Students

2021
Selina Dasch
Member since 2021

My name is Selina Dasch and I am a medical student at the University of Heidelberg with a special interest in internal medicine. During my medical studies I realized the importance of preventive health measures on a population level and developed a fascination for vaccination research - a field which elegantly combines preventive medicine on the individual and population level.
The COVID-19 pandemic has once again proven the power of vaccines in preventing disease and death; but their uptake depends on a willingness of the population, which is often wavering. Vaccine hesitancy has become increasingly pressing in recent years and was defined as one of the top 10 threats to global health by the WHO. My dissertation project is part of a bigger mixed-methods study on Covid-19 vaccination willingness in a multi-country setting. By studying COVID-19 vaccination attitudes, preferences and barriers of individuals through qualitative Interviews, I hope to contribute to public health strategies which can fight not only the recent pandemic but also influence vaccination research in general.


Project title:
Covid-19 vaccination attitudes, preferences and challenges among adults in China and Germany; a qualitative study
Supervisor(s):
apl. Prof. Dr. Volker Winkler Shannon McMahon MHS PhD
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Rebecca Schindlmayr
Member since 2021

My name is Rebecca Schindlmayr and I am a fifth year medical student at Heidelberg University.
For several years, I have taken a great interest in health-related lifestyle factors with a focus on nutrition. Through my participation in lecture series and courses about Global and Planetary Health, I have become fascinated by the concept that relatively simple lifestyle changes can have a large impact, not only on the health of the individual, but also on national health system expenses and even on a planetary scale.
In order to contribute to the implementation, allocation and evaluation of lifestyle interventions, my research project will look into determinants of a healthy lifestyle. More specifically, I will investigate the causal impact of gender roles on people’s adherence to a healthy lifestyle, which will be operationalized by means of an a priori lifestyle index. The prevalence of a healthy lifestyle in low- and middle-income countries will be described, followed by identifying the impact of gender roles on a healthy lifestyle, using a quasi-experimental approach.


Project title:
Healthy lifestyle in 59 low-income and middle-income countries and in 8 European countries: Operationalization, prevalence and causal impact of gender roles
Supervisor(s):
Jun.-Prof. PD. Dr. Ina Danquah
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Aline Frare Mocruha
Member since 2021

I am a pharmacist from Sao Paulo (Brazil), holding a master in Health Economics from Heidelberg University. My work experience at pharma industry prepared me in regulatory affairs and quality management specially with emerging countries.
My interests are on both diagnostics and pharmaceutical fields to foster clinical research and to support regulators and business based on decision-making models, as well as to further organizational and societal changes.
Research question: How to improve health systems performance in low and middle-income countries to reduce the premature deaths addressing the cardiometabolic risk factors with accessible health interventions?


Project title:
The epidemiology of cardiometabolic diseases in low-and middle-income countries:
international population-based analyses
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen Dr. Dr. Pascal Geldsetzer
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Julia Gierth
Member since 2021

My name is Julia Gierth and I am a dental student at the University of Heidelberg. The all-encompassing network of global health, spanning from international health policy to local approaches to health care, has always fascinated me. Oral health in particular, and the reciprocal relationship with general health, is a topic that has received limited attention so far, thereby is caries one of the most common and expensive diseases worldwide. My research project, in collaboration with the WHO, aims to use cost-effectiveness analyses to identify the best interventions to reduce the caries burden in low- and middle income countries, to help governments to reach the goal to provide oral health care to their populations. With my doctoral thesis I want to help find sustainable solutions to integrate oral health into universal health coverage in order to provide the best possible medical care for all people.

Project title:
`Best Buys` to Reduce the Caries Burden in LMICs
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Stefan Listl
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Lea Tyllack
Member since 2021

I am Lea Tyllack, a 5th year medical student in Giessen. I believe that to ensure human health, preserving and restoring planetary health has top priority. Furthermore, health practitioners are among the most trusted professionals, giving us the possibility and responsibility to set a good example. I want to contribute by providing solid evidence to successfully implement climate mitigation measures in the health care context. Specifically, my work aims at reducing overprescribing of unnecessary medication resulting in improved health, cost and emission outcomes.

Project title:
Health co-benefits of guideline-adherent drug prescription – evaluated in a large University Hospital
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Rainer Sauerborn
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Niaz Mohammad Popal
Member since 2021

This is Niaz Mohmmad Popal, a medical doctor (trained as pediatrician) with Afghan nationality. I dd my master in MScIH at Heidelberg Institute of Global Health. I have been involved in quality, health system strengthening and health management since 2003. I would like to do my research in global health because of the need of my country and other LMICs, suffering from poor functioning health systems.

