team a life-saver with Global Health Initiative
thought leadership key to public/private healthcare effort
the Kellogg School's Global
Health Initiative (GHI), faculty and students aim to save
August 2006, Northwestern University's McCormick School of
Engineering received a four-year, $4.9 million grant from
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to research and develop
affordable diagnostic devices to combat the HIV virus in developing
countries. The initiative began in 2004 with Professors David
Kelso from McCormick and Daniel
Diermeier from the Kellogg School of Management.
Palamountain '04 and Aparna Saha '04 worked on
the Kellogg portion of the grant application while earning
their MBA degrees. Palamountain has returned to the school
as executive director of GHI, which she said focuses on solving
critical problems in some of the world's poorest places.
only are we developing processes and best practices for discovering
what healthcare providers and people in developing countries
need," she said, "but we are exposing future business
leaders to issues facing the developing world."
Professor Daniel Diermeier, "There are unique problems
in designing products for these markets because there is no
existing market structure or understanding of the market."
meet the challenge, GHI partners with industry and academic
experts and nonprofit donors to research market dynamics,
government issues and distribution channels to help develop
diagnostic innovations for use in countries with limited healthcare
infrastructure. In addition, the goal is to help the citizens
who cannot afford diagnostic devices as currently configured.
"Existing HIV diagnostics often require a central lab
with electricity, refrigeration, trained phlebotomists and
lab technicians," noted Palamountain. GHI seeks to adjust
these technologies for success in developing countries.
Student Chair Meredith Wilson '07 said that in addition
to the faculty, Palamountain and seven full-time engineers
at McCormick, more than 40 Kellogg volunteers are involved
in research initiatives. Six Kellogg student teams have recently
returned from conducting GHI-based research in South Africa,
South East Asia, India and South America. "Also, we have
students writing GHI papers in multiple classes," Wilson
summer, GHI plans a collaboration with Kellogg Corps, the
group that places small teams of MBA students on nonprofit
consulting projects in developing countries worldwide. For
additional information, visit thinkglobalhealth.org.