Global Health Research Projects

“I feel the United States is in a unique position to offer solutions to potential agricultural safety and health conundrums and share experiences of lessons learned, This experience allowed me to understand barriers and opportunities to developing interventions internationally.”

International Research Collaboration to Study HIV Stigma Among Adolescents in Kenya

April 6, 2021

Will Story, assistant professor in the University of Iowa (UI) College of Public Health, and Nema Aluku, research associate at Tangaza University College in Nairobi, Kenya, were recently awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study HIV stigma among adolescents in western Kenya. The study represents a promising international collaboration with significant public health insights. Learn more about this important research project through the Q&A below with Dr. Story and Dr. Aluku.

Adult hands holding baby

Study finds pregnant Venezuelan refugees have worse birth outcomes than Colombian women

March 29, 2021

A new study from researchers at the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the National University of Colombia suggests that pregnant Venezuelan refugees in Colombia face significant health care barriers that result in worse birth outcomes when compared to native Colombians.

Anna Correa standing outside

Critical Language Scholarship Winner Anna Correa to Study Hindi Virtually This Summer

March 12, 2021

University of Iowa student Anna Correa of Clive, Iowa, has been awarded a 2021 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for a virtual intensive language and cultural program to study Hindi this summer. The CLS scholarship is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

World Health Organization Logo

Romitti participates in release of a new toolkit for global birth defects surveillance

January 21, 2021

In his role as executive committee chair for the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research (ICBDSR), Paul Romitti, professor of epidemiology, recently participated in a World Health Organization (WHO) webinar to release a new global resource to support population-based surveillance programs for birth defects.

From the Front Row podcast logo

Podcast: Global public health – mental health, trauma, and the COVID-19 pandemic

December 10, 2020

This second episode of our global public health series focuses on mental health. Alexis and Steve talk to Rafael Muñoz, CEO of Human Reinvention based in Ecuador. He shares his thoughts on mental health and trauma as public health issues as well as how the pandemic is impacting the mental health of individuals.

Students presenting case intervention to judges

Winners of the 2020 Global Public Health Case Competition announced

December 3, 2020

Congratulations to the students who participated in the 2020 Global Public Health Case Competition! The teams were composed of UI students from 4 colleges, 12 departments/disciplines, 9 degree programs, and a mix of undergraduate and graduate students. The teams addressed the topic “Chronic Disease Amongst Detained Migrant Populations in Chiapas, Mexico.” The winning teams were awarded cash prizes.

From the Front Row Podcast logo

Podcast: Violence, trauma, and social determinants in Africa and Hong Kong

November 5, 2020

From the Front Row: This episode features a roundtable discussion between CPH students Oge Chigbo, Toluwani Adekunle, and Megan Pospisil. The three discuss examples of ongoing human rights violations in Africa and China and how they relate to global public health.

women sitting on grass and talking

Building Capacity to Reduce HIV-Related Stigma among Adolescents in Western Kenya

September/October 2020

Eight new awards were funded through Fogarty’s Reducing Stigma to Improve HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) program, totaling approximately $3 million in support over the next two years. The awards are intended to spur development of innovative interventions to reduce stigma in LMICs, including among particularly marginalized or vulnerable communities, such as adolescent girls, people who inject drugs, and caregivers and children of people living with HIV.

energy windmills in field at sunset

As New Global Crises Emerge, Climate Change Continues

June 16, 2020

Globally and nationally, people are experiencing a multitude of crises. All at once, individuals are feeling the impact of a global pandemic, police brutality and the continuing effects of climate change. On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by experts in environmental health and sustainability for a look at the intersection of these global crises. Featuring Peter Thorne, professor and head of of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa

artwork of facemask during COVID-19

CPH alumnus featured in Netflix docuseries

January 29, 2020

A College of Public Health alumnus is featured prominently in a new Netflix documentary series released last week. The series, “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” bills itself as docuseries in which viewers “meet the heroes on the front lines of the battle against influenza and learn about their efforts to stop the next global outbreak.”

Portrait of Dean Edith Parker

Podcast: Global Environmental Health Chat

October 2019

In this podcast, we will hear from two CBPR practitioners who participated in the workshop in Delhi, India. First, we will hear from Edith Parker, a well-known practitioner of CBPR at the University of Iowa School of Public Health. She’ll explain how CBPR benefited her work in rural communities, and how she connected with Rajesh Tandon, founder of Participatory Research in Asia, or PRIA. Then, we’ll hear from Tandon himself, as he discusses how India utilizes CBPR today, and how he hopes it might create a better future for the country.

