12.2.4: Global Public Health - Biology

12.2.4: Global Public Health - Biology

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Learning Objectives

  • Describe the entities involved in international public health and their activities
  • Identify and differentiate between emerging and reemerging infectious diseases

A large number of international programs and agencies are involved in efforts to promote global public health. Among their goals are developing infrastructure in health care, public sanitation, and public health capacity; monitoring infectious disease occurrences around the world; coordinating communications between national public health agencies in various countries; and coordinating international responses to major health crises. In large part, these international efforts are necessary because disease-causing microorganisms know no national boundaries.

The World Health Organization (WHO)

International public health issues are coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations. Of its roughly $4 billion budget for 2015–161, about $1 billion was funded by member states and the remaining $3 billion by voluntary contributions. In addition to monitoring and reporting on infectious disease, WHO also develops and implements strategies for their control and prevention. WHO has had a number of successful international public health campaigns. For example, its vaccination program against smallpox, begun in the mid-1960s, resulted in the global eradication of the disease by 1980. WHO continues to be involved in infectious disease control, primarily in the developing world, with programs targeting malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, among others. It also runs programs to reduce illness and mortality that occur as a result of violence, accidents, lifestyle-associated illnesses such as diabetes, and poor health-care infrastructure.

WHO maintains a global alert and response system that coordinates information from member nations. In the event of a public health emergency or epidemic, it provides logistical support and coordinates international response to the emergency. The United States contributes to this effort through the CDC. The CDC carries out international monitoring and public health efforts, mainly in the service of protecting US public health in an increasingly connected world. Similarly, the European Union maintains a Health Security Committee that monitors disease outbreaks within its member countries and internationally, coordinating with WHO.

Exercise (PageIndex{1})

Name the organizations that participate in international public health monitoring.

Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases

Both WHO and some national public health agencies such as the CDC monitor and prepare for emerging infectious diseases. An emerging infectious disease is either new to the human population or has shown an increase in prevalence in the previous twenty years. Whether the disease is new or conditions have changed to cause an increase in frequency, its status as emerging implies the need to apply resources to understand and control its growing impact.

Emerging diseases may change their frequency gradually over time, or they may experience sudden epidemic growth. The importance of vigilance was made clear during the Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic in western Africa through 2014–2015. Although health experts had been aware of the Ebola virus since the 1970s, an outbreak on such a large scale had never happened before (Figure (PageIndex{1})). Previous human epidemics had been small, isolated, and contained. Indeed, the gorilla and chimpanzee populations of western Africa had suffered far worse from Ebola than the human population. The pattern of small isolated human epidemics changed in 2014. Its high transmission rate, coupled with cultural practices for treatment of the dead and perhaps its emergence in an urban setting, caused the disease to spread rapidly, and thousands of people died. The international public health community responded with a large emergency effort to treat patients and contain the epidemic.

Emerging diseases are found in all countries, both developed and developing (Table (PageIndex{1})). Some nations are better equipped to deal with them. National and international public health agencies watch for epidemics like the Ebola outbreak in developing countries because those countries rarely have the health-care infrastructure and expertise to deal with large outbreaks effectively. Even with the support of international agencies, the systems in western Africa struggled to identify and care for the sick and control spread. In addition to the altruistic goal of saving lives and assisting nations lacking in resources, the global nature of transportation means that an outbreak anywhere can spread quickly to every corner of the planet. Managing an epidemic in one location—its source—is far easier than fighting it on many fronts.

Ebola is not the only disease that needs to be monitored in the global environment. In 2015, WHO set priorities on several emerging diseases that had a high probability of causing epidemics and that were poorly understood (and thus urgently required research and development efforts).

A reemerging infectious disease is a disease that is increasing in frequency after a previous period of decline. Its reemergence may be a result of changing conditions or old prevention regimes that are no longer working. Examples of such diseases are drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, bacterial pneumonia, and malaria. Drug-resistant strains of the bacteria causing gonorrhea and syphilis are also becoming more widespread, raising concerns of untreatable infections.

Table (PageIndex{1}): Some Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases
DiseasePathogenYear DiscoveredAffected RegionsTransmission
AIDSHIV1981WorldwideContact with infected body fluids
Chikungunya feverChikungunya virus1952Africa, Asia, India; spreading to Europe and the AmericasMosquito-borne
Ebola virus diseaseEbola virus1976Central and Western AfricaContact with infected body fluids
H1N1 Influenza (swine flu)H1N1 virus2009WorldwideDroplet transmission
Lyme diseaseBorrelia burgdorferi bacterium1981Northern hemisphereFrom mammal reservoirs to humans by tick vectors
West Nile virus diseaseWest Nile virus1937Africa, Australia, Canada to Venezuela, Europe, Middle East, Western AsiaMosquito-borne

Exercise (PageIndex{2})

  1. Explain why it is important to monitor emerging infectious diseases.
  2. Explain how a bacterial disease could reemerge, even if it had previously been successfully treated and controlled.


