From the Chair
Edgar Berman Professor and Chair David Peters
Events this last year have revealed sharp contrasts between the politics of isolationism and the conviction that science and inclusive institutions are critical to promoting sustainable development here and around the world. If materialized, threats to public health funding could undermine research and technical capabilities of universities and other organizations, jeopardizing the health and well-being of populations in the US and across the world.
One of the current targets for loss of funding is the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center. While it is the NIH’s smallest center, Fogarty is the most effective at jump-starting global health research careers and collaborations between US and universities overseas. For decades the Department has worked with the Fogarty Center to build research capacity in infectious diseases and international health. As the global burden of disease has shifted, the Department’s partnership with Fogarty has expanded into research capacity building activities in the fields of injury prevention, trauma care, non-communicable diseases, and ethics. You can read more about some of those efforts in a story from this issue of The Globe.
In April, we lost R. Bradley Sack, MD, ScD ’68, a professor in International Health, and faculty member for over 40 years at the Bloomberg School. Brad was at the forefront of understanding, treating and preventing infectious diseases, most notably diarrheal diseases including cholera. His contributions to global health helped avert millions of deaths around the world, particularly among infants and young children. He was a much-loved mentor, teacher, and colleague, and will be sorely missed.
Despite challenges, the Department has much to celebrate this year. Over 30 doctoral dissertations were successfully defended and over 80 master’s students graduated. The contents of this issue of The Globe highlight some of the impressive contributions to science, practice and education our department is making. And they attest to the global health values shared by International Health’s faculty, students, staff and alumni—values we need to act on today more than ever.
David Peters, MD, MPH ‘89, DrPH ’93
Edgar Berman Professor and Chair
Department of International Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health