Project title:
Quality of Healthcare, Its Impacts on Health Outcomes and Health System Strengthening (HSS) in Low- and Middle-Income Countries –LMICs
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. med. Michael Marx
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Konstantin Weil
Member since 2021

My name is Konstantin Weil and I am a medical student at the University of Gießen.
Throughout my studies, I have always had a keen interest in the populational and global context of medicine as a complement to the clinical part. Participating in the Special Track Curriculum Global Health in Gießen, I have had the opportunity to learn about the manifold dimensions the word health has.
I am particularly fascinated by the idea that small changes in populations’ diets can in the long run help to improve the overall quality of life and prevent countless diseases.
With my dissertation project I hope to be able to contribute to the common effort towards this goal.
We will focus on identifying common dietary patterns and discovering correlations with socioeconomic and personal variables.
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Project title:
Characterizing Dietary Behaviors and their Determinants among Adults in Urban Burkina Faso
Supervisor(s):
Jun.-Prof. PD. Dr. Ina Danquah, Dr. med. Alina Herrmann
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Sophie Huhn
Member since 2021

My name is Sophie Huhn and I am a medical student of the University of Heidelberg. In my medical studies I have been especially intrigued by the subject of Global Health in the propaedeutic semester for the clinical semesters.
An essential part of my life and my education is the development a cosmopolitan view on our world and on different cultures as a global citizen - which is a sine qua non for the field of Global Health and of utmost importance nowadays.
“Wearable devices” become more and more practical and widespread in our life. An increasing number of researchers identify the scientific potential and even believe in a “revolution” because of their low costs, easy handling and continuous measurements in the natural environment of the participants. Utilising wearables in the low-resource context in Nouna, Burkina Faso, we want to provide first insights into heart rate and activity levels, which may offer needed insights into morbidity within this population.


Project title:
Novel direct health measurements using personal wearable devices in the low-resource context of Burkina Faso
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Rainer Sauerborn, Dr. Sandra Barteit
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Silvan Griesel
Member since 2021

In 2014 Barack Obama stated: ”We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it”. This narrative has, in a nutshell, become the main driver for my personal engagement and furthermore motivated me to conduct research in this area. Currently, I am studying medicine at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and will graduate from medical school in June 2021.
My research project aims to provide a practical guide on how health professionals can address climate change in patient counselling and to conceptualize a patient-centered “climate consultation hour”. It does so based on literature research and a qualitative study with health professionals and patients. My focus lies on health counselling which informs about climate change health impacts, advises on adaptation measures, and promotes healthy and climate-friendly lifestyles. With my doctoral thesis I wish to contribute to translating available knowledge about climate change and health into the realities of people’s lives. After my dissertation I plan to work as a clinician scientist and continue to do research on climate change mitigation in the health sector.


Project title:
Climate consultation hour – addressing climate change in patient counselling: A qualitative study with health professionals and patients
Supervisor(s):
Jun.-Prof. PD. Dr. Ina Danquah, Dr. med. Alina Herrmann
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (Climate Change, Nutrition and Health (CCNH) Group)


Hannah Fülbert
Member since 2021

My name is Hannah Fülbert and I am a fifth year medical student at the University of Giessen. I have been interested in global issues for a long time but especially the participation in the so-called “SPC Global Health” of my faculty enabled me to deepen my knowledge in many ways and discuss with like-minded people. Particularly planetary health, climate change, non-communicable diseases (NCD) and the role of nutrition in this context have fuelled my interest. To me, climate change is one of the most urgent topics of this century with a vast impact on our health. Simultaneously, NCDs are on the rise all around the world turning into a serious global health burden. Nutrition, as very sensitive human topic, has impact on both issues.
My dissertation will focus on perceptions of a sustainable and climate-friendly diet and factors that promote and hinder a weight reduction in adults in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where more than a quarter of all adults was obese in 2014. As Sub-Saharan African country, Burkina Faso is expected to be especially vulnerable towards climate change, therefore I would like to contribute to mitigation on the individual level concerning dietary habits and health. My qualitative study is embedded in a larger research project which aims to implement a locally accepted, climate friendly dietary intervention in the next step.


Project title:
Perceptions of overweight, sustainable and climate-friendly diets and ways to change dietary behaviour among adults in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – a qualitative study
Supervisor(s):
Jun.-Prof. PD. Dr. Ina Danquah
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (Climate Change, Nutrition and Health (CCNH) Group)


Sneha Bhusari
Member since 2021

I am Sneha Bhusari, graduated as a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from India in 2009, with a diverse clinical work experience as a Dentist for about 9 years. By completing Master of Science in International Health from Heidelberg University Hospital in 2019, my passion for dentistry and the inclination towards the field of research were aligned. My current professional development goal is to expand the horizons of my knowledge and at the same time be a part of necessary and long due changes in the dental health care industry. With the current scenario of the COVID19 pandemic, I am inclined to learn more about it and help my fellow dentists as well as patients to practice safer ways to deal with the persistent dental needs. For my doctoral topic, I plan to look at the awareness and perception of teledentistry for both dental practitioners and patients and also the role of teledentistry in the scope of COVID-19. The study will also focus on the gaps and could help identify the shortcomings with the application of teledentistry in general and navigate time and expertise of dentists in a more efficient way.