On November 16, 2002, the first case of a SARS outbreak was reported in Guangdong Province, China. The patient exhibited influenza-like symptoms such as fever, cough, myalgia, sore throat, and shortness of breath. As the number of cases grew, the Chinese government was reluctant to openly communicate information about the epidemic with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community. The slow reaction of Chinese public health officials to this new disease contributed to the spread of the epidemic within and later outside China. In April 2003, the Chinese government finally responded with a huge public health effort involving quarantines, medical checkpoints, and massive cleaning projects. Over 18,000 people were quarantined in Beijing alone. Large funding initiatives were created to improve health-care facilities, and dedicated outbreak teams were created to coordinate the response. By August 16, 2003, the last SARS patients were released from a hospital in Beijing nine months after the first case was reported in China.

In the meantime, SARS spread to other countries on its way to becoming a global pandemic. Though the infectious agent had yet to be identified, it was thought to be an influenza virus. The disease was named SARS, an acronym for severe acute respiratory syndrome, until the etiologic agent could be identified. Travel restrictions to Southeast Asia were enforced by many countries. By the end of the outbreak, there were 8,098 cases and 774 deaths worldwide. China and Hong Kong were hit hardest by the epidemic, but Taiwan, Singapore, and Toronto, Canada, also saw significant numbers of cases (Figure (PageIndex{2})).

Fortunately, timely public health responses in many countries effectively suppressed the outbreak and led to its eventual containment. For example, the disease was introduced to Canada in February 2003 by an infected traveler from Hong Kong, who died shortly after being hospitalized. By the end of March, hospital isolation and home quarantine procedures were in place in the Toronto area, stringent anti-infection protocols were introduced in hospitals, and the media were actively reporting on the disease. Public health officials tracked down contacts of infected individuals and quarantined them. A total of 25,000 individuals were quarantined in the city. Thanks to the vigorous response of the Canadian public health community, SARS was brought under control in Toronto by June, a mere four months after it was introduced.

In 2003, WHO established a collaborative effort to identify the causative agent of SARS, which has now been identified as a coronavirus that was associated with horseshoe bats. The genome of the SARS virus was sequenced and published by researchers at the CDC and in Canada in May 2003, and in the same month researchers in the Netherlands confirmed the etiology of the disease by fulfilling Koch’s postulates for the SARS coronavirus. The last known case of SARS worldwide was reported in 2004.

This database of reports chronicles outbreaks of infectious disease around the world. It was on this system that the first information about the SARS outbreak in China emerged.

The CDC publishes Emerging Infectious Diseases, a monthly journal available online.

Key Concepts and Summary

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is an agency of the United Nations that collects and analyzes data on disease occurrence from member nations. WHO also coordinates public health programs and responses to international health emergencies.
  • Emerging diseases are those that are new to human populations or that have been increasing in the past two decades. Reemerging diseases are those that are making a resurgence in susceptible populations after previously having been controlled in some geographic areas.

Multiple Choice

Which of the following would NOT be considered an emerging disease?

A. Ebola hemorrhagic fever
B. West Nile virus fever/encephalitis
C. Zika virus disease
D. Tuberculosis


Which of the following would NOT be considered a reemerging disease?

A. Drug-resistant tuberculosis
B. Drug-resistant gonorrhea
C. Malaria
D. West Nile virus fever/encephalitis


Which of the following factors can lead to reemergence of a disease?

A. A mutation that allows it to infect humans
B. A period of decline in vaccination rates
C. A change in disease reporting procedures
D. Better education on the signs and symptoms of the disease


Why are emerging diseases with very few cases the focus of intense scrutiny?

A. They tend to be more deadly
B. They are increasing and therefore not controlled
C. They naturally have higher transmission rates
D. They occur more in developed countries


Fill in the Blank

The ________ collects data and conducts epidemiologic studies at the global level.

WHO (World Health Organization)

Critical Thinking

An Atlantic crossing by boat from England to New England took 60–80 days in the 18th century. In the late 19th century the voyage took less than a week. How do you think these time differences for travel might have impacted the spread of infectious diseases from Europe to the Americas, or vice versa?


