Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases
Dr. Kristin Banek is a Fogarty Global Health Postdoctoral Fellow with the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Her current research is looking 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 in Northfield, MN, and her MPH in International Health and Development Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. It was 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 went on to complete 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 survey and a randomized control trial to measure malaria knowledge, treatment-seeking, and antimalarial adherence behaviors in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Banek has extensive field experience undertaking research work in developing country 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 anti-malarial drug efficacy trial to provide data on current and proposed treatment regimens to the Ugandan Ministry of Health. After her tenure with UCSF, she went on to work with a non-governmental organization focusing on malaria program implementation in post-conflict Liberia as well as in 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 to test new malaria control tools. Dr. Banek went on to work for over five years in Sierra Leone, where she served as a technical advisor for a variety of agencies, including evaluating an emergency obstetric care project, building capacity within the ministry of health in monitoring & evaluation of the malaria control programme, collecting baseline and evaluation data on malaria interventions and led the development of successful malaria Global Fund grants to scale-up malaria control in Sierra Leone.