Project title:
COVID-19 and Teledentistry
Supervisor(s):
apl. Prof. Dr. Volker Winkler
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Marwah Al-Zumair
Member since 2021

Marwah Al-Zumair holds a Bachelor’s degree with honours in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) and was awarded a DAAD scholarship for the completion of her Master’s degree in International Health at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health. Marwah has two years of field experience in emergency settings as both a physician and a researcher. Her applied experience covers different health sectors, including: healthcare for displaced populations, integrated health and nutrition projects, and emergency obstetric care, and includes work with international NGOs, including: Yemen family association (YFCA), Relief International, World Food Program (WFP). Marwah is interested in sexual and reproductive health and women and girls’ empowerment, with a focus on the specific challenges facing her country: Yemen. Marwah is a part of Dr. Lauren Maxwell’s research group at UKHD where she is working to develop a project that will assess health care providers’, policy makers’, and other stakeholders’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding violence against women and girls (VAWG) and children. This multistage project will include in depth interviews and the development and analysis of a quantitative KAP survey. In addition, she will follow best practice for research related to VAWG and children through identifying positive deviance case studies and creating a map of existing resources for women and children who experience violence. These inputs will form the basis for further quantitative research in collaboration with researchers from the Department of Psychology at Bielefeld University to explore the causes and consequences of violence against women and children in Yemen which will, in turn, form the basis for an evidence-based intervention to support women and children who experience family and community violence in Yemen.

Project title:
Violence against women, girls and children-related knowledge, attitude and practices among community midwives and key stakeholders in Yemen.
Supervisor(s):
Dr. Lauren Maxwell
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


2020
Ziyin Xiang
Associate member since 2020

I am Ziyin Xiang and I finished my medical studies at the University of Heidelberg in May 2020. I participated in the course ‘Wahlfach Global Health’ and became especially interested in Global Mental Health.
According to estimates, up to one in three women in Germany could experience a traumatic birth. One factor that decisively influences whether a childbirth experience is negatively perceived is the behaviour of medical staff (doctors, midwives and nurses) towards the woman. My research focuses on identifying the behaviours of medical staff in obstetrics in Germany which pose as a risk factor for a traumatic birth experience as well as on identifying how the experience could be improved by the medical staff according to the affected women.


Project title:
Behaviour of medical staff in obstetrics as a risk factor for a traumatic birth experience: A qualitative study with mothers
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, Dr. Stefan Kohler
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Irja Rzepka
Member since 2020

Irja studied medicine at the university of Saarland and finished her studies in may 2020. As she was always interested in other cultures and countries she did internships abroad in Tanzania, India and Zambia. During her stays abroad – as well as during her volunteer work with refugees in Germany in 2015/2016, she became more and more interested in Global Health and in the bigger context of all medical questions. It was her stay in Zambia for her practical year that aroused her interest for Global Health and she was looking for an opportunity to increase her knowledge and to work outside the clinic for the health of many people. Throughout her studies she was interested in mental health and the difficulties patients with mental diseas have to face until today. In her project she will focus on the effectiveness of imaginative stabilization technique in traumatized refugees.

Project title:
Effects of imaginative stabilization technique in traumatized refugees sheltered in communal placements: a randomized controlled
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Christoph Nikendei
Institutional affiliation:
Psychotraumatologie


Freda Röhr
Member since 2020

My name is Freda Röhr and I am studying medicine at the University of Leipzig. Throughout my medical studies I became increasingly aware that social sciences and medicine are closely intertwined. Global Health research intrigued me as a possibility to investigate more broadly determinants shaping people’s health, to better understand health-seeking behaviours and to implement interventions with the objective of seeking for universal health coverage around the world.

The Covid-19 pandemic is still spreading all over the world. By October 31st 2020, more than half a million SARS-CoV-2 infections had been registered in Germany with numbers still rising. My dissertation will be part of a project aiming at assessing the effectiveness of the implementation of an active surveillance system for the control of SARS-CoV-2-infections. Within the frame of this project, I will be particularly in charge of exploring what factors influence the decision to take up or reject the offer to test for SARS-CoV-2 among adults being contacted for participation in the trial. Results from this study are expected to complement core findings from the trial, generating key evidence on the implementation of active surveillance systems for the control of SARS-CoV-2-infections.


Project title:
What are the factors influencing decisions for or against self-testing for SARS-CoV-2 among adults in the Rhein-Neckar-Region, Germany? A mixed-method study
Supervisor(s):
Dr. Aurélia Souares, Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Ankit Rastogi
Member since 2020

My name is Ankit and I am a 5th year medical student at the University of Heidelberg. During my studies I realised that in order for a health care system to be efficient, work in the field of medicine should not only start with the treatment of the ill but also much earlier, at the stage of prevention. Consequently, I believe that besides finding medical solutions, a more systematic approach is also needed when trying to tackle health issues across the world, which is the very essence of global health.
As a person of Indian origin, I have witnessed the fragility of the Indian health care system. Therefore, I am highly motivated to work on a project which tries to capture the prevalence of a major risk factor for the burden of disease in India, namely alcohol, and hence pave the way for well-directed prevention strategies in the future.


