2020-2021 Fellows

HBNU 2020-2021 Cohort


Picture of GM Rabiul IslamG.M. Islam, PhD, MSc
LMIC Fellow

Dr. Islam will spend his fellowship year at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) in Dhaka under the mentorship of Davidson H. Hamer, MD and Jena Derakhshani Hamandi, PhD. His research will focus on childhood exposure to multiple toxic heavy metals, iron supplementation and child cognitive development in Bangladesh. Dr. Islam is an epidemiologist in the field of nutrition, food safety, and value chain research. He received his PhD from Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan under the Monbukagakusho/MEXT scholarship, in the field of public health. He also holds an MSc in Nutrition and Rural Development from Ghent University, Belgium under the VLIR scholarship program, and a BSc in Agriculture from Khulna University, Bangladesh. Dr. Islam is now serving as a faculty member at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), Sylhet, Bangladesh. His research interests broadly encompass chemical hazards in the food chain and subsequent health consequences, and the development of innovative solutions to minimize the health risk of at-risk populations.


Picture of Maya Jackson-GibsonMaya Jackson-Gibson
U.S. Scholar

Ms. Jackson-Gibson will spend her fellowship year at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership in Gaborone under the mentorship of Roger Shapiro, MD, MPH and Joseph Makhema MBChB, FRCP. Her research will focus on assessing maternal to fetal HIV transmission rates, and stratifying these outcomes based on a anti-retroviral treatment regimen. In combining the datasets from Tsepamo and the Botswana Ministry of Health, she hopes to find novel trends in HIV transmission rates. Ms. Jackson-Gibson is a fourth year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is passionate about adolescent and women’s health and hopes to combine this passion with her growing interest in becoming a global health researcher. She was a stand-out four-year-varsity athlete at Amherst College, and graduated Cum Laude in 2015 with a bachelor’s in Spanish. At Feinberg, Ms. Jackson-Gibson received the student senate community service award in 2018 and was highlighted as a future catalyst for change in medicine in the Northwestern 150 Years of Women magazine issue.

Picture of Catherine KoofhethileCatherine Koofhethile, Phd, MSc
LMIC Fellow

Dr. Koofhethile will spend her fellowship year at Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership in Gaborone under the mentorship of Joe Makhema, MBBS and Roger Shapiro, MD, MPH. Her research will focus on assessing the reservoir in adolescents from Botswana who were perinatally infected with HIV and have been on treatment for more than 10 years. She will use both reporter cell based assays and next generation sequencing techniques to quantify inducible replication-competent proviral reservoir in her cohort of adolescents. Dr. Koofhethile’s ultimate career goal is to return to Botswana and transfer the knowledge, skills and experiences that she will acquire over the years.

Picture of Kaelo SeatlaKaelo Seatla, MBBS
LMIC Fellow

Dr. Seatla will spend his fellowship year at Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership in Gaborone under the mentorship of Simani Gaseitsiwe, PhD and Shahin Lockman, MD, MSc.
His research will focus on developing and validating low-cost HIV-1 drug resistance (HIVDR) testing technologies for monitoring HIVDR mutations and their implementation in Botswana and the region. Dr. Seatla completed his medical education at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and received an East African Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Dr. Seatla is currently completing his PhD training (supported by a competitive Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence [SANTHE] award). This fellowship will support his career goal of becoming an independent clinician researcher.


Picture of Ehete BahiruEhete Bahiru, MD
U.S. Fellow

Dr. Bahiru will spend her fellowship year at Addis Continental Institute of Public Health (ACIPH) in Addis Ababa under the mentorship of Wafaie Fawzi, MBBS, MPH, MS, Dr PH, Mark Huffman MD, MPH and Yemane Berhan, MD, PhD, MPH. Her research will focus on implementing and evaluating the WHO-HEARTS initiative to transform hypertension care in HIV and non-HIV urban primary care centers in Addis Ababa. Dr. Bahiru plans to first develop implementation pathways and intervention packages for system-level hypertension care based on the WHO-HEARTS initiative in public primary care centers using the Consolidated Framework in Implementation Research with input from local partners. Dr. Bahiru is a third-year cardiology fellow and a second-year PhD student in Health Policy and Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her goal is to pursue a research-based career on global cardiovascular health services. Her region of interest is sub-Saharan Africa because of her background growing up in Ethiopia as well as, the major current and projected needs for improving cardiovascular care in the region.


Picture of Kwabena Kan-DapaahKwabena Kan-Dapaah, PhD, MSc
LMIC Fellow

Dr. Kan-Dapaah will spend his fellowship year at the University of Ghana School of Engineering Sciences in Accra under the mentorship of Douglas J. Perkins, PhD and Elvis Tiburu, PhD. His research will focus on the development of a minimally invasive applicator for cancer treatment for resource-constrained settings. Dr. Kan-Dapaah received his Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2008 from the FHL University in Lubeck, Germany. He received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 2015 from the African University of Science and Technology in Abuja Nigeria under the supervision of Professor Wole Soboyejo. He received an early career seed grant from the Pan African Materials Institute (2016-2017) to develop a plasmonic nanocomposite device for breast cancer treatment. Dr. Kan-Dapaah’s ultimate career goal is to lead a world-class research laboratory, which develops devices for biomedical applications.