  1. 1 World Health Organization. “Programme Budget 2014–2015.”

Global Public Health

Global Public Health is an international journal that publishes research on public health including the social and cultural aspects of global health issues. Global Public Health addresses public health issues that come to the fore in the global environment, such as epidemics of newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, the globalization of trade and the increase in chronic illnesses. The journal is characterized by a global and multidisciplinary focus, its emphasis on significant global health issues and its concern to understand resource-poor and resource-rich countries including the public health challenges they face as part of a single, interacting and global system. Global Public Health covers the following sections: Social patterning of health including social exclusion, health disparities and inequalities Environmental health sciences including natural catastrophes, disasters, famine, pollution, ecotoxicology and environmental threats Population and health including sexual and reproductive health, mental health, indigenous health and the health of minorities Conflict and health including torture, war, terrorism, civil disturbance and the health of displaced populations International health policy and practice including social justice, human rights and health Global health and development including the health effects of major economic development trends and the impact of globalization on health outcomes. Manuscripts on the following topics are especially welcomed: The role of significant social factors, especially social inequalities as determinants of health Politics and policy, both as shaping health outcomes and as important components of health systems Ways in which any specific case study raises issues about global processes or systems. Join the conversation about this journal

The set of journals have been ranked according to their SJR and divided into four equal groups, four quartiles. Q1 (green) comprises the quarter of the journals with the highest values, Q2 (yellow) the second highest values, Q3 (orange) the third highest values and Q4 (red) the lowest values.

Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2007Q3
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2008Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2009Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2010Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2011Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2012Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2013Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2014Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2015Q1
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2016Q1
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2017Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2018Q2
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2019Q1
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health2020Q2

The SJR is a size-independent prestige indicator that ranks journals by their 'average prestige per article'. It is based on the idea that 'all citations are not created equal'. SJR is a measure of scientific influence of journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from It measures the scientific influence of the average article in a journal, it expresses how central to the global scientific discussion an average article of the journal is.


Evolution of the number of published documents. All types of documents are considered, including citable and non citable documents.


This indicator counts the number of citations received by documents from a journal and divides them by the total number of documents published in that journal. The chart shows the evolution of the average number of times documents published in a journal in the past two, three and four years have been cited in the current year. The two years line is equivalent to journal impact factor ™ (Thomson Reuters) metric.

Cites per documentYearValue
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20060.000
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20070.529
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20080.825
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20091.038
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20100.940
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20111.228
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20121.279
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20131.595
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20141.869
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20152.025
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20161.861
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20171.901
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20181.829
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20192.031
Cites / Doc. (4 years)20202.423
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20060.000
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20070.529
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20080.825
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20091.038
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20100.860
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20111.190
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20121.284
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20131.645
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20141.902
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20151.801
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20161.784
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20171.778
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20181.757
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20192.188
Cites / Doc. (3 years)20202.144
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20060.000
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20070.529
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20080.825
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20090.887
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20100.649
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20111.230
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20121.275
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20131.593
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20141.670
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20151.663
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20161.518
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20171.625
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20181.886
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20191.770
Cites / Doc. (2 years)20202.003

Evolution of the total number of citations and journal's self-citations received by a journal's published documents during the three previous years.
Journal Self-citation is defined as the number of citation from a journal citing article to articles published by the same journal.

Self Cites20060
Self Cites20070
Self Cites20081
Self Cites20093
Self Cites20101
Self Cites201112
Self Cites20127
Self Cites201322
Self Cites201425
Self Cites201534
Self Cites201613
Self Cites201710
Self Cites201839
Self Cites201938
Self Cites202075
Total Cites20060
Total Cites20079
Total Cites200833
Total Cites200982
Total Cites201086
Total Cites2011150
Total Cites2012226
Total Cites2013380
Total Cites2014504
Total Cites2015488
Total Cites2016503
Total Cites2017496
Total Cites2018492
Total Cites2019698
Total Cites2020836

Evolution of the number of total citation per document and external citation per document (i.e. journal self-citations removed) received by a journal's published documents during the three previous years. External citations are calculated by subtracting the number of self-citations from the total number of citations received by the journal’s documents.

