Fall 2021 News and Events

A Message from the Master of Science in Global Health Director

Dear Alumni, 

I want to start by welcoming our newest alumni from 2020 and 2021 to the IGHS alumni community! We are a community with over 400 master’s alumni, and now, three PhD alumni. This September, we welcomed 35 new master’s students and four new PhD students, and are so excited for the year ahead. 

I can only imagine the different experiences and challenges that each of you has faced since the start of the pandemic. I am hoping that you and your loved ones are healthy. I want to share with each of you one thing that has kept me going through the incredible challenges of the pandemic, the political environment, and ongoing racism, has been our alumni and student community. Each of us remains deeply committed to health equity and health justice, and knowing that we are working towards the same goal brings me deep solace during this time. 

We love to hear updates from you and ask that you share your successes, challenges, and life events with us. We miss each of you and send you wishes for ongoing health and strength. 

Madhavi Dandu, MD, MPH

Education News

It’s been a minute since we’ve shared news with alumni! Here’s News from the Time of COVID you may have missed.


In 2020, PhD and MS students and alumni volunteered to track emerging science about COVID-19 and provide research summaries for frontline healthcare workers, scientists, and policymakers. Building on that work, PhD student Lucía Abascal, MD, MS ‘18, secured a grant to develop the Access COVID website in Spanish and English, launched earlier this year.


PhD students Canice Christian, Johnson Lyimo, Sarah Gallalee, Naomi Beyeler, Lucía Abascal, and Jane Fieldhouse (clockwise from top left) won Incubator Awards from the UC Global Health Institute for the project, “Advancing Research and Education Efforts to Decolonize Global Health Across all UC Campuses.”

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IGHS launched the Global Health Curriculum Bootcamp, a professional development program for high school teachers to bring global health into their classrooms. The program trained nine teachers in 2020 and seven in 2021 from Bay Area public and private high schools.


The MS program presented two virtual commencement ceremonies. If you’re feeling nostalgic, watch the 2020 and 2021 ceremonies, and look for alumni greetings near the end of each one.


PhD candidate and co-founder of the Wellbody Clinic, Mohamed Bailor Barrie was named executive director of Partners In Health (PIH) Sierra Leone.

Nicholas Hu, MS ’13, received the 2021 UCSF Alumni Entrepreneur Award for his innovative work with Zipline, a company that uses drones to deliver emergency medical products in remote and underserved areas. The award was presented by MS Founding Director John Ziegler.


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George Rutherford is serving as acting executive director of IGHS while Executive Director Jaime Sepulveda takes a year-long sabbatical. Earlier this year, Dr. Rutherford received the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Public Service for his work with the SFDPH to investigate and trace COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic.


IGHS has vigorously responded to the pandemic, while continuing work to combat malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis, and improve the quality of maternal and newborn care around the world. The institute also launched a new center focused on expanding global access to high-quality surgery and anesthesia. See highlights of IGHS’s 2020 work in our annual report.


Anika Kalra, MS ’20 and Ingrid Chen, PhD, MS ’13 were recently named co-chairs of the IGHS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. They said, “We believe that during these challenging times, we ought to take advantage of heightened attention to DEI issues to create long-term sustainable change at IGHS and beyond… As global health practitioners, we believe that all partnerships are founded on communication, trust and openness.”

Upcoming Events


Recommendations of the 2021 Federal Diabetes Commission & MS Info Session

November 5, 12:00-1:30 pm PDT

MS faculty member Dean Schillinger, MD, served on the Federal Diabetes Commission and will discuss recommendations that translate the socio-ecologic model into policy, and the global health implications. PhD candidate Andrea Pedroza-Tobias, MS, will moderate the Q&A. An info session for prospective master’s students will follow the lecture.


IGHS Grand Rounds: Malaria Elimination Initiative

November 12, 12:00-1:00 pm PST

MEI director Allison Tatarsky, MPH, and director of research Michelle Hsiang, MD, will provide an overview of MEI's current work and future plans to advance malaria policy and practice through research, advocacy and technical assistance. MS student Laic Beugre will moderate the Q&A.


Reimagining Global Health: Conversation on Decolonizing Global Health

November 18, 9:00-10:00 am PST

This month’s conversation is with Lance Lyle Louskieter, MPH, a PhD Candidate in Health Policy and Systems Research Division at the University of Capetown; queer and decolonial scholar and activist; and advocate for decriminalization of sex work in South Africa.


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