Health Initiative a new way to put Kellogg leadership on the
map; effort helping in HIV fight
from the Kellogg School's Class of 2007 are putting their
new degrees to work in Africa this summer, conducting market
research at HIV testing centers and treatment clinics, an
effort that Meredith Wilson '07 calls unprecedented.
trips are part of the Global Health Initiative (GHI), introduced
in 2004 as a collaboration between the Kellogg School and
the McCormick School of Engineering. As part of a grant received
by Northwestern University from the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation in August 2006, GHI will research and develop affordable
diagnostic devices for testing and treating HIV. GHI is integrated
into existing Kellogg programs, including Kellogg Corps, a
service initiative founded in 1996. To date, the program has
sent more than 200 Kellogg volunteers to about 30 developing
countries, including those traveling to Africa this year.
part of the grant, Abbott and Inverness Medical donated access
to intellectual property for two types of HIV diagnostic tests.
These tests are expensive and require resources, such as electric
and trained personnel, uncommon in rural Africa. "We
are trying to bring ground-breaking technology to people who
really need it," Wilson says. "We're bringing techniques
and applying our Kellogg knowledge in a setting that is new."
research builds on studies done by students in March through
Initiatives in Management
trip to Africa. Kara Palamountain '04, GHI executive
director, says the students who conducted that work in Zambia
and South Africa provided feedback on best practices that
the Kellogg Corps participants are applying as they meet with
clinicians and patients in some 40 clinics.
is leading one group, which is conducting research in Tanzania,
Uganda and Rwanda, while Palamountain is heading the other
group, working in South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi
and Zambia — all countries with high rates of HIV infection.
Besides the leaders, the teams include six Kellogg graduates,
one Northwestern medical resident and two medical students.
says the participants prepared logistically for the excursion,
but also took supplemental non-credit classes, learning about
HIV and AIDS. The graduates will go on to pursue their careers,
but GHI's research will continue. Each team will report its
findings, and Palamountain says that enrolled students will
synthesize the data and begin working with a team of McCormick
scientists and engineers to develop machine prototypes. By
next summer, GHI leaders plan to assess whether the prototypes
work in clinical settings, an effort that could lead to eventual
with GHI: Do you have contacts in resource-limited healthcare
settings? Do you have experience in infectious disease diagnostics?
If so, contact: email@example.com