Picture of Anou SomboroAnou Somboro, PharmD, PhD, MSc
LMIC Fellow

Dr. Somboro will spend his fellowship year at the University of Science, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB) in Bamako under the mentorship of Souleymane Diallo, MD, Robert Murphy, MD and Mamoudou Maiga, MD, PhD. His research will focus on investigating the impact of HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) co-infection on the host microbiome. Dr. Somboro completed a Pharmacy degree at USTTB in 2008, and then practiced as a research associate scientist for four years in the department of HIV/TB Research and Training Centre (SEREFO), Mali. In 2013, he opted to pursue a Masters’ degree and later a PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa. He secured a South African National Research Foundation (NRF) scholarship and a UKZN College of Health Sciences (CHS) scholarship during his postgraduate program. Dr. Somboro’s long-term goal is to become an independent investigator, with the necessary knowledge and skills to lead an outstanding research team and the ability to be competitive in securing extramural funding through grant applications.


Picture of Tom DiehlTom Diehl, MD
U.S. Fellow

Dr. Diehl will spend his fellowship year at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali (CHUK) in Kigali under the mentorship of Robin Petroze, MD, MPH and Edmond Ntaganda, MD. His research will focus on developing a prospective neonatal surgical outcomes database and concurrent cohorted neonatal surgical ward at CHUK. Specific outcomes for Dr. Diehl’s research project will focus on predictors of survival, surgical infections and nutritional outcomes. Through these interventions he aims to 1) identify modifiable risk factors for perioperative neonatal mortality and major complications, 2) develop multidisciplinary care bundles to improve perioperative neonatal care and surgical outcomes, and 3) create transferable protocols for neonatal care in resource-limited settings. Dr. Diehl is a general surgery resident at the University of Wisconsin. He aspires to become a leader in global surgery capacity development with subspecialty training in pediatric surgery.

Picture of Parsa ErfaniParsa Erfani
U.S. Scholar

Mr. Erfani will spend his fellowship year at the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in Butaro under the mentorship of Temidayo Fadelu, MD, MPH and Deo Ruhangaza, MD. His research will focus on implementing a new breast cancer diagnostic technology to help make breast cancer diagnosis faster, cheaper, and more reliable in low-resource settings. Mr. Erfani is a fourth year medical student at Harvard Medical School who is passionate about cancer equity. He received his BA from Columbia University where he studied the epigenetic drivers of glioblastomas. In medical school, his research has focused on health disparities in the United States. He hopes to pursue a career in oncology and work towards developing capacity for cancer care in low-resource settings.



Picture of Dominique EugeneDominique Eugene, PhD
U.S. Fellow

Dr. Eugene will spend her fellowship year at Stellenbosch University (SU) in Stellenbosch under the mentorship of Soraya Seedat, MBChB, MMed, PhD. Her research will focus on the prevalence of women perpetrators of intimate relationship violence who have a history of childhood maltreatment and/or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr. Eugene graduated from Fielding Graduate University with a degree in Clinical Psychology. She is a clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist, a registered play therapist and supervisor, a certified trauma specialist, an infant-family and early childhood mental health specialist, and a nutritional therapy practitioner. She is a recent recipient of a Micro-Innovation Grant that focuses on reaching out to the Mixtec, Zapotec, Triqui and other indigenous cultural groups of Mexico and Latin America currently residing in her county of residence. Dr. Eugene has co-edited a book on mass trauma and emotional healing, written articles on multicultural concerns, trauma, and play therapy. She aspires to continue working in community-based agencies as an applied psychologist, teaching, doing research, and consulting on various multicultural (racial, cultural, ethnic) programs.


Picture of Paschal RuggajoPaschal Ruggajo, MD, PhD, MMed, MSc
LMIC Fellow

Dr. Ruggajo will spend his fellowship year at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar es Salaam under the mentorship of Ferdinand Mugusi, MD, MMed and Emmanuel Balandya, MD, PhD. His research will focus on exploration of the association between HIV/AIDS and NCDs (special focus on chronic kidney disease) in Tanzania and the East African Region. Dr. Ruggajo is the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at MUHAS. His areas of interest are clinical nephrology and clinico-epidemiology focusing on outcomes. He holds a medical degree from University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), MMed and MSc from MUHAS, and a PhD from University of Bergen, Norway.


Picture of Prossy BibangambahProssy Bibangambah MBChB, MMed
LMIC Fellow

Dr. Bibangambaha will spend her fellowship year at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology under the mentorship of Mark Siedner, MD, MPH, Samson Okello, MBChB, MMed, DPTM, SM, Brian Ghoshhajra, MD, MBA and Moses Acan, MBChB, MMed. Her research will focus on the epidemiology of fatty liver disease in people living with HIV in rural Uganda. She aims to determine its prevalence and correlates, leveraging data from an NIH R01-funded cohort study (NIH R01 HL141053). Dr. Bibangambaha received her medical degree and completed radiology residency at Mbarara University of Science and Technology. During her residency, she worked as a study clinician on an NIH R21 funded cohort study (HL124712) and this work was a part of her academic thesis, as well as contributed to four peer-reviewed publications and a first author abstract that was presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in 2020 in poster form. Dr. Bibangambaha is grateful for Fogarty fellowship which will help her develop further as an academic clinician-researcher.


Picture of Megan HarperMegan Harper
U.S. Scholar

Ms. Harper will spend her fellowship year at Zambia Center for Applied Health Research in Lusaka under the mentorship of Donald Thea, MD, MSc and Lawrence Mwananyanda, MD, MPH. Her research will focus on assessing hearing loss in infants with congenital (CMV) infection who are exposed to HIV in utero but remain uninfected. Ms. Harper is a fourth year MD/MPH candidate at Tufts University School of Medicine. She received her BA in neuroscience from the University of Virginia in 2016, where she cultivated her interest in global health through development and implementation of a training program in motivational interviewing for community health workers in Limpopo, South Africa. Ms. Harper hopes to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and continue research in maternal and child health in low resource settings.