Recent and Past Events

Our annual events include the western new york refugee health summit, global health day symposium and Richard V. Lee lectureship in global health.

6th Annual WNY Refugee Health Summit

April 13, 2019

This was an opportunity for New Americans, health care providers, and reserchers to convene and collabortively explore ways in which housing can be a lever for improving health in Buffalo, NY. The summit:

  • Examined Buffalo's housing crisis,
  • Explored the links between housing and health,
  • Recommended policies to improve housing for better health of refugees, and
  • Identified innovative practices that improve mental and physical health for New Americans.

9th Annual Global Health Day

April 5, 2019

SYMPOSIUM: Substance Use and Its Impact on Local and Global health 

The SPHHP's Office of Global Health Initiatives welcomed Dr. Paolo Boffetta to UB. Dr. Boffetta is Professor of Medicine, Global Health, Oncological Sciences and Preventive Medicine, and Associate Director for Global Oncology of the Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY.

Global Burden of Cancer from Tobacco and Alcohol
Paolo Boffetta, MD, PhD

Cigarettes and E-cigarettes, Using Methylation as a Biomarker of Effect
Jo Freudenheim, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor, Chair and Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Tobacco Control to Improve Maternal and Child Health
Xiaozhong Wen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Policy Approaches to Addressing Provider Barriers to Offering Buprenorphine Treatment
Christopher Barrick, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Department of Family Medicine

The Intersection of Public Health, Emergency Medicine and the Opioid Crisis
Heather Lindstrom, PhD, Research Director, Research Assistant Professor, UBMD Emergency Medicine

PANEL DISCUSSION: Think Locally. Act Globally

The following UB Faculty discussed their global health experiences from around the world:

Laura Smith, PhD – Zimbabwe
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
School of Public Health and Health Professions

Yeeli Mui, PhD – South Asia
Postdoctoral Associate, Community for Global Health Equity and UB Food Systems Planning and Health Communities Lab

Lina Mu, PhD, MD – China
Director, Office of Global Health Initiatives, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies,
MPH Program, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
School of Public Health and Health Professions

Jessica Kruger, PhD – Jamaica
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior
School of Public Health and Health Professions

Mara Huber, PhD – Tanzania
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning

The 9th Annual Global Health Day was co-sponsored by the School of Public Health and Health Professions' Office of Global Health Initiatives and the University at Buffalo's Community of Excellence in Global Health Equity.

UB International Education Week

November 15, 2018

The SPHHP’s Office of Global Health and the Confucius Institute partnered together to host a UB International Education Week event. Guest lecturer, Dr. Simin Liu, Professor of Epidemiology, Professor of Surgery, and Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Global Cardiometabolic Health at Brown University, gave a talk entitled, “Cardio-metabolic Health in the 21st Century: A Global Agenda.”

Dr. Liu shared his view about the future picture of global health, with a focus on cardio-metabolic health, and how international collaboration will play a key role in global health promotion.

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion, “Career and Collaboration Development for International Scholars and Students," and included the following distinguished faculty:

  • Jian Feng, PhD, Professor, Physiology and Biophysics, UB Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Simin Liu, MD, ScD, Professor of Epidemiology, Surgery, and Medicine, Brown University
  • Ajay Anand Myneni, PhD, Assistant Director, Surgery, UB Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Jiwei Zhao, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biostatistics, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions

Richard V. Lee Lectureship in Global Health with Na He, MBBS, MS, PhD

October 4-5, 2018

The SPHHP's Office of Global Health Initiatives welcomed Dr. Na He to UB. Dr. He is a Professor of Epidemiology, Dean, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

3rd Annual Richard V. Lee Lecture in Global HealthHis lecture, titled “HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Control: China CARES,” imparted his expertise in health systems management and infectious disease.

Topic-based Group Meetings Dr. Na He was joined by Dr. Zhuohui Zhao, PhD, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean, School of Public Health at Fudan University and Dr. Yan Zheng, Professor, School of Life Sciences at Fudan University.

OGHI Global Health Day 2018


OGHI Global Health Day Symposium


The exposome is a complementary concept of the human genome. It encompasses life-course exposure from the environment, diet, behavior and endogenous processes, from the prenatal period onward. Exposome research could revolutionize our understanding of the underlying causes of disease and guide the development of preventions and cures for more diseases. The symposium aimed to bring experts in various fields together to advance exposome research at UB.

The New Era of Exposome and Its Implications in Global Health
Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH

Dean for Translational Biomedical Research
Co-Director, Institue for Exposomic Research
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ​

Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD
Dean, School of Public Health and Health Professions

Keynote: The New Era of Exposome and Its Implications in Global Health
Dr. Rosalind Wright  

Behavioral Contributions to Chronic Diseases
Gary Giovino, PhD, MS

Professor and Chair, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior

Metabolomics in Exposome
Lina Mu, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Metal Exposures in Women and Children, what has diet to do with it?

