The OIA is proud to present the 2017 Global Health Scholars Cohort II

Dr. Amber Beg

Amber is a first year resident in Pediatrics. She is a graduate of the UAB School of Medicine and attended UNC for her undergraduate degree. She spent a year as a research fellow at the NIH between college and medical school, and plans to get a masters of public health after residency. Amber’s passion and experience in global health has come from her past work in India with GlobeMed, and in Nicaragua developing a partnership between UAB and a non-profit clinic in Boaco. As part of the Global Health Scholars Program, Beg will work with mentor Dr. Sylvia Becker-Dreps and Program Director Dr. Kenya McNeal-Trice to identify barriers to care for asthma treatment and prevention in Managua, Nicaragua.

Dr. Christina Cruz

Christina is a first year Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellow and a fourth year General Psychiatry resident. She is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed her Bachelor of Science in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and has a Master of Education in Prevention Science and Practice from Harvard Graduate School of Education. With the Global Health Scholars Program, she will be continuing the development and piloting of a novel school mental health system she created for the Darjeeling Hills of India, through Broadleaf Health and Education Alliance, which focuses on task-shifting mental health services to local community leaders and teachers. Her mentor is Dr. Brandley Gaynes, and the Program Director is Amy Ursano.

Dr. Emily Ciccone

Emily is an Adult Medicine Infectious Disease Fellow at IGHID, who received her MHS in International Health from Johns Hopkins and her medical degree from University of Wisconsin- Madison. Since starting Med/Peds residency at UNC, Emily has traveled to Malawi several times to do clinical work and research on Pediatric Acute Care outcomes at Kamuzu Central Hospital through UNC Project. She has a strong interest in global health medical education, particularly preparing medical students and residents to practice abroad. With the Global Health Scholars Program, she hopes to continue her work on establishing an electronic pediatric database to assist the KCH Pediatric Department with quality improvement and acquisition of funding. Her mentor is Dr. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, and her Program Director is Dr. Richard Wardrop.

Dr. Erica Bjornstad

Currently completing a dual Pediatric Nephrology fellowship and PhD in epidemiology, Erica’s work has primarily focused in Sub-Saharan Africa. She completed her undergraduate degree at UNC and medical school at the University of Maryland. She took a year off and did a Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship in Malawi. Her global health focus continued through Pediatric Residency at UNC Children’s Hospital when she continued a project on improving pediatric clinical education in Tanzania through the support of the OIA global health scholarships. With the Global Health Scholars Program, she will be working in Malawi, with a focus on acute kidney injury for pediatric trauma patients. She will be mentored by Dr. Anthony Charles, with Dr. Keisha Gibson as Program Director.

Dr. Fan Lee

Fan is a resident in Obstetrics and gynecology. She completed an undergraduate degree in Bioengineering from University of Washington in Seattle, then had her first global health experience in Kenya as a volunteer in HIV/AIDs education. She graduated medical school at the University of Washington, where she discovered her passion for women’s health through the global health pathway with a community health project focused on STD and HIV prevention in rural Uganda. She spent a year in Kenya to pursue a research experience under NIH-Fogarty focused on cervical cancer screening and dysplasia treatment. With the Global Health Scholars Program she will focus on cervical cancer prevention in Malawi, with Drs. Ben Chi and Jennifer Tang as her mentors, and Dr. AnnaMarie Connolly as the Program Director.

Dr. Michael Dougherty

Michael is a fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and a UNC School of Medicine graduate. He is also completing a Master of Science in Clinical Research, with a Certificate in Global Health, at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Michael’s interest in global health has led him to volunteer with Puentes de Salud, complete a rotation in Botswana, and work at the Hospitalito Atitlan in Guatemala with Penn Global Health and Comprehensive Care Fellowship. With the Global Health Scholars Program, his focus will be on Gastric Cancer in Nicaragua with mentor Dr. Andrea Azcarate-Peril and Program Director Dr. Millie Long.

Dr. Peyton Wilson

Peyton is a Pediatrics Infectious Disease Fellow at IGHID who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, and completed residency in pediatrics at UNC. (She has received the OIA Global Health Scholarship to fund her work on the Arresting Vertical Transmission of Hepatitis B (AVERT-HBV) study, the goal of which is to identify and treat pregnant women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have high-risk Hepatitis B infection in order to prevent their infants from acquiring HBV). She will work closely with her mentors, Dr. Steve Meshnick from the Department of Epidemiology at Gillings School of Global Public Health and Dr. Ravi Jhaveri from the Department of Pediatrics, to complete this project.

Dr. Steven Weinberg

Steven is a Pediatric Resident who attended the University of Michigan, where he majored in Economics and co-founded Will Work for Food- a nonprofit that fights childhood malnutrition. He completed medical school at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he completed the Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence. He has experience in Ethiopia coordinating care for underserved patients, analyzing nutrition programs, and creating post- graduate medical training programs to decrease physician migration out of Ethiopia. With the Global Health Scholars Program, he will be working with Dr. Carl Bose, Dr. Melissa Bauserman and Dr. Kenya McNeal-Trice developing a quality improvement guide in Ethiopia.

