Majors

At Duke Kunshan University, each major consists of an interdisciplinary set of courses that integrate different forms of knowledge and a distinct set of disciplinary courses that provide expertise in specific areas.

Global Health(Tracks: Biology and Public Policy)
The global health major introduces students to global health as an area of study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. The Biology track within the Global Health major is designed for students interested in a biological perspective on global health, in particular cell and molecular biology, infectious diseases, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology. The Public Policy track is designed for students most interested in the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of global health.
GLOBAL HEALTH/BIOLOGY

Required Courses

Divisional Foundation Courses
Interdisciplinary Courses
And choose one from the following three courses
And choose one from the following four courses
Disciplinary Courses

Recommended Electives for the Major

Courses listed below are recommended electives for the major. Students can also select other courses in different divisions as electives.

GLOBAL HEALTH/PUBLIC POLICY

Required Courses

Divisional Foundation Courses
Interdisciplinary Courses
And choose one from the following three courses
And choose one from the following four courses
Disciplinary Courses
And choose one course from the following two courses

Recommended Electives for the Major

Courses listed below are recommended electives for the major. Students can also select other courses in different divisions as electives.

Career Path

Graduates can enter global health professions at the national or international levels such as non-governmental organizations, government agencies, biotechnology companies, health care organizations, research institutions and others. Students can also pursue graduate study in public policy, biology, public health, and other areas.

Mathematical Foundations 1

The fundamental concepts and tools of calculus, probability, and linear algebra are essential to modern sciences, from the theories of physics and chemistry that have long been tightly coupled to mathematical ideas, to the collection and analysis of data on complex biological systems. Given the emerging technologies for collecting and sharing large data sets, some familiarity with computational and statistical methods is now also essential for modeling biological and physical systems and interpreting experimental results. MF1 is an introduction to differential and integral calculus that focuses on the concepts necessary for understanding the meaning of differential equations and their solutions. It includes an introduction to a software package for numerical solution of ordinary differential equations.

Integrated Science 1

This course focuses on the concept of energy and its relevance for explaining the behavior of natural systems. The conservation of energy and the transformations of energy from one form to another are crucial to the function of all systems, including familiar mechanical devices, molecular structures and reactions, and living organisms and ecosystems. By integrating perspectives from physics, chemistry, and biology, this course helps students see both the elegant simplicity of universal laws governing all physical systems and the intricate mechanisms at play in the biosphere. Topics include kinetic energy, potential energy, quantization of energy, energy conservation, cosmological and ecological processes.

Mathematical Foundations 2

The fundamental concepts and tools of calculus, probability, and linear algebra are essential to modern sciences, from the theories of physics and chemistry that have long been tightly coupled to mathematical ideas, to the collection and analysis of data on complex biological systems. Given the emerging technologies for collecting and sharing large data sets, some familiarity with computational and statistical methods is now also essential for modeling biological and physical systems and interpreting experimental results. MF2 is an introduction to probability and statistics with an emphasis on concepts relevant for the analysis of complex data sets. It includes an introduction to the fundamental concepts of matrices, eigenvectors, and eigenvalues.

Integrated Science 2

This course focuses on the collective behavior of systems composed of many interacting components. The phenomena of interest range from the simple relaxation of a gas into an equilibrium state of well-defined pressure and temperature to the emergence of ever increasing complexity in living organisms and the biosphere. The course provides an overview of some fundamental differences between traditional disciplines as well as indications of how they complement each other some important contexts. Topics include thermodynamic (statistical mechanical) equilibrium, fundamental concepts of temperature, entropy, free energy, and chemical equilibrium, driven systems, fundamentals of biological and ecological systems.

Integrated Science 3

Integrated Science 3 emphasizes the physics and chemistry concepts of oscillating systems, waves, and fields, and includes applications to human perception. In addition to their fundamental importance to physics and chemistry proper, these ideas are essential for developing an awareness of the principles employed by engineers in the construction of the electrical and optical devices that are ubiquitous in modern civilization. Topics include harmonic oscillators, sound waves, light, and reaction-diffusion patterns.