Student hold Iowa flag in front of statue

A Taste of Fieldwork in Xicotepec, Mexico

June 18, 2019

Thousands of tourists flock to Mexico for spring break every year, but few of them conduct field research during their visit like a group of University of Iowa students did in March. Dubbing themselves the Public Health Posse, the team of seven undergraduate and graduate students along with instructor Brandi Janssen traveled to Xicotepec, a small city in central-eastern Mexico, as part of a weeklong, interdisciplinary service-learning course. Coordinated with the support of Rotary International, the course has developed long-standing service projects with the UI colleges of pharmacy and dentistry. It was the first year that a group of public health students took part.

Participants posing for picture at injury conference

Peek-Asa participates in planning global violence prevention workshop

May 22, 2019

Corinne Peek-Asa, associate dean for research and professor of occupational and environmental health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, served on the planning committee for a National Academy of Medicine Global Violence Prevention Forum workshop held May 16-17, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The workshop, “Interpersonal Violence Syndemics and Co-occurring Epidemics: Preventing Violence in the Context of Opioid Misuse, Suicide, Social Disparities, and HIV,” explored interconnections between these global public health issues and possible prevention and intervention strategies.

College of public Health Building Exterior

UI Partners with Congolese Community for Pregnancy Health Research

April 14, 2019

For nearly two years, the UI has partnered with the local Congolese community to identify cultural differences in health care and educate both immigrants and medical providers on how to facilitate more appropriate prenatal and pregnancy care.

Student standing in front of spiral staircase

UI student Michael Parisi-Mercado awarded Fulbright for research in Romania

March 29, 2019

During my time in Romania in 2017, I learned about different challenges faced by pharmacists in Romania as it relates to public health and the evolution of their role in society. This inspired me to identify ways in which pharmacists can help improve the health of populations; specifically, how to care for patients living with HIV/AIDS in the most culturally appropriate way.

Student present case study intervention to judges panel

How Do You Solve a Problem Like (Hurricane) Maria?

February 8, 2019

Armed with well-researched plans, information-packed slides, and seamless teamwork, six student teams competed for top honors and cash prizes in the inaugural IIPHRP Global Public Health Case Competition held April 4, 2018, at the College of Public Health. The multidisciplinary teams were given a case centered on the ongoing power crisis in Puerto Rico caused by the Category 5 Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Their mission: to present feasible, sustainable solutions to restore health, hope, and resiliency to Puerto Rico.

Portrait of Dr. Kelly Baker in her lab

Baker appointed to national global health panel

February 6, 2019

University of Iowa faculty member Kelly Baker has been appointed to a three-year term on the National Academies Board of Global Health. The panel, comprised of global health experts representing a range of academic disciplines, carries out activities and studies aimed at advancing the health of people worldwide.

Woman filling water jugs

Study looks at impact of water, sanitation, and social conditions on birth outcomes in India

October 19, 2018

A new study by researchers in the University of Iowa College of Public Health examines the complex relationships between water and sanitation access and social conditions on birth outcomes among women in India. Globally, preterm birth (PTB) and low infant birth weight (LBW) are leading causes of maternal and child illnesses and death. In low-income countries, the challenges women face to meet their basic water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs may be a major contributor to adverse health outcomes.

Student standing in front of spiral staircase

UI Student Received a Fulbright Award for Research in Romania

April 17, 2018

I will be conducting a public health research study that will allow me to investigate water quality and water behavior in various rural and urban communities in Transylvania, Romania, and the impact water quality overall has on human health. Water contamination from nitrites/nitrates, pesticides, aluminum, iron, and phthalates has been a growing concern in the southern and northern areas of Romania for the past decade due to absent surveying and monitoring of private water sources.