External Cites per document20060
External Cites per document20070.563
External Cites per document20080.842
External Cites per document20091.068
External Cites per document20100.904
External Cites per document20111.150
External Cites per document20121.281
External Cites per document20131.577
External Cites per document20141.835
External Cites per document20151.707
External Cites per document20161.775
External Cites per document20171.787
External Cites per document20181.647
External Cites per document20192.115
External Cites per document20202.013
Cites per document20060.000
Cites per document20070.529
Cites per document20080.825
Cites per document20091.038
Cites per document20100.860
Cites per document20111.190
Cites per document20121.284
Cites per document20131.645
Cites per document20141.902
Cites per document20151.801
Cites per document20161.784
Cites per document20171.778
Cites per document20181.757
Cites per document20192.188
Cites per document20202.144

International Collaboration accounts for the articles that have been produced by researchers from several countries. The chart shows the ratio of a journal's documents signed by researchers from more than one country that is including more than one country address.

YearInternational Collaboration

Not every article in a journal is considered primary research and therefore "citable", this chart shows the ratio of a journal's articles including substantial research (research articles, conference papers and reviews) in three year windows vs. those documents other than research articles, reviews and conference papers.

Non-citable documents20060
Non-citable documents20071
Non-citable documents20082
Non-citable documents20095
Non-citable documents20106
Non-citable documents20116
Non-citable documents20125
Non-citable documents20134
Non-citable documents20144
Non-citable documents20155
Non-citable documents20166
Non-citable documents20177
Non-citable documents20185
Non-citable documents20197
Non-citable documents202012
Citable documents20060
Citable documents200716
Citable documents200838
Citable documents200974
Citable documents201094
Citable documents2011120
Citable documents2012171
Citable documents2013227
Citable documents2014261
Citable documents2015266
Citable documents2016276
Citable documents2017272
Citable documents2018275
Citable documents2019312
Citable documents2020378

Ratio of a journal's items, grouped in three years windows, that have been cited at least once vs. those not cited during the following year.

Explore our Books and Journals

Journal Articles

Meat consumption and risk of 25 common conditions: outcome-wide analyses in 475,000 men and women in the UK Biobank study

Economic evaluation of a web-based menu planning intervention to improve childcare service adherence with dietary guidelines

from Implementation Science

The new COVID-19 poor and the neglected tropical diseases resurgence

from Infectious Diseases of Poverty

Prevalence of human papillomavirus 16 genotype in Anuppur district, Madhya Pradesh

from Molecular Biology Reports

Racial treatment disparities after machine learning surgical risk-adjustment

from Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology

Understanding How Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Shape Mask-Wearing Adherence During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the COVID Impact Survey

from Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

The characteristics of patients who quit smoking in the year following a cancer diagnosis

from Journal of Cancer Survivorship

Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 mutations in the United States suggests presence of four substrains and novel variants

from Communications Biology

Global pandemics interconnected — obesity, impaired metabolic health and COVID-19

from Nature Reviews Endocrinology

Epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, prevention and control of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the early outbreak period: a scoping review

from Infectious Diseases of Poverty volume

Challenges in maintaining treatment services for people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic

from Harm Reduction Journal

Israel’s rapid rollout of vaccinations for COVID-19

from Israel Journal of Health Policy Research

Book Chapters

MRNA-Based Vaccines and Mode of Action

Salivary Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases

from Saliva in Health and Disease

Understanding the Political Divide in Gun Policy Support

from Why We Are Losing the War on Gun Violence in the United States

Global Health at Georgetown

Global Health is a vibrant area of focus for the university with participation of faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate students from every academic unit across the main campus, medical school, and law school. This breadth reflects the fact that work in the global health arena requires professionals from every sector. Indeed, most successful efforts involve multidisciplinary teams of individuals who bring their own expertise and the ability to work together using their diverse skills synergistically.

Georgetown College, the School of Foreign Service, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies all offer variations on a Global Health major for undergraduates with the explicit goal of preparing students from diverse fields to become leaders of these multidisciplinary teams in the field of global health. It is important for undergraduates to identify their own interests within this landscape and pick the major most appropriate to their goals. A brief comparison of the three programs follows. Note that all three programs are compatible with the course work necessary for application to medical school.

The BS in Biology of Global Health is a degree in natural sciences. BGH students take many biology courses as well as corollary work in chemistry, mathematics, and statistics, but will also explore the connections between science and society more broadly. Study abroad is encouraged but not required.

  • School of Foreign Service, Science, Technology and International Affairs Major with a Biotechnology and Global Health Focus

The BSFS in Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) provides a concentration in global health, with an interdisciplinary perspective for students to think about critical global health problems and innovative technological, political, and social solutions. Students are encouraged to study abroad at least one semester, take two semesters of lab sciences, and the foundational SFS courses.

The BS in Global Health focuses on global health and development with courses in natural sciences, epidemiology, health economics and policy, and includes a required Global Health Research Semester Abroad.