Project title:
Alcohol consumption in India’s states: a systematic review and modelling study for sub-national estimates of drinking patterns
Supervisor(s):
PD Dr. Olaf Horstick, Dr. Charlotte Probst
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Claudia Quitmann
Member since 2020

I am a medical student from the RWTH Aachen University and passed the second state examination in November 2019.
As climate change and sustainability have become increasingly important for me personally, I started to focus on the link between health – my academic background – and climate change – one of the most pressing global issues of our time. I gained experience in the field as a student assistant at the Institut für Geschichte, Theorie und Ethik der Medizin (RWTH Aachen) and as an intern at the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS).
My doctoral project aims at improving climate change mitigation strategies for hospitals, particularly for the University Hospital Heidelberg. I will estimate the greenhouse gas emissions of the University Hospital Heidelberg and conduct in-depth interviews with clinical and administrative stakeholders at the hospital to identify hindering and enabling factors for successful implementation of mitigation measures.


Project title:
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in a Large Medical Centre: Status quo and stakeholders’ perspectives
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Rainer Sauerborn, Dr. Alina Herrmann
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Stephanie Petzold
Member since 2020

I am Stephanie Petzold and in my 3th year as a medical student at the University of Heidelberg. I was always interested in Public Health and did already my Masters degree in Public Health at the University of Bremen. I am glad to have the opportunity to combine my knowledge and work on medical questions in the broader picture.

My research will focus on the challenges people face in the diagnosis and classification of dengue, especially in resource-limited environments in Southeast Asia. The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades and through cases that are misdiagnosed as other febrile illnesses, the global burden of the disease is uncertain. The findings aim to prevent unnecessary hospitalization and harmonize the available dengue guidelines.


Project title:
Diagnosis and classification of dengue in resource-limited environments in Southeast Asia
Supervisor(s):
Dr. Dr. Thomas Jaenisch
Institutional affiliation:
Center for Infectiology, Department for Clinical Tropical Medicine, Heidelberg
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Ahmad Siyar Noormal
Member since 2020

Ahmad Siyar Noormal from Afghanistan is an honorary graduate of Kabul Medical University who graduated from medical school in 2014. Siyar has been awarded DAAD scholarship and holds a Master’s degree in International Health from the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health 2019. Siyar Noormal has 4 years of practical experience in different sectors of public health and clinic in cooperation with national and international organizations in Afghanistan. He served as a school health consultant for UNFPA, Chief Editor of Roghtia Magazine, and manager at Health Information Center of Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health. He has also served as a public health and epidemiology lecturer in different medical universities of Afghanistan. He has attended and facilitated several national and international conferences and events related to public health. He authored the book of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2020 and holds lifetime membership of The John Snow Society at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. His doctoral project mainly focuses on the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Afghanistan. He is determined to optimize his research as empirical evidence to improve the current health status in Afghanistan. He believes that NCDs are an emerging health issue in Afghanistan, for that reason, he wants to pursue his career in that particular field.

Project title:
Nutritional and behavioral risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases in Afghanistan
Supervisor(s):
PD Dr. Peter Dambach, apl. Prof. Dr. Volker Winkler
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Nicole Mauer
Member since 2020

After graduating from Medical School in Milan, Italy, Nicole’s interest in Public Health led her to take up a traineeship at the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission. This experience allowed her to gain a substantive insight into the work of international organisations and cemented her interest in health policy and determinants of health in European populations. She subsequently worked on the Global Health Protection Programme at the Robert Koch Institute.
Her research interests focus on health inequalities, the environmental and socioeconomic determinants of non-communicable diseases and stem from her clinical experience working with diabetic patients throughout Medical School and from working in Public Health institutions at the national and European level. She will explore these topics in her doctoral thesis in the context of South Africa.


Project title:
Continuity of hypertension and diabetes care in LMICs: exploring barriers and enablers to cascade-of-care progression
Supervisor(s):
Dr. Nikkil Sudharsanan, apl. Prof. Dr. Volker Winkler, Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Anna Lindblad
Member since 2020

My name is Anna Lindblad and I recently received the MSc in Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Last Spring, I pursued my MSc degree project within global health and epidemiology under supervision of apl. Prof. Dr. Volker Winkler. During my years as a medical student, my interest in lifestyle related health issues and the impact of socioeconomic and migration factors on health and disease has grown. I want to deepen my knowledge and contribute to further understanding how migration background influences children’s health. Based on the European IDEFICS/I.Family cohort, we want to investigate if the prevalence of metabolic disturbances including overweight and obesity differs between children of migrant families in comparison to other children in Europe.

Project title:
Prevalence of metabolic disturbances including overweight and obesity among children of migrant families in comparison to other children in Europe
Supervisor(s):
apl. Prof. Dr. Volker Winkler, Prof. Lauren Lissner (Gothenburg University), assoc. Prof. Kirsten Mehlig (Gothenburg University), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ahrens (Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS)
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Kyra Lilier
Member since 2020

My name is Kyra Lilier and I am a fourth year medical student at the University of Münster (Germany) with a passion for Global Health. Volunteering in a hospital in Zimbabwe fuelled my enthusiasm to explore this field further in an elective course on Humanitarian Aid and by engaging in a students’ initiative to promote Global Health at universities worldwide. Through my interdisciplinary commitment over the last year, I developed a new focus on Planetary Health, dedicated to target Climate Change as the major Global Health crisis of the 21st century.
My research aims to contribute to understanding the health consequences of Climate Change by conducting a qualitative study in Bangladesh, a country already suffering from changing climate conditions. I will be describing the physical and mental health experiences of populations strongly affected by climate-induced migration and thus giving these often forgotten ‘left-behinds’ a voice.


