Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases
Dr. Kristin Banek is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Her current research looks at the malaria treatment cascade and antimalarial adherence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. More broadly, she is interested in optimizing the implementation and effectiveness of malaria interventions and measuring the impact this may have on disease prevalence and transmission.
Dr. Banek received her B.A.in Biology and German from St. Olaf College and her MPH in International Health and Development from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. At Tulane, her passion for global health and malaria began while working along the Thai-Burmese border with backpack medics to design and implement a pilot malaria control program in displaced populations inside Burma/Myanmar. She later completed a Ph.D. at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with Drs. Sarah Staedke and Daniel Chandramohan. Her doctoral work involved designing a national malarial Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) survey, and conducting a randomized control trial to measure and compare adherence behaviors between the two first-line antimalarial medications in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Banek has extensive field experience undertaking research work in developing countries and post-conflict/fragile state contexts. Her malaria work in Sub-Saharan Africa began with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) (Dr. Phil Rosenthal and Dr. Grant Dorsey) in Uganda as an epidemiologist with the Uganda Malaria Surveillance Project (UMSP) led by Dr. Moses Kamya. Dr. Banek was the epidemiologist for a multi-site antimalarial drug efficacy trial to provide data on current and proposed treatment regimens to the Ugandan Ministry of Health. After her tenure with UCSF, she as the Technical and Country Director for The MENTOR Initiative, a non-governmental organization focusing on malaria program implementation in post-conflict Liberia, Angola, and Northern Kenya. In addition to building local capacity, training health workers, and coordinating prevention campaigns, she conducted operational research studies to improve service delivery and test new malaria control tools. Dr. Banek went on to work for over five years in Sierra Leone, where she served as a Roll Back Malaria technical advisor tasked to build capacity in monitoring & evaluation within the Ministry of Health National Malaria Control Program. Additionally, she has worked as a Global Health consultant with various agencies, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, leading proposal development teams and conducting monitoring and evaluation studies. Highlights of this work include: conducting an emergency obstetric care project evaluation, collecting baseline and evaluation data on malaria interventions, and leading the development of a successful malaria Global Fund grant to scale-up malaria control in Sierra Leone.