More information about these related programs can be found at the School of Foreign Service and the School of Nursing and Health Studies websites.

Is vitamin D deficiency a major global public health problem?

Vitamin D deficiency is a major public health problem worldwide in all age groups, even in those residing in countries with low latitude, where it was generally assumed that UV radiation was adequate enough to prevent this deficiency, and in industrialized countries, where vitamin D fortification has been implemented now for years. However, most countries are still lacking data, particularly population representative data, with very limited information in infants, children, adolescents and pregnant women. Since the number of recent publications is escalating, with a broadening of the geographic diversity, the objective of the present report was to conduct a more recent systematic review of global vitamin D status, with particular emphasis in at risk groups. A systematic review was conducted in PubMed/Medline in April-June 2013 to identify articles on vitamin D status worldwide published in the last 10 years in apparently healthy individuals. Only studies with vitamin D status prevalence were included. If available, the first source selected was population-based or representative samples studies. Clinical trials, case-control studies, case reports or series, reviews, validation studies, letters, editorials, or qualitative studies were excluded. A total of 103 articles were eligible and included in the present report. Maps were created for each age group, providing an updated overview of global vitamin D status. In areas with available data, the prevalence of low vitamin D status is a global problem in all age groups, in particular in girls and women from the Middle East. These maps also evidenced the regions with missing data for each specific population groups. There is striking lack of data in infants, children and adolescents worldwide, and in most countries of South America and Africa. In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is a global public health problem in all age groups, particularly in those from the Middle East. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled '16th Vitamin D Workshop'.

Keywords: Adolescents Adults Children Elder Infants Pregnancy Vitamin D deficiency.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Prevalence of low vitamin D…

Prevalence of low vitamin D status in infants worldwide.

Prevalence of low vitamin D…

Prevalence of low vitamin D status in children worldwide.

Prevalence of low vitamin D…

Prevalence of low vitamin D status in adolescents worldwide.

Prevalence of low vitamin D…

Prevalence of low vitamin D status in adults worldwide.

Prevalence of low vitamin D…

Prevalence of low vitamin D status in pregnant or lactating women worldwide.


The department offers four minors in biology designed to hone skills in one of four contemporary areas: molecular and cell biology, genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, or environmental biology.

The following courses (completed with grades of C or higher) are required for the specific minors. Students interested in one of the minors offered in biology should consult the director of undergraduate studies as early as possible to plan a course of study that meets their needs. Each minor consists of five 4-point courses plus one 1-point lab (21 points).

Minor in molecular and cell biology: BIOL-UA 11, 12, 21, and 22 either BIOL-UA 123 or BIOL-UA 223 At the Bench: Applied Cell Biology (BIOL-UA 37)

Minor in genetics: BIOL-UA 11, 12, and 21 either BIOL-UA 123 or BIOL-UA 223 either Genetics (BIOL-UA 30) or Biostatistics and Human Genetics (BIOL-UA 45) either At the Bench: Laboratory in Genetics (BIOL-UA 31) or At the Bench: Epigenetics (BIOL-UA 130)

Minor in genomics and bioinformatics: BIOL-UA 11, 12, and 21 either BIOL-UA 123 or BIOL-UA 223 either Genome Biology (BIOL-UA 38) or Bioinformatics in Medicine and Biology (BIOL-UA 103) or Fundamentals of Bioinformatics (BIOL-UA 124) one of the following: Microbiology and Microbial Genomics (BIOL-UA 44), Special Topics: Computing with Large Data Sets (BIOL-UA 120), Programming for Biologists (BIOL-GA 1007), Biological Databases and Data Mining (BIOL-GA 1009), Bioinformatics and Genomes (BIOL-GA 1127), Systems Biology (BIOL-GA 1128), or Applied Genomics: Introduction to Bioinformatics and Network Modeling (BIOL-GA 1130).

Minor in environmental biology: BIOL-UA 11, 12 BIOL-UA 123, or the equivalent one of the following laboratory courses: Ecological Field Methods (BIOL-UA 16), Ecological Analysis with Geographic Information Systems (BIOL-UA 64), or Environmental and Molecular Analysis of Disease (BIOL-UA 500) two of the following: Biostatistics (BIOL-UA 42), Evolution (BIOL-UA 58), Fundamentals of Ecology (BIOL-UA 63), Biogeochemistry of Global Change (BIOL-UA 66), New York Underground (BIOL-UA 327), Current Topics in Earth System Sciences (BIOL-UA 332), or Urban Ecology (BIOL-UA 390).