Project title:
Influences of climate-induced migration on physical and mental health of the ‘left-behind’ population: A qualitative study in rural Bhola, Bangladesh
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Rainer Sauerborn, Kate Bärnighausen
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Anna-Katharina Heuschen
Member since 2020

My name is Anna-Katharina Heuschen. I am a medical student at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. Originally I am from Belgium and grew up in Luxembourg. I am very interested in human rights as well as cultures, politics and natural sciences. This guided me to projects and internships in Europe and Africa, social commitment in different medical and interdisciplinary organizations and finally to the decision of conducting my doctoral thesis project in the research field of Global Health. My aim is to gain more information about public health relevant associations of COVID-19 and malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is up to present one of the greatest causes of morbidity and mortality globally, it affects especially children under the age of five in LMICs. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents a huge stressor for vulnerable health systems and risks to worsen the social inequality. For this reason, further research about the secondary effects of the coronavirus outbreak are important to leave no one behind.


Project title:
Public health relevant associations of COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 and malaria in sub-Saharan Africa
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. med. Olaf Müller
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Lea-Sophie Hansen
Member since 2020

I am a medical student at the University of Heidelberg since 2017. The topic of climate change has always been very dear to me personally, through various periods and internships abroad the urgency of a collective curb of future challenges has become increasingly aware to me in the recent years.
I believe humanity is facing a critical juncture for future approaches to climate change, thus I am dedicated to support adaptative capacities regarding global health challenges posed by climate change.
My Dr. med. thesis will comprise a qualitative study in western Kenya to gather in-depth learnings of facilitators and barriers to home gardening implementation and nutrition counselling. The community-based research aims to empower disadvantaged population groups and thus reduce inequality. Through the implementations of, home-gardening, as a promising adaptation strategy, and nutrition counselling, as empowerment of self-efficacy, I intend to create added value through constructive and reflective research.


Project title:
Home gardening and nutrition counselling in rural Kenya: A qualitative study from local perspectives
Supervisor(s):
PD Dr. Ina Danquah
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Hannah Goymann
Member since 2020

My name is Hannah and I am a fifth-year medical student at the University of Regensburg, Germany. I lived one year in Cameroon and, during my studies, already did several medical internships in Tanzania and India. My experiences there, especially concerning women rights and basic health care, raised my interest in Global Health. In my opinion, gender equality and health are one of the most important factors for improving living conditions worldwide.

The aim of my thesis is to identify the role community leaders play in community-based HIV prevention, focusing on HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Eswatini. I want to understand the potential of community leaders to support the implementation and promotion of PrEP. Furthermore, I want to describe the methods and recommendations proposed by the community leaders, to inform the community about PrEP and develop a theoretical framework to support future community education and implementation strategies.


Project title:
Community leader’s perspectives regarding the promotion of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention (PrEP); recommendations and methods in Eswatini
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Albrecht Jahn, Kate Bärnighausen, Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Franca Conradis-Jansen
Member since 2020

I am Franca from Duisburg, I studied Medicine in Göttingen (Germany) and Cagliari (Italy), worked for 1,5 years in Anesthesia and Internal Medicine and completed the diploma course in Tropical Medicine last year.
My interest in Public and Global Health developed on the one hand through several internships abroad (Italy, Indonesia, Peru), on the other hand through clinical work. I realized that I would rather use my (wo)man power preventing diseases than fighting their late stages.
My research project, run by MORU (Mahidol Oxford Research Unit), offers me a great opportunity to gain more experience in the tropical field of global health, prevention and research.
My doctoral thesis is focused on the implementation of a clinical trial on malaria prophylaxis for forest workers in Cambodia. Working with this malaria risk group is challenging, partly because of the ethnic and linguistic heterogeneity of the target group, partly because of the often illegal nature of forestry work.


Project title:
Antimalarial prophylaxis for forest workers in Cambodia - Implementation of a randomized controlled trial
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. med. Olaf Müller
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


2019
Simona Skandro
Member since 2019

During my medical studies in the University Hospital of Heidelberg I was able to acquire specialized knowledge about medicine and the German health care system. However I have always been interested in seeing how medical care in other parts of the world is provided and used the chance to do internships for example in Togo, Turkey and Serbia.
The different challenges that each country has to face and their way of dealing with them, aroused my interest in Global Health.
My research will focus on Intimate Partner Violence in Angola and specifically on the role of family composition. Are grandparents protective when it comes to violence at home and what other protective factors are there? I am glad to have the chance to deepen my knowledge about Angola and family structures there - which is a still unknown country for me.


Project title:
Intimate Partner Violence in Angola
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Maximilian Schüßler
Member since 2019

Maximilian is a medical student at the University of Heidelberg, and fascinated by challenges at the interface of healthcare, technology, and public policy. His medical background includes five years of medical studies at Heidelberg and the Paris Descartes Medical School, and research in oncology and at the intersection of drug discovery, stem cell technology and medicinal chemistry at Oxford.

