Message from Executive Director | Duke Kunshan University
Shenglan Tang, MD, MPH, PhD.
Mary & James Semans Professor of Medicine, Duke University; Professor of Global Health, Duke and Duke Kunshan University; Executive Director of Global Health Programs, Duke Kunshan University

DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE

Health challenges in China and globally are significant and multiplying. Virulent infectious diseases—particularly HIV, malaria, hepatitis, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases—continue to vex our government officials and health professionals. Our health systems at all levels are straining under ineffective policies, complicated financing models, and serious maldistribution of the health workforce. Further demands brought by a growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes have taxed the health system to its breaking point. Global health research and education programs at Duke Kunshan University are ideally positioned to train the global health leaders of the future and undertake global health research to address thetremendous health challenges that China and other countries are facing. Our faculty, researchers and MSc students have embarked on a number of projects with academic and private sector partners in China and around the world to generate new knowledge that will bolster our ability to prevent and treat diseases and strengthen health systems.

Duke Kunshan University’s global health programs consist of two major components– MSc in Global Health Program and the Global Health Research Center. The MSc in Global Health Program aims to create a vibrant community that is known world-wide for its academic excellence and its impact on helping to meet the global health challenges of today and tomorrow and to reduce health inequity worldwide, especially in China, neighboring Asian countries, and other low and middle-income countries. In order to achieve these aims, the program trains the next generation of global health researchers, practitioners, and leaders through a high-quality educational program and participation in research. Our program is modeled after the successful MScGH program at the Duke Global Health Institute of Duke University in the US. There is a close partnership between the two programs and our students have the option to study for one semester at Duke University. In addition, our students not only take part in faculty-led research but also have dedicated fund to conduct their own 10-week summer fieldwork and mentored thesis research. Thus far, our students have been to 20 countries located throughout Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe, South America and North America for their field-based research.

The research center is built upon the principles of scientific excellence and policy relevance. Using interdisciplinary approaches, we collaborate with partners on projects that address policy and systems, environmental health, NCDs, and One Health (a research area at the intersection of human, animal and environmental health). The Center has experienced significant growth since its launch in the fall of 2013. Over the past five years, Center faculty and research staff have published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, and Environmental Health Perspectives, emanating from several dozen of research projects funded by WHO, the Gates Foundation, Medical Research Council/UK, National Science Foundation/China and other agencies. It has hosted the Research Hub of the WHO Asia Pacific Observatory (APO) on Health Systems and Policies network for three years. We look forward to expanding our collaborations and playing a meaningful role in improving health and health systems in China and beyond.

Short Description: 

Duke Kunshan University’s global health programs consist of two major components– MSc in Global Health Program and the Global Health Research Center. The MSc in Global Health Program aims to create a vibrant community that is known world-wide for its academic excellence and its impact on helping to meet the global health challenges of today and tomorrow and to reduce health inequity worldwide, especially in China, neighboring Asian countries, and other low and middle-income countries.