What Can I Do with My Biology of Global Health Major?

The biology of global health major is designed to combine science with a thorough understanding of today’s largest public health concerns. Though the emphasis in the major is on biology, students also gain a comprehensive perspective of how science fits in with other influences on global health. In addition to courses and research spanning the sciences – including genetics, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, evolution, ecology, mathematics and computational sciences – students examine the policy, ethics, sociology, economics, and law involved in global health. The senior thesis allows students the opportunity to conduct research during their undergraduate years.

Students who major in biology of global health will be prepared to work towards finding solutions to global health issues. In addition, they will be well-positioned to continue their education in areas of research, medicine, and public health.

Public Health

Public Health is an interdisciplinary concentration through which students examine a variety of health issues, including population health and disease, health policy, cross-cultural and international aspects of health, the organizational and social structures through which health services are delivered and received, and the public health system. Courses in the concentration allow students to explore the ways in which the social, political, behavioral and biological sciences contribute to the understanding of patterns of population distributions of health and disease. The concentration also provides students with courses in basic research methods and statistics necessary for problem solving and critical thinking in the emerging emphasis on evidence-based health care and public health.

Requirements for Class of 2023 and Beyond

Requirements for Classes of 2021 and 2022


Honors Track, Classes of 2021 & 2022

An Honors track is available for students who qualify. For Classes of 2021 & 2022, Honors track students do not enroll in PHP 1910 , Senior Seminar during the Fall semester of their senior year, but rather are required to enroll in PHP 1980 for both semesters of their senior year to conduct research and write the honors thesis. Thus, for Classes of 2021 & 2022, thirteen courses are required for completion of the concentration requirements for an honors track student.

Honors Track , Classes of 2023 & Beyond

For Classes of 2023 & beyond, Honors track students enroll in PHP 1910 , Senior Seminar during Fall semester of their senior year as well as PHP 1980 , Honors Thesis Prep during both semesters of their senior year to conduct research and write the honors thesis. Thus, for Classes of 2023 & beyond, fourteen courses are required for completion of the concentration requirements for an honors track student.

Study Abroad/Study Away : Up to four courses taken elsewhere (study abroad or other transfer) may be applied to non-core courses (up to two per semester abroad). Meet with your concentration adviser to discuss and provide a syllabus for each course to be considered for transfer to your concentration plan.

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA
Phone: 401-863-1000
Maps & Directions / Contact Us
© 2021-22 Brown University


The MPH Program in Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology is a 2-year course of study. The curriculum is designed to emphasize the biology and molecular biology of host-pathogen interactions host immune response to infection associated with protection or pathology the ecology, evolution, and transmission of infectious agents methods of laboratory-based surveillance and the epidemiology of infectious diseases. A comprehensive exam and an analytical paper are required for graduation.

  • PH 200J, K, & L Public Health Core Breadth Course (2 units each)
  • PH 142 Probability and Statistics in Public Health and Biology (4 units) (F)
  • PH 250A Epidemiologic Methods (3 units) (Su) (F)
  • PH 297 Public Health Field Study (3 units) (Perform the Field Study in Summer of Year 1, Register the class PH 297 in the Fall of Year 2 to receive credits)

As part of general School of Public Health Breadth requirements, above MPH breadth courses or accepted substitutes must be taken, or an exemption examination passed. More advanced level substitutes are recommended when possible.

  • PH 260A Principles of Infectious Disease, Part I (4 units) (F)
  • PH 260B Principles of Infectious Disease, Part II (4 units) (Sp)
  • PH 264 Current Issues in Infectious Diseases (2 units) (F, 2nd yr IDV MPH students only)
  • PH 263 Public Health Immunology (3 units) (F)

PH 260A & PH 260B must be taken in the first year. PH 264 must be taken in the fall of the 2nd year.

At least two advanced courses are required for all MPH students for graduation.

  • PH 236 U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Drug Development, and Public Health (2 units)
  • PH 260E Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases (2 units)
  • PH 260F Infectious Disease Research in Developing Countries (2 units)
  • PH 262 Molecular Basis of Bacterial Pathogenesis (3 units)
  • PH 265 Molecular Parasitology (3 units)
  • PH 266B Zoonotic Diseases (2 units)

PH 266C: Hospital Associated Infections is offered as IDV Division Seminar in Fall. Substitution by other School of Public Health seminars related to infectious diseases may be acceptable as IDV Division Seminar, please contact the IDV Division Manager for questions.

