Head of DGHI’s Master of Science in Global Health Program Steps Down

On June 30, Christopher Woods will be stepping down as the director of the Duke Global Health Institute’s (DGHI’s) Master of Science in Global Health (MSc-GH) program and the director of graduate studies. Woods, a professor of medicine and global health and chief of the infectious diseases division at the Durham VA Medical Center, has led the program since its inception in 2008.

Melissa Watt, assistant research professor of global health, will become the director of the MSc-GH program and the director of graduate studies. Watt is currently the associate director of the program. She has been a faculty member of DGHI since 2012, and her work focuses on HIV infection, maternal health and mental health.

Nathan Thielman, professor of medicine and global health, will replace Watt as the associate director. Thielman is also director of the Global Health Pathway, which offers extended overseas training opportunities for residents and fellows through the Hubert-Yeargan Center. He has been affiliated with DGHI since its inception, and his research focuses on critical clinical and social issues that affect people living with or at risk for HIV infection.

“We owe much gratitude to Chris for developing and launching our MSc-GH program,” said DGHI director Michael Merson. “Chris’ vision and leadership has been instrumental in DGHI now having one of the leading master’s programs in global health in the country.”

At the recent Master of Science in Global Health commencement ceremony, Merson honored Woods with a framed photo collage that chronicles the history of the program and noted, “Chris’s faculty colleagues have been impressed with how much he cares for students and how he works tirelessly to nurture their personal and professional growth, all while balancing a clinical practice, directing a laboratory and conducting robust research programs in infectious diseases around the world.”

Woods reflected, “It’s been an honor and a true pleasure to work with faculty and staff at DGHI and Duke University to build this program.”

Woods will continue as a faculty member at DGHI.

Originally published on the Duke Global Health Institute website