During his research project at the Graduate School of Global Health, Maximilian focuses on the potential of web-based interventions and digital health to address unmet health needs in low- and middle-income countries and the European Union. He is particularly keen to investigate how precision public health can help overcome entrenched health gaps and social inequalities on a global scale. Relatedly, he investigates how people who are in need of disease prevention and treatment and are currently not aware of their disease could benefit from a contact with the health system.

Maximilian graduated in Public Policy from the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. During his Master of Public Policy, he focused on barriers for the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the National Health Service (NHS). Moreover, he investigated the dynamics of large private-public partnerships between the tech industry and hospital management.


Project title:
Exploring Internet Connectivity, the Potential of Web-Based Technologies and Precision Public Health to Address Unmet Health Needs for Non-Communicable Disease.
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen

Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Elena Schnieders
Member since 2019

Elena Schnieders is a 4th year medical student at Heidelberg University. She has a passion for traveling and is curious to encounter many different ways of living. Since health plays a significant role in people's lives, she has come across various health systems which has sparked her interest in Global Health. Her research project will be conducted in Malawi and Zambia and will compare an alternative diagnostic tool for COPD with a lung functioning test, the gold standard.

Project title:
Development of a practical diagnostic tool for COPD in Malawi and Zambia
Supervisor(s):
PD Dr. Valerie Louis, Dr. Florian Neuhann, Dr. Andreas Deckert
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Eleonora Nushi
Member since 2019

Eleonora Nushi grew up in Tirana, Albania, and studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg. During her studies she often went back to her home country to gather work experience and directly experienced the challenges that families in remote parts of the country often face. Currently, she is working on a project for the development of a pediatric digital platform, supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. The platform will help parents in Germany to care for their acutely ill children during and after the working hours of pediatricians. Eleonora believes that digital health will help making good medicine available to all families, no matter where they live.

Project title:
Digital platform-based healthcare for children and adolescents in Germany
Supervisor(s):
PD Dr. med. Johannes Pfeil
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Felicia Margono
Member since 2019

Felicia Margono was born in Indonesia, did her A-Levels in Singapore, and is currently a fifth-year medical student in Heidelberg. She has moved constantly since she was a child and her experiences piqued her interest in other cultures.
She believes culture and behaviour play a crucial role in shaping healthcare outcomes and her project involves evaluating the beliefs and experiences of Tanzanian nursing students regarding snakebite, which has been classified as a neglected tropical disease (NTD) in 2017. She hopes to use her research to improve the data available in Tanzania and to determine the focus and scope of educational interventions for snakebite prevention and treatment.


Project title:
Evaluating the beliefs of nursing students regarding snakebite injuries and its treatment in rural Tanzania
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, Dr. Michael L. Wilson
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Louis Jansen
Member since 2019

During my medical education at the medical schools of Heidelberg (Ruprecht-Karls-University) and Pamplona (Universidad de Navarra) I got the chance to experience medicine in a lot of its facets. After completing my apprenticeship as a paramedic, I have gained insight into domains such as teaching anatomy, working in a private practice, leading a student tutor group, or getting to know a new healthcare system.
The interactions between the countless medical and non-medical subjects is what fascinates me the most. I think that multi-disciplinary approaches and tight collaborations between different fields will undoubtably shape and improve present and future healthcare. I am glad to have the chance to examine such a multidisciplinary approach to reduce interpersonal violence in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


Project title:
Characterization of at-risk young males in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: behavioural and socioeconomic correlates of health, injury and violence
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Christopher Hertler
Member since 2019

Christopher is a 6th year medical student at the University of Heidelberg. During his medical education, he discovered his interest in Global Health and was looking for an opportunity to distance himself from clinical routine to gain a better understanding of healthcare systems worldwide.
Christopher is part of the Health Economics and Health Financing research group. In his study, he will assess the impact of Performance-based financing on contraceptive supply and unmet need for family planning in Burkina Faso using a Difference-in-Difference approach and interrupted time-series analysis.


Project title:
Can Performance-based financing improve contraceptive supply and close gaps in unmet need for family planning? Evidence from an impact evaluation in Burkina Faso
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Manuela De Allegri , Dr. Stephan Brenner
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Alina Greis
Member since 2019

Alina Greis is a final year medical student at Heidelberg University. She is interested in sexual and reproductive health, women’s empowerment and medical anthropology. After several academic and professional stays abroad, her research led her to Burkina Faso, where she studied the health status of adolescents in a rural region.
During her stay, she became increasingly interested in female genital cutting, a tradition that is deeply entrenched in the local culture. More than 200 girls and women worldwide have undergone FGC and despite nearly 30 years of efforts to curb the practice, it continues to be carried out. Her research focuses on attitudes towards FGC among adolescents in rural Burkina Faso and their lived realities. She examines underlying beliefs, perceived benefits or risks and factors associated with FGC in order to better understand the dynamics of continuation and cessation of the practice and to identify possible targets for future interventions.


