Global Women’s Health Fellowship

This unique opportunity provides early career training for obstetrician-gynecologists aspiring to an academic career in global women's health. The fellowship leverages the strengths of the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, Gillings School of Global Public Health, and affiliated institutions in Zambia and Malawi to provide world-class training in clinical and epidemiologic research, implementation science, and program evaluation

Trainees will receive mentorship from seasoned UNC faculty members and will be based at either the University of Zambia Teaching Hospital (Lusaka, Zambia) or the UNC Project–Malawi (Lilongwe, Malawi). Both sites are academically vibrant, with three-part missions of clinical research, service delivery, and training. Each has multiple UNC faculty and fellows living full-time in country, providing administrative support and mentorship.

In 2017-2018, we will offer a two-year fellowship opportunity. In the first year, trainees will be based in Chapel Hill, where they will solidify their independent clinical skills and develop a global health project. Successful candidates may also take individual graduate courses at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. In their second year, fellows will relocate to either Lusaka or Lilongwe full-time to carry out their planned project, gaining first-hand experience living and working abroad.



Fellow responsibilities include:

• Participation in ongoing research and service evaluation projects
• Development of new research ideas and protocols
• Teaching of students and other trainees in the U.S. and affiliated institutions abroad
• Clinical care at affiliated sites
• Publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts

Eligible fellows will also be able to collect cases for the ABOG oral board exam, through clinical attachments at established clinics and hospitals.

Applicants may choose a concentration in one of many ongoing emphasis areas: HIV prevention in women and children, improving birth outcomes, prevention and treatment of cervical cancer and other gynecologic malignancies, family planning, and implementation research.

Applicants must have completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and be board-eligible by start of the fellowship.

In the second year of fellowship, candidates must be willing to relocate to either Lusaka or Lilongwe.

Although international experience is preferred, it is not a requirement. Stipends will be based on NIH system for post-graduate resident and fellow physicians.

We are currently accepting applications for the UNC Global Women's Health Fellowship. Interested candidates are asked to submit the following information to be considered:

• A current biosketch in NIH format
• Three letters of recommendation (including one from your current program director or department chair)
• A one-page personal statement describing your research interests and how they relate to global women's health. Personal statements should summarize: prior experience in public health and research, desired training, and long-term career goals (including how this fellowship will help you to fulfill them).

Our deadline for applications for the 2017-2018 academic year is November 15, 2016.

Interested in applying to the program? Please send any queries to  

Meet our current and former fellows:

Carla Chibwesha, MD, MSc (2009-2012) received her MD and clinical OB-GYN training at Brown University. She completed her fellowship while based full-time in Zambia, the country of her birth. As a fellow, Dr. Chibwesha was broadly engaged in women's health research, leading projects in cervical cancer, family planning, safe motherhood, and the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). Since joining the UNC OB-GYN faculty in 2012, her research has been increasingly focused on cervical cancer screening and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. She moved to Johannesburg, South Africa in 2014, where she currently leads the University of Witwatersrand site for the NIH-funded AIDS and Malignancy Consortium (AMC). She also serves as chair for a multi-country AMC trial to investigate the role of HPV vaccination in women undergoing treatment for cervical cancer precursors.

K. Cherry Liu, MD (2009-2012) completed her MD at the Baylor College of Medicine and her clinical OB-GYN training at Emory University. Dr. Liu was based full-time in Lusaka over her three-year fellowship, where she led several studies of obstetrical outcomes. She oversaw the Zambia Electronical Perinatal Record System, a networked electronic medical record that captured antenatal and newborn information across 25 district health facilities. She was also the Zambia lead for a two-country surveillance of congenital anomalies and birth outcomes among HIV-infected women with antiretroviral exposure at time of conception. Dr. Liu joined the UNC OB-GYN faculty for two additional years, before returning to the U.S. She is currently a staff physician at Christ Community Health Services and a faculty member at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

Yvonne Butler (2011-2012) received her MD from Michigan State University and completed clinical OB-GYN training at the Henry Ford Health Systems. She lived in Zambia from 2011 to 2012, where she helped to expand basic and comprehensive emergency obstetrical services in the country's Eastern Province. Her work included applied research to inform public health programming and policy development. Following her fellowship, Dr. Butler joined the academic faculty of the Baylor College of Medicine to continue her global OB-GYN career in Liberia. At present, she is an academic obstetrician and senior associate consultant at the Mayo Clinic.

Nancy Hancock, MD, MPH (2013-2015) attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine and completed her OB-GYN residency at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. She also received her MPH in International Health at Tulane University of Louisiana. She lived full-time in Zambia for two years, leading several projects in global women's health. This included studies investigating the quality of family planning services in Lusaka and the need for integrated services within the context of HIV programs. After her fellowship, Dr. Hancock started clinical practice in Rocky Mount, NC, where she is providing care to underserved populations in the eastern part of the state.

Dawn Kopp, MD, MPH (2014-2016) completed her medical degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine, her MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her OB-GYN residency at the University of Washington. For this fellowship, she was posted in Lilongwe, Malawi to develop and implement a research portfolio focused on family planning and obstetric fistula. She received research funding from the UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellows Program to examine the long-term outcomes of women following obstetric fistula repair. She has also led several secondary analyses investigating adoption, continuation, and switching among Malawian women. After completing her fellowship in July 2016, Dr. Kopp accepted a position in clinical practice in Spokane, WA.

Marcela Castillo, MD (2014-present) completed her medical degree and OB-GYN residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. After spending her first fellowship year in Chapel Hill, she moved to Zambia for two years to implement the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) study at Lusaka's University Teaching Hospital. As part of this work, she will study the underlying placental changes and microbiome associated with preterm birth among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women. Dr. Castillo is completing coursework for a Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) from UNC, expected in May 2017.

Catherine Ford, MD, MPH (2015-present) received her medical degree from New York University and her MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her OB-GYN residency at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital before joining the UNC GWH Fellowship. Over two years in Zambia, Dr. Ford implemented a randomized trial of point-of-care virologic testing to improve the diagnosis and retention of HIV-infected children. In 2017, she will join the academic faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she will continue her role as a clinician-researcher focused on global women's health.

Joan Price, MD, MPH (2015-present) received her MD and MPH degrees from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed her OB-GYN residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After an initial year of epidemiology coursework in Chapel Hill, Dr. Price moved to Lusaka to lead two randomized trials of progesterone to reduce preterm birth among HIV-infected pregnant women on antiretroviral therapy. Using advanced methods in epidemiology and health economics, she will analyze data from these studies to inform broader implementation of such interventions in resource-constrained settings.

Nurain Fuseini, MD, MHS (2015-present) received his MD from the University of Rochester and his Masters in Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He joined our fellowship after his OB-GYN training at the Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Dr. Fuseini spent his first year in Chapel Hill, completing courses for his MSCR degree, before moving to Lusaka for the remaining two years of his fellowship. Dr. Fuseini is investigating the inflammatory processes that may underpin preterm birth related to HIV and antiretroviral therapy.

Leeya Pinder, MD, MPH (2016-present) received her MD from the Medical University of South Carolina and her clinical OB-GYN training at the University of Cincinnati. She completed her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, while at the Boston University Medical Center / Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Pinder joined our program with co-funding from the UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellowship. She is interested in cervical and breast cancer screening and early detection in resource-constrained environments. She currently spearheads several NIH-funded studies in Zambia.