Dr. Christy Petersen speaking with men in India

Visceral Leishmaniasis Research in India

August 24, 2017

I traveled to India as a part of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Tropical Medicine Research Center faculty. The center is an NIH Specialized Center (P50) that is entering its 15th year of funding located at the Kala-Azar Medical Research Centre (KAMRC). I worked in and around a city called Muzaffarpur in the state of Bihar, which had the honor of being the last area of the world to eradicate smallpox.

portrait of professor will story

Video: Story’s work, CPH global health initiatives featured

June 15, 2017

Will Story, CPH assistant professor of community and behavioral health, discusses his path to global public health and the UI College of Public Health’s biggest strengths and challenges in global community health.

portrait of student jasmine mangrum

UI Student Receives a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award for Research in Romania

April 28, 2017

I will study smoking cessation education of student pharmacists at Cluj-Napoca’s Medical University Pharmacy Faculty. I will survey students’ preparation and perceptions of smoking cessation. As a pharmacy and public health student, I plan to integrate pharmacists into the global health workforce and equip them for interventions involving patient care.

Portrait of Professor Peter Thorne in his lab

Climate Change: A scientist helps separate facts from fiction

February 14, 2017

Of the 17 record-setting hottest years, 16 have occurred since 2000. This year, 2017, is expected to continue the trend—although it’s not expected to top 2016, which took the gold for hottest year on record. Despite this increasing urgency, 2016 marked another year of disconnect between science and politics. The current president of the United States has repeatedly stated that climate change is a hoax—although he has issued contradicting statements—and listed pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement as part of his 100-day plan for his first days in office.

Portrait of Professor Diane Rohlman

Global Research on Environmental Exposure

Faculty Profile

A study on pesticide exposures to farm workers in Oregon led Dr. Diane Rohlman on a path to Egypt. As one of the most hazardous industries, agricultural jobs expose workers to numerous risks, including injuries and contact with chemicals. In her work, Rohlman, Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, has collaborated with researchers from Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines and elsewhere. One of those collaborations has taken her to Egypt, to examine the health effects of organophosphorus pesticides on young Egyptian field workers.

Researchers posing for photo in Kenya

HIV Services in Kenya

August 31, 2016

n the global fight against HIV and AIDS, there is hopeful news: The number of people who are newly infected with HIV is continuing to decline in most parts of the world, and fewer people are dying of AIDS-related illnesses. However, many regions still face significant barriers to prevention and treatment of the disease. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 74 percent of all AIDS-related deaths in 2013, according to the UNAIDS Gap Report, and young women in this region are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection.

Woman standing in front of building in Syria

Public Health Without Borders

April 5, 2016

When Tala Al-Rousan was training to be a doctor, she often stumped her professors with challenging questions. “Many things I asked during clinics or rotations couldn’t be answered by physicians,” Al-Rousan recalls. “They would tell me, maybe you should pursue a degree in public health because your questions are tackling social determinants of health, health disparities, and access to care.”

Portrait of Dale and Linda Baker

Growing global citizens

January 12, 2016

Discovering the world around us is a life-changing experience. When Linda Baker (’68 BA) traveled to Romania with the University of Iowa Alumni Association’s Iowa Voyagers program nearly 10 years ago, she worked for three weeks in an orphanage. It was an experience Linda Baker has not forgotten, and it’s why she and her husband, Dale Baker (’68 BA), have established scholarships to support UI students in similar endeavors. “When I returned from my own experience, I thought it would be great to be able to send students on the trip as well,” says Linda Baker.

India teapicker working in the field

A Passage to India

January 11, 2016

Josie Rudolphi and Maya Ramaswamy did not anticipate the leeches. The two College of Public health graduate students spent a month in summer 2015 conducting research on the working conditions of tea plantation workers in Tamil Nadu, a region of southern India. They went armed with questionnaires about occupational exposures, including strain and stress put on the body from bending or weight bearing. What they had not anticipated, however, were the leeches that found their ways into workers’ shoes and up sleeves, leaving bites and causing skin problems.

Indian women selling produce at open-air market

Gender disparities in water, sanitation, and global health

August 15, 2015

Celebrating World Water Day, The Lancet Editors highlighted the gains made towards Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7c, “to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation”, and noted UN-Water’s call for sustainable water management in view of future increases in demand and shortfalls in supply. As the primary water collectors worldwide, women are disproportionately affected by the scarcity of adequate resources; however, global estimates of improvements in water access do not reflect gender-disaggregated benefits and burdens.

People walking along beach in India

A Quest for Clean Water

July 31, 2015

Water has been a consistent theme running through Kelly Baker’s work, one that has led her from her home state of Oklahoma to California, Mexico, India, Ghana, and elsewhere around the globe. “I’ve always been a bit of a vagrant,” says Baker, who joined the College of Public Health in 2014 as an assistant professor of occupational and environmental health. “Even before getting into global health work, I traveled a lot.”