12.2.4: Global Public Health - Biology

Dr. Stefano M. Bertozzi is dean emeritus and professor of health policy and management at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Previously, he directed the HIV and tuberculosis programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Bertozzi worked at the Mexican National Institute of Public Health as director of its Center for Evaluation Research and Surveys. He was the last director of the WHO Global Programme on AIDS and has also held positions with UNAIDS, the World Bank and the government of the DRC.He is currently the interim director of the UC systemwide programs with Mexico (UC-MEXUS, the UC-Mexico Initiative and Casa de California). He recently co-edited the Disease Control Priorities (DCP3) volume on HIV/AIDS, Malaria & Tuberculosis. He has served on governance and advisory boards for the East Bay Community Foundation, HopeLab, UNICEF, WHO, UNAIDS, the Global Fund, PEPFAR, the NIH, Duke University, the University of Washington and the AMA. He has advised NGOs, and ministries of health and social welfare in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a PhD in health policy and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his medical degree at UC San Diego, and trained in internal medicine at UC San Francisco.

Managing Editor: Hildy Fong Baker, PhD, MHS

As Executive Director for the UC Berkeley Center for Global Public Health and the UCB-UCSF Center for Global Health Delivery, Diplomacy, and Economics, Hildy Fong Baker is responsible for leading global health education and research initiatives, including programs such as the Gilead Fellowship for the Advancement of Global Health, the SPH Global Health Specialty, Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge, and RR:C19. She participates in strategic planning for campus and Bay Area global health initiatives, including the Bay Area Global Health Alliance of which UCB serves as current Secretariat. She is a Lecturer in the UC Berkeley MDP program and online MPH program. She is research operations director for UC Berkeley’s involvement in the USAID HEARD project. Baker studied health policy and management at UNC-Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, and has worked in various roles at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, WHO Child and Adolescent Health Unit in Geneva, NKF Singapore, the U.S. Senate, and Ogilvy Public Relations.

RR:C19 relies on student-powered engine of graduate and undergraduate students, post-docs and fellows. A core team of Assistant Editors and specialists spearhead review teams across 5 subject domains. On a daily basis, teams search, screen and assess preprints across the domains: Biological and Chemical Sciences Physical Sciences and Engineering Social Sciences & Humanities Public Health and, Medical/Clinical Sciences. AI tools also support this work. Assistant Editors are also closely involved with outreach to the Editorial Board and peer review networks in subsequent stages of the RR:C19 process. See a list of students and early career researchers supporting each of our domains here.

Assistant Editor for Biological, Chemical, Physical Sciences and Engineering: Michael Cronce

Michael Cronce is a PhD candidate in the UCSF-UC Berkeley Joint Program in Bioengineering co-advised by Drs. Jeffery Cox and Jay Keasling. His research focuses on developing novel antiviral therapeutics, including those targeting SARS-CoV-2. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology (B.S.) from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill with a double minor in Marine Sciences and Chemistry. Following graduation, Michael researched distal lung stem cell biology under Dr. Brigid Hogan, developed translationally-relevant tissue engineering approaches under Dr. Jay Vacanti, and designed new microfluidic organ-on-chip platforms under Dr. Donald Ingber.

Assistant Editor for Social Sciences, Humanities and Public Health: Raphael Frankfurter

Raphael Frankfurter is an MD/PhD candidate in the UCSF Medical Scientist Training Program and the UCSF/UC Berkeley program in Medical Anthropology. His dissertation research, focused on eastern Sierra Leone, explores the ways that histories of global health programs—colonial, humanitarian and post-Ebola Global Health Security initiatives—affect how people experience and relate to illness, death, epidemics, care and the rural Sierra Leonean healthcare system. He studied Anthropology at Princeton University and has worked in a number of public health positions in Sierra Leone.

Assistant Editor, Medical Sciences (Clinical): Bryan Tegomoh, MD, MPH

Bryan Tegomoh is a Cameroonian born physician, currently pursuing further training in Infectious Disease Public Health, at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. He was previously a visiting research scholar at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. His clinical & research training have provided him with a rich exposure to diverse perspectives in global public health, varied healthcare & research settings. Dr. Tegomoh continues to work towards combining translational research & clinical medicine, into global health policies which impact the lives of vulnerable patient groups across the globe.

Assistant Editor, Medical Sciences (Clinical): Yash S. Huilgol

Yash S. Huilgol is an MD/MS candidate in the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Medical Program. His research interests are at the juncture of health policy/delivery, decision-making, and digital health. He received his undergraduate degree in the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and has worked in various clinical and research roles at Princeton, Thomas Jefferson University, and UCSF. His masters thesis focuses on assessing if physician behavior in the electronic health record (EHR) is associated with salutary cancer patient health outcomes.