Kasia Kordas, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

An Introduction to 16S Microbiome Analysis in Bioconductor
Jeff Miecznikowski, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics

Environmental Health Perspectives on Global Inequalities: Multi-Generational Impacts of Arsenic Exposure on DNA Methylation and their Implications in Arsenic Toxicity
Xuefeng Ren, PhD, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

OGHI Global Helath Day Film Screening: BENDING THE ARC

"Bending the Arc" is an acclaimed documentary on the global health movement. This extraordinary film follows the doctors and activists that founded Partners in Health, on the ground in Haiti, Peru, and Rwanda, in their fight for universal health equity and the right to health for all.

Film event co-sponsored by OGHI and the department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.

Richard V. Lee Lectureship in Global Health with Claudio Lanata, MD, MPH

September 28-29, 2017

The SPHHP's Office of Global Health Initiatives welcomed Dr. Claudio Lanata to UB. Lanata is a leading global health scholar and Senior Researcher at the Nutritional Research Institute in Lima, Peru.  

2nd Annual Richard V. Lee Lecture in Global Health: Lanata's lecture, titled “What is a pathogen? Lessons from decades of study of enteric pathogens,” imparted his expertise in health systems management and infectious disease.

Discussions & Talks: Dr. Lanata was very interested in developing new collaborative relationships with colleagues at UB. Two talks were offered:

  • Waiting for the next cholera epidemic in Latin America.           
  • Improving health care quality: The challenge of motivating change in health systems.

​Faculty Sessions: Dr. Lanata hosted a number of faculty discussions. Topics included: Antimicrobial resistance, Child survival, Improving hygiene, the Enteric microbiome, and more. ​

SPHHP's Health in Brazil exchange visit to Buffalo

October 4-13, 2017 - Various events

SUNY Global Health Institute Virtual Rounds

David Larsen, MPH, PhD (Syracuse University) presented on his work in Zambia regarding mosquito net fishing and it's implications for food security and control of malaria.

We are only killing ourselves: How the current global health intervention paradigm may be causing more harm than good.

October 11, 2017

OGHI welcomed visiting students and faculty from two SPHHP partner institutions in Brazil, as part of the 2017 Health in Brazil visit to UB, October 4-13, 2017, led by Dr. John Stone and Dr. Mary Matteliano from SPHHP. Graduate students from SPHHP presented their research, followed by discussion. Organized in partnership with the Epidemiology & Environmental Science GSA and Global Health Club.

Environmental exposure to manganese and effect on the behavior of schoolchildren in a Brazilian city. Cecilia Araujo, MS, Visiting PhD Student & Research Assistant in EEH, from FIOCRUZ/RJ in Brazil

Air pollution among pregnant women in Beijing, China: Developing and implementing a cohort. Zeinab Farhat, MPH, PhD Student, EEH

Water, sanitation and hygiene in low-income countries. Wit Wichaidit, MS, PhD Student, EEH

From Brazil to Buffalo: Research and Dialogue with Health in Brazil visting scholars and SPHHP graduate students

October 10, 2017

All students were welcomed to join this conversation with a leading global health scholar. Dr. Zhang is professor and director of the Comprehensive AIDS Research Center, Center for Global Health and Infectious Dieases, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University (China).

SUNY Global Health Institute Virtual Grand Rounds

November 15, 2017

Speaker: Emily Cercone, MPH, Program Officer at CDC Foundation

As part of UB's International Education week, OGHI organized the 2017 "Public Health without Borders" event. All interested students were welcomed. Opportunities with the CDC, WHO, non-profit organizations, and fellowships were discussed by an accomplished global health worker and scholar with extensive field experience in Sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh.

Global Health Careers: Insights from the Field

November 16, 2017

7th Annual Global Health Day

March 31, 2017 | 12-4 p.m. | 111 Kimball Tower

Possible, 2012, Modified.

Copyright Possible, 2012, Modified

Rebrcca Stoltzfus.

Keynote: Rebecca J Stoltzfus, PhD.

Professor | Division of Nutrition Sciences, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Cornell University

Keynote Address: Elucidating the causes of childhood malnutrition: poor diet, enteric dysfunction disorders, and mycotoxins

Rebecca Stoltzfus holds a PhD in Human nutrition from Cornell University (1992) and a B.A. in Chemistry from Goshen College (1984). From 1992-2002, she was assistant and then associate professor in the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She joined the Division of Nutritional Sciences in 2002 as an associate professor and was promoted to professor in 2005. For the 2008-09 academic year, she was a visiting professor in the Department of Community Health, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Moshi Tanzania.

Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of malnutrition in women and children in developing countries. Current major projects include the SHINE (Sanitation, Hygiene, and Infant Nutrition Efficacy) Trial in Zimbabwe, Mycotoxins and Infant Growth (Zimbabwe and Tanzania), Implementation Science for Scaling up Nutrition (Tanzania), and a project in Kenya and Ethiopia to translate the new global recommendation for calcium supplementation in pregnancy into policies and programs in Kenya and Ethiopia.  


  • 12 p.m. Lunch
  • 12:30 p.m. Keynote Address: Elucidating the causes of childhood malnutrition: poor diet, enteric dysfunction disorders, and mycotoxins
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. Student Presentations
  • 2:30 p.m. Break
  • 3-4 p.m. Global Health Research Panel
  • 4 p.m. Closing

4th Annual WNY Refugee Health Summit

April 21, 2017

  • partner with practitioners, researchers, policy makers, resettlement and refugee communities
  • learn from national and international experts
  • develop local solutions to improve health for refugee populations

2017 Speakers

Deborah Lee, MPH

Deborah Lee.

Lee has over 17 years of experience in public health work. For the past 10 years, she has worked as an epidemiologist in the Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Health (IRMH) Branch of the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) on U.S. immigrant and refugee health issues and has managed the Migrant Serum Bank since 2007. Lee has worked extensively with several CDC surveillance systems--Electronic Disease Notification System (EDN), National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System. Prior to CDC, she worked in Seattle, Washington with the HIV Clinical Trials Network (HVTN) at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and with Emory University in pharmacology on adrenergic receptors research.

Meb Rashid, MD

Meb Rashid.

Rashid has had the privilege of spending the last fifteen years of his career working with newly arrived refugees in Canada. He is the medical director of the Crossroads Clinic, a medical clinic at Women’s College Hospital that serves refugees arriving in Toronto. Rashid has also co-founded the Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, an organizations founded to advocate for refugees to access health insurance. He was on the steering committee of the CCIRH, a group that developed evidence based guidelines for the assessment of newly arrived immigrants and refugees and is a co-founder of the Christie Refugee Health Clinic, a health clinic located in a refugee shelter. Rashidis an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Sharmila Shetty

Sharmila Shetty.

Shetty is a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Emergency Response and Recovery Branch. She trained as a pediatrician and joined Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in 1999 and provided medical services for Palestinian refugees in Saida, Lebanon; IDPs in Bundibugyo, Uganda; and orphans in Khartoum, Sudan. She most recently worked with MSF as an epidemiologist in an HIV project in Dawei, Myanmar. Shetty completed the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) fellowship at the CDC, where she also subsequently worked as a medical epidemiologist in the Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Health Branch, working on improving the health of refugees resettled to the US. She has also worked with the Red Cross in Banda Aceh, Indonesia post-tsunami; and was on faculty of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, working on the Hib Vaccine Initiative. 

Kevin Pottie, MD, MCISc, CCFP

Kevin Pottie.

Pottie began working with refugees in 1994. He served with MSF, WHO, the Canadian Task Force for Preventative Health Care, the GRADE Working Group and the Cochrane Equity Methods Group. In February 2017 he attended the WHO/ IOM/ Sri Lankan Government 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health.

Pottie led the Canadian and European Refugee Health Guidelines. He has also held various positions in the field, notably, Republic of Georgia 1995, Bolivia 2001, Indonesia 2004 and Republic of Congo 2007-08, Benin 2009, Panama 2012 and Nepal 2014. Pottie is an associate professor and researcher at the Bruyère Research Institute, University of Ottawa and has published over 120 peer review papers. He enjoys bird watching, juggling and surfing.

Knowledge translation of healthcare information: mHealth mealtime management interventions for community-based rehabilitation workers and parents of children with cerebral palsy in West Bengal, India.

May 12, 2017

Sutanuka Bhattacharjya.

Sutanuka Bhattacharjya
PhD Candidate
UB Rehabilitation Science

Sutanuka Bhattacharjya is a licensed (NY) occupational therapist and a PhD. candidate in the Department of Rehabilitation Science at UB. She earned her MS in occupational therapy with a specialization in early intervention and school based practice from UB. She received her Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from India, and worked as an OT at a neuro-rehabilitation clinic in India. Her research interests include educational technology, knowledge translation in local and global contexts, and mobile health.

Air pollution among pregnant women in Beijing, China: Developing and implementing a cohort study

November 17, 2016

Farhat and Grippo.

Zeinab Farhat and Alex Grippo
Graduate Students
UB Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Graduate students Zeinab Farhat and Alex Grippo received international fieldwork awards from the Office of Global Health Initiatives. In June and July 2016 they traveled to Beijing, China in collaboration with Dr. Lina Mu, Associate Professor Epidemiology and Environmental Health, and Tsinghua University in Beijing. Farhat and Grippo developed and implemented a cohort study measuring the effects of air pollution among pregnant women. They will share their experience, the unexpected challenges they encountered, and lessons learned.