from high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhoods experience notable long-term improvements in some aspects of their health. These health benefits include reductions in extreme obesity and diabetes, according to a news release.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to use a random experimental design. According to the press release, this set-up is analogous to a randomized clinical trail to test the effectiveness of new drugs.

The study's findings could help expland the disparities in obesity and diabetes prevalence across race and ethnic lines in America, according to the release.

Source: The Daily Northwestern (paper version)