Project title:
Attitudes towards female genital cutting among adolescents in rural Burkina Faso
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, Dr. Guy Harling
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Johannes Boucsein
Member since 2019

Johannes Boucsein graduated from Medical School in 2017. During his medical training, he studied at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá for a semester. It were these experiences that raised his curiosity for global healthcare. His personal interest lies in politics and economy as well as health education, for which he draws experience from having helped to establish a market-leading eHealth company.
His doctoral thesis seeks to identify risk factors for bleeding complications, which are a hallmark of Dengue virus infection. The study seeks to assess the current knowledge through a systematic review and meta-analysis. It also aims to evaluate primary data of three prospective cohort studies conducted under the leadership of Heidelberg University. With an estimated 400 million infected each year, improving prediction of complications and disease severity will have an important impact on treatment and patient outcome.


Project title:
Bleeding Complications in Dengue
Supervisor(s):
Dr. Dr. Thomas Jaenisch, PD Dr. Olaf Horstick
Institutional affiliation:
Center for Infectiology, Department for Clinical Tropical Medicine, Heidelberg
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Khatia Antia
Associate member until August 2019 (since then Dr. sc. hum.)

Khatia Antia has been awarded an academic degree of a Medical Doctor (MD) from The Tbilisi State Medical University and holds Master’s degree of Healthcare Management from The University of Georgia. She has completed several modules of MPH (Master in Public Health) course at the University of Chester, UK, as well as Master level course of ‘International Community Health’ at the University of Oslo, Norway. Additionally, Khatia has experience of working in Hospitals, Medical Insurance Companies, Healthcare Association and Universities in Georgia. She took particular interest in issues of social and healthcare policy, such as reducing inequalities in health, improving mental and child health, migrant health and the health of marginalized population.
The main objective of her study is the identification of feasible, effective and acceptable strategies to address the needs of children affected by parental migration in rural Georgia, to mitigate and prevent the negative impacts of migratory separation on children.


Project title:
Temporary Labor migration and left-behind children - Effects of Labor Migration on Children in Rural Georgia
Supervisor(s):
apl. Prof. Dr. Volker Winkler
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


2018


Berenike Thoma
Member since 2018

Berenike is a fifth year medical student at the University of Heidelberg. Her interest in international health care systems, disease controls and policy approaches grew with multiple international practical experiences in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This encouraged her to focus my doctorate on education and mental health in respective countries.
In her study, she will assess the impact of offsprings‘ educational attainment on parental mental health and well-being in a range of socio-economic settings globally. With a mixed-method approach, she will identify the quantative relationship as well as determining pathways between children’s educational resources and parental mental health. The findings aim to provide critical insights to strengthen the prevention of mental disorders and contribute to policy interventions and the inclusion of mental health, particularly in LMICs.


Project title:
Offspring‘s education and parental mental health
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, Dr. Dr. Jan-Walter De Neve
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health




Felix Teufel
Associate member since 2018

Felix is a fourth-year medical student at Heidelberg University currently working on a project investigating the association between childhood hunger an adult Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Early on in his studies he discovered his enthusiasm about preventing non-communicable diseases and holistically understanding bio-psycho-social factors contributing to their pathogenesis.
In 2015 Felix founded the national project "Wissenshunger”, which tries to combat the epidemic of obesity and its accompanying diseases with a peer-education approach. Coordinating the project he could gain experiences in the practical side of public health and now is thrilled to explore the topic from a scientific view.


Project title:
The association between childhood hunger and adult Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Evidence from nationally representative health surveys of 30 low- and middle-income countries
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, Dr. Dr. Jan-Walter De Neve
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health




Frithjof Sy
Member since 2018

After studying physics in Munich I could broaden my medical knowledge at the Heidelberg medical school, here I am currently a fifth-year medical student. Work in central Africa triggered my special interest in infectious diseases of low- and middle-income countries and their links to cancer. With experience in ODE (ordinary differential equation) based mathematical modeling of cancer growth, I like to be part of the investigation of HPV-spread in Zambia and Malawi and its connections to the extraordinarily high incidence of cervical cancer in these countries. The Heidelberg Graduate School of Global Health offers a unique opportunity to combine my interests hopefully funnelling them into a helpful survey.

Project title:
Investigating contributing factors to the spread of HPV in Zambia and Malawi, examining the feasibility for integrating these factors in a mathematical model and computer simulation.
Supervisor(s):
Dr. Andreas Deckert, Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health




Laura-Marie Stieglitz
Associate member since 2018

I am currently in my sixth year of medical school. During the past years I got the impression that the greater part of medical research aims to improve health care that is already at a high level and only affordable for a few of the world´s population. Therefore, when I had my first lecture on public health, I was immediately drawn to this subject. Research in global health is necessary in order to make health care accessible to everyone.
My second interest lies in mental health and therefore, I welcome the opportunity to combine this area with global health in my doctoral thesis. I am excited to contribute to research on global mental health, a field that has lacked attention until recently, by working on depression in a low-income country.