Assistant Managing Editor: Parmita Das

Parmita Das is a junior at the University of California, Berkeley pursuing a double degree in the majors of Bioengineering and Economics. Hailing from Bangladesh, she is interested in improving the accessibility of healthcare innovation for vulnerable groups that stand to benefit the most. She is an incoming fellow of the The Fung Fellowship program. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the undergraduate student-led journal, Berkeley Economic Review.

Assistant Managing Editor: Madhav Nekkar

Madhav is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in economics and eventually hoping to pursue a career in medicine. He is especially interested in exploring the intersection of health, society, and technology, including healthcare systems, global health disparities, and digital health. With RR:C19, he is excited to collaborate with and support a dynamic team of scholars at UC Berkeley and beyond to stem the proliferation of unverified research and effectively inform scientific and policy responses to the pandemic.

Assistant Managing Editor: Emily Gainor

Emily is an MPH student in Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and was previously an undergraduate public health major and global poverty and practice minor at Berkeley. She is interested in global health equity, viral hemorrhagic fevers, tropical medicine, outbreak investigations, vaccines, and hematology. Emily will be applying to medical school in the next cycle and hopes to pursue a career in pediatric hematology and infectious diseases.

Data Science & Public Health Fellow: Thien-An Ha

Thien-An graduated from the Epidemiology & Biostatistics MPH program at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Her MPH thesis research was centered on predictive modeling of the dengue vector population in urban Guayaquil, Ecuador. She works towards knitting data science and global health to efficiently assess the needs of vulnerable populations and to better understand our communities: at home & abroad.

Domain Coordinator for Social Sciences, Humanities and Public Health: Emily Parker

Emily is an MPH student in the Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology Division at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Emily is currently conducting research in the Riley lab and the Graham lab,primarily focusing on the epidemiology and environmental exposure of antibiotic resistant pathogens, specifically uropathogenic E. coli. She is further interested in using translational science to make public health research and discoveries accessible and purposeful.

Domain Coordinator for Biological, Chemical, Physical Sciences and Engineering: Monica Plasencia

Monica is in the Masters of Translational Medicine program. A joint program between UCSF and UC Berkeley in the Bioengineering department. Her Capstone project focuses on developing an Artificial Placenta oxygenator for extremely preterm infants. Monica is currently conducting research in the Kornblith Data science Lab at UCSF, focusing on creating machine learning programs for hospital trauma centers. She is also a bioengineer intern at Glucosia, which is a company that is creating technology for diabetic patients. She is interested in learning how to translate needed medical technology from bench to patient bedside.

Domain Coordinator for Medical Sciences: Angel Ibarra

Angel is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley where he studied Sociology with an emphasis in medicine and health inequalities. He is currently applying to medical school in pursuit of a career as an emergency medicine physician. His interests include global health, health policy, and access to quality care in vulnerable populations. Through RR:C19 he is eager to learn more about the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 and is thrilled to collaborate with a passionate team of scholars to alter the course of this pandemic.

The COVIDScholar Team based at UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been an essential collaborator in the RR:C19 effort. They have created a custom Rapid Reviews interface, building on their COVIDScholar tool, that uses machine learning tools and AI to scrape, prioritize, and organize preprints for subsequent review by the editorial team. The automation of initial stages of the RR:C19 process allows the editorial team to be modern, speedy and efficient (and user-friendly!).

John Dagdelen, Graduate Student Researcher, Persson Group, University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

John is a PhD Student in the Persson Group at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. His research sits at the intersection of materials science, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing. John is also part of the team behind Matscholar, a materials science knowledge portal that uses state of the art NLP to aid in materials discovery and design.

Haoyan Huo, Graduate Student Researcher, Ceder Group, University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Haoyan is a Materials Science PhD candidate in the Ceder Group at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Physics and Economics from Peking University in 2017. He is currently interested in applying NLP/IR to materials science literature, as well as automatic designing of materials synthesis using ML methods.

Amalie Trewartha, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Ceder Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Amalie is a postdoc in Gerbrand Ceder's group at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. She began her career as a nuclear physicist, before moving into materials science in 2019, with a focus on machine learning. Her research interests include the application of NLP techniques to scientific literature, and building thermodynamically-motivated ML models for materials property prediction.

Watch the video: : Καταστρεπτική η διαχείριση της πανδημίας με διχαστικά μέτρα (May 2022).