The UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases is a pan-university Institute that was created to unify and bolster global health research, teaching, and service across UNC-Chapel Hill.
UNC Project in Lilongwe, Malawi
IGHID Mission Statement
UNC-Chapel Hill is committed to improving health in North Carolina and around the world. The UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases (IGHID) will advance this goal by promoting global health research, teaching, and service activities across campus. IGHID recognizes that the most pressing health challenges and emerging diseases know no boundaries: global health is local health. IGHID will foster an environment in which faculty, students and the broader University community work together in unique and innovative ways to address critical issues in global health, and to shape the next generation of global health leaders.
Interview with Peggy Bentley, Associate Dean for Global
Health, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Associate Director of UNC's new
Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases (
Q: How will the new Institute of Global Health and
Infectious Diseases help expand global health at UNC?
Dr. Bentley: The Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases
came out of discussions Mike Cohen, Director of the Center for
Infectious Diseases in the School of Medicine, and I had with a
variety of leaders across campus. UNC-Chapel Hill is among a small
minority of public and private universities with extensive and
long-standing strength in global health, including broad and important
areas, such as nutrition, water, and infectious diseases. The new
Institute is seen as a way to catalyze this amazing depth and breadth
of global health research, education and service being done across UNC
and around the world, making the work even stronger and deeper. The Office of Global
Health in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health (OGH) has
been playing a central coordinating role for global health across
campus, particularly through funding from the Fogarty International
Center and the Framework Program in Global Health grant that the OGH
received. The new Institute will expand on these efforts and has
strong institutional support for sustainability.
Is the Office of Global Health in the UNC School of
Public Health a part of the new Institute?
Dr. Bentley: The
Office of Global Health is both part of the School of Public Health and an
integral part of the new IGHID. I will
be the Associate Director of the Institute, working closely with the Director,
Myron Cohen and staff. I will serve as a key linkage between the two units. There is also an Advisory Board to the
Institute, and the School of Public Health Dean, Barbara Rimer, serves on the
Will your role as Associate Dean of Global Health at the
School of Public Health change?
Dr. Bentley: This
role, like other leadership roles in this university and any university,
evolves with the times. As global health becomes an even more central,
foundational part of UNC, my role evolves. I am excited and invigorated by the
recent developments. My Associate Dean for Global Health and Professor of
Nutrition roles now encompass the activities of the IGHID. I am delighted to expand my role in global
health and expect considerable synergy and collaborations.
Will the mission and/or function of the Office of Global
Health change with the creation of this Institute?
Dr. Bentley: No, we will continue to work within the
SPH advocating for the continued expansion of global health teaching, research
and practice. We will also continue to work across the campus in an
interdisciplinary approach to solve global health issues since it is only
through a variety of perspectives that true solutions can be found.
Will the Office of Global Health move to the new Global
Dr. Bentley: No, the Office of Global Health remains
a unit of the School of Public Health and will stay in the School (124 Rosenau,
http://www.sph.unc.edu/globalhealth). The primary location of the Institute is in the
Bioinformatics Building. See map.
How will the Institute collaborate with the Office of
Dr. Bentley: The program directors and directors of
the various global health programs from the Institute, Health Affairs schools,
and College of Arts and Sciences will meet monthly and
be in frequent email communication. We
all work together, and the IGHID makes what we do in the SPH even more timely
What are some of the initiatives that the Office of
Global Health will collaborate on with the Institute?
Dr. Bentley: Some of the joint efforts will include the
new global health track in the Curriculum in International and Area Studies; a
study abroad program in London;
joint seminars; and linking websites. More activities will be identified as the
Institute gets up and running. We also expect to undertake joint faculty
Will the weekly email newsletter, This Week in Global
Health, remain the primary form of communication about global health
events at UNC and in the region?
Dr. Bentley: Yes. The Office of Global Health will
continue to publish This Week in Global Health and the Institute will
provide information on their activities and initiatives. We will also expand
the distribution by collaborating across the various global health programs at