Dr. Kate Westmoreland

Kate is a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellow. She received her Doctor of Medicine from Wake Forest and completed pediatric residency at the University of Utah. After residency, she worked in rural Nepal as the field team manager implementing a Maternal Child Health Program. She then worked for 2 years in Botswana, Africa as a Pincus Global Health Fellow through the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She spent one year in Malawi as a Fogarty Global Health Fellow with UNC, where she researched Pediatric Burkitt Lymphoma. With the Global Health Scholars Program, she will focus on pediatric cancer patients in Malawi with mentor Dr. Satish Gopal and Program Director Dr. Patrick Thompson.

Global Health Scholars Cohort I (2015-2017)


Dr. Ross Boyce

Dr. Ross Boyce is a Fellow in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UNC. He graduated from Davidson College with Honors in Chemistry, and was then commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. He completed two deployments to Iraq, where he served in a variety leadership positions including Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, Operations Officer, and Civil-Military Officer. For his service, Dr. Boyce was awarded three Bronze Star Medals, including one with a Valor Device for heroism in combat. Dr. Boyce attended medical school at UNC Chapel Hill, completed his M.Sc. in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and did residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. His research focuses on the epidemiology of malaria and vector-borne diseases in East Africa, particularly in rural, underserved communities. With the Global Health Scholars Program, his focus is on Dengue in Uganda. His Mentor is Dr. John Juliano and his Program Director is Dr. Alex Duncan.

Dr. Mary Cocker

Mary Crocker is currently a second-year fellow in Pediatric Pulmonology at UNC. Her interest in global health dates back to volunteer work done as an undergraduate at Florida State University in rural communities in Jamaica. She continued to work with underserved populations in medical school, where she ran a program designed to link homeless persons to medical care. She later earned her Master’s in Public Health at UNC with a focus on public health program planning and evaluation. Locally, she is working with the Orange County Health Department to evaluate an asthma home-visit program that addresses environmental triggers for children with asthma. With the Global Health Scholars Program, she is developing a project in Managua, Nicaragua, designed to train community health workers to identify and refer children with asthma. Her Mentor is Dr. Sylvia Becker-Dreps and her Program Director is Dr. Charles Esther.

Dr. Matthew Collins

Matthew is originally from North Augusta, SC. He studied Chemistry at Furman University and received his MD from Medical College of Georgia and a PhD from University of Georgia in Rick Tarleton’s lab working on nonlymphoid CD8+ T cell responses to chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mice. With that team, he also showed that oral vaccination with genetically attenuated parasites elicits protection to a heterotopic challenge and a T. cruzi-specific CD8+ T cell response similar to that in WT infection. Matthew completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center before coming to UNC for Infectious Diseases fellowship. Then, he joined the De Silva lab to gain experience in molecular virology and further develop my interest in Global Health, tropical and emerging infections, and immunologic aspects of host-pathogen interactions. With the Global Health Scholars Program, Matthew is working with his mentor Dr. Aravinda DeSilva and Program Director Dr. Alex Duncan researching Dengue in Sri Lanka and Nicaragua.

Dr. Nadeem Modan

Nadeem is a first year resident in Emergency Medicine at UNC. He completed his medical degree at Dartmouth Medical School, and his undergraduate education at Wesleyan University. He has a passion for social justice, and to that end, has worked on many sustainable community service projects over the past decade. He has worked on issues as diverse as hunger, literacy, economic development, and healthcare access, both in the US and in India. Additionally, he is the Founder and Executive Director of an international nonprofit organization called IndoAmerican Volunteer Networks. With support from UNC Global Health Scholar’s Program, he will work to increase access to healthcare in villages across India. This project is a collaboration between UNC, Stanford, and several different nonprofit organizations, and anyone who wants to help or join the cause is welcome! He will be working on this with his mentor Dr. Justin Meyers and Program Director, Dr. Nikki Benz.

Dr. Sonya Patel-Nguyen

Sonya is a first-generation daughter of Indian immigrants, born in Raleigh, North Carolina and raised in the nearby suburbs. She attended North Carolina State University and earned a degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in social work. During college, she explored global health topics in engineering and public health, traveling to Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Ethiopia. She attended UNC for medical school, during which she took a year off to pursue research and non-profit work with the Palestinian Cleft Society in the West Bank. She graduated medical school as an inaugural member of the school’s Gold Humanism Honor Society, and with awards honoring her dedication to health, humanism, and human rights. During residency, Sonya has continued to pursue global health topics and electives, having traveled recently to India as a Sanders Scholar with Project Hope. Her interests lie in the intersection of health and human rights, especially in refugee and immigrant populations. With the Global Health Scholars Program, Sonya is continuing her work with refugees, with Dr. Alan Liles as her Mentor, and Dr. Richard Wardrop as her Program Director.

Dr. Serena Zhou-Talbert

Originally from China, Serena has lived in eight other states before moving to North Carolina, which she now proudly calls home. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, she moved to Ecuador for 13 months to work as a Program Director for Manna Project International focusing on asset-based community development. She then completed an MPH in Global Health Leadership at the University of Southern California and medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. During this time, Serena had the privilege of doing research in the Congo with Operation Smile, conducting health education workshops in Nicaragua, and completing a clinical rotation in Costa Rica. With the Global Health Scholars Program, Serena’s interest is in Family Planning in Nicaragua. Her Mentor is Dr. Martha Carlough, and her Program Directors are Drs. Cristy Page and Mallory Mccleester.