Project title:
Depression and comorbidities among the aging population in Ukonga Ward, Tanzania
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, Dr. Stefan Kohler
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health




Leon Schütze
Associate member since 2018

With my 4th year of medical school completed and my tenure as head of the student's association at the medical faculty Mannheim also ending this fall, I was looking for a new challenge. The MD in global health is just that. Health economics and health systems worldwide always interested me and combined with my fascination of the African continent this makes the project in Tanzania the perfect opportunity to further broaden my knowledge and attain new skills. I hope that my work will provide results that can have a real impact on any future implementation of digital solutions in health systems.

Project title:
Facilitators and barriers to the introduction of digital solutions for active purchasing in health: A mixed methods case study of the Redesigned Community Health Fund in Tanzania
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Manuela De Allegri
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, Health Economics and Health Financing


Eduardo Ramos
Member since 2018

My name is Eduardo Ramos Rosas and I come from Peru. After finishing the IB programme in my homeland I decided to start studying medicine here in Heidelberg to access a high-quality education. As my research project I will be analyzing and comparing maternal care quality and utilization in Peru among the three main health insurances Peruvian woman can access. To take a deeper view into this reality and understand the extend of health care differences in a low-income country motivates me to be part of this programme.

Project title:
Inequalities in maternal care and insurance status in Peru
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Manuela De Allegri
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, Health Economics and Health Financing



Nadine Müller
Associate member since 2018

Nadine is working as a resident at the Department for Infectious Diseases and Pulmonary Medicine at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. During her free time Nadine is a volunteer and member of the board at Doctors for Madagascar (Ärzte für Madagaskar e.V.). She is involved in conceptualization, implementation and follow-up of projects on maternal and child health in the rural south of the country. In that capacity she is regularly challenged with global health issues on a micro- and macro-level.
Fueled by her curiosity to better understand on how the digital revolution and spread of mobile technologies may contribute to reduce inequalities in low- and middle-income countries, she is currently doing her doctoral thesis on a digital health research project in Madagascar.


Project title:
Saving through technology: Design study to identify opportunities and challenges of a mobile phone-based savings platform for healthcare in Madagascar
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, Dr. Dr. Jan-Walter De Neve
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department for Infectious Diseases and Pulmonary Medicine


Amir Mohsenpour
Member since 2018

Working as a medical professional, one needs a diverse set of skills and rich knowledge base to be able to fulfill all roles essential to protect and promote health in society. Throughout medical school I have had the chance to gain insight into civil society engagement and advocacy, project management and peer-education. With this doctorate programm I intend to learn critical research skills, both its comprehension as well as application.

Project title:
Contextual Effect of Housing Quality on Asylum Seekers' Health - a cross-sectional study in a German federal state

Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. med. Kayvan Bozorgmehr
Institutional affiliation:
University Hospital Heidelberg, Department of General Practice and Health Services Research


Jan Ole Ludwig
Associate member since 2018

Jan Ole is a medical student at the Medical Faculty Heidelberg and has recently finished his 5th year.
After completing his clinical education he was looking for a possibility to step back from clinical routine and catch a sight of the bigger picture of health care.
The research for his thesis with the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health offered him just that. Early in his medical studies he developed a conviction, that primary prevention is and will be the most crucial value in future medicine. That is why he is happy to work on a project investigating health outcomes of educational reforms and is highly motivated to extend his research in the filed of trans-generational human capital spill-overs.


Project title:
Causal Effect of Children’s Secondary Education on Parental Old-Age Survival: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Botswana
Supervisor(s):
Dr. Dr. Jan-Walter De Neve
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Etienne Lacroze
Associate member since 2018

Etienne Lacroze grew up in Frankfurt am Main, studied at the Charité Berlin and at Sorbonne Paris Cité and is now completing his practical year in Madagascar and Kenya. During his first stay on a training mission in the southern Madagascar, Etienne experienced the catastrophic effects of a non-existent health insurance and inadequate health policy. Since 2018 he has been a member of the board of the NGO "Doctors for Madagascar", which is currently implementing a Mobile Health Wallet in Madagascar as part of the mTOMADY project.
He is particularly interested in health financing, mobile health and performance measurement. His research will focus on the acceptability, perception and performance of the new mobile phone based payment tool for pregnancy-related healthcare.
In his free time he is a passionate classical pianist with a preference to chamber music.


Project title:
Qualitative and quantitative Research on the acceptability, perception and performance of a new mobile phone based payment tool for pregnancy-related healthcare in the region of Analamanga, Madagascar
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen, Dr. Dr. Jan-Walter De Neve
Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health


Philip Kitchen
Associate member since 2018

Growing up in Zambia I was exposed to the inequalities and challenges which the population of a low-income country has to face. As a medical student I was minded to follow my interest in the field of global health. Through various lectures and courses at the Institute of Global Health I was able to deepen my knowledge in this field and got the opportunity to write my doctoral thesis about HIV testing in Eswatini. Specifically I’ll be looking into factors that helped or hindered the broad expansion of HIV testing in this country and if their success can be replicated in other sub-Saharan countries suffering under the HIV epidemic.

Project title:
Expansion of HIV Testing in Eswatini, Factors Underpinning Success

Supervisor(s):
Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen

Institutional affiliation:
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health