Integrated Science 4

Integrated Science 4 has more of a chemistry/biology emphasis, with physics brought to bear as needed. It treats topics relevant to understanding organisms, biochemical engineering, and the environment. Topics include evolution, modern biology, ecosystems, hydrology, and climate.

Scientific Writing and Presentations I

Scientific Writing and Presentations cover some of the areas of scientific communication that a scientist needs to know and to master in order to successfully promote his or her research and career. Students will learn to recognize and construct logical arguments and become familiar with the structure of common publication formats. It will help students to advance their skills in communicating findings in textual, visual and verbal formats for a variety of audiences.

Scientific Writing and Presentations II

Scientific Writing and Presentations cover some of the areas of scientific communication that a scientist needs to know and to master in order to successfully promote his or her research and career. Students will learn to recognize and construct logical arguments and become familiar with the structure of common publication formats. It will help students to advance their skills in communicating findings in textual, visual and verbal formats for a variety of audiences.

Introduction to Global Health

This course introduces students to the essential features of global health from the varying perspectives of natural science, social science, and the humanities, drawing from a variety of conceptual frameworks at different scales (individual, community, country, and global). This course examines the global burden of diseases, how this burden is measured, and debate the utility of interventions used for disease mitigation and prevention. This course also introduces the state of the world’s global health infrastructure and explores how that infrastructure might or should adapt to the future world.

Global Health Ethics

This course introduces students to ethical theories and frameworks in the context of historical and current issues in global health. As part of this context students learn about best practices and standards of care in clinical settings, so that they can make cross-cultural and transnational comparisons and use these to set up difficult ethical questions about health disparities. The course emphasizes self-reflection, cultural sensitivity, and flexibility in thinking about ethical issues in a globalized world. In the context of historical and current issues, students analyze and critique the choices of multinational, national, and local policymakers; clinicians; and researchers, with an eye to the impact these choices have on individuals, families, and communities. Students also explore ethical issues of conducting research on or working with marginalized/stigmatized populations, using case studies and the theoretical frameworks introduced in the course. Students are encouraged to think creatively about the relationship between ethics and health and to explore solutions to what appear to be ethical dilemmas in a variety of contexts. Topics include: human rights and development; the ethics of aid; differential standards of care; protection of human subjects; access to essential medicines; genetic information and confidentiality; pharmaceutical development; health information technology; placebo controlled trials; best outcomes vs. distributive justice.

Global Health Research Methods

This course introduces research methods in global health. Global health is a multi-disciplinary field, so the course considers approaches common to the behavioral and social sciences, public health, and medicine. Primary interest is the study of causal inference. Global health researchers, practitioners, and donors need to know what programs and interventions “work” and why. To answer questions of impact, the course explores randomized controlled trials, a mainstay of medical research, and spends significant time helping students understand the rationale, process, and limitations of field experiments. Randomization is not always possible or advisable, however, and researchers must build a causal argument using non-experimental methods. The course reviews several approaches, considers relevant threats to causal inference, and discusses how to improve non-experimental research designs. The course also covers research basics, such as developing and testing theory, asking good questions, understanding variability, designing good measurement, and selecting research participants. The latter part of the course turns to more specialized topics in global health research, such as cost effectiveness, community based participatory research, research on humanitarian aid, and monitoring and evaluation. Students will learn how to evaluate published and unpublished research and how to design a global health research project.

Social Determinants of Health

This course introduces students to the major social factors that affect public health at both the global and national level. Globally, students study a wide range of topics from the health impact of global income inequality, gender, and access to education, to the role of specific work place policies, among other topics. Lectures introduce a social variable (such as race or gender), discuss its theoretical underpinnings, and then link it to the current empirical evidence to health outcomes. Students learn to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the empirical evidence. The course considers the implications for intervention strategies and policy, with a focus on applicability to lower and middle-income country settings. Students also study how social factors influence health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on national context in specific countries. Topics could include obesity, aging, socioeconomic disadvantage, access to health insurance, public health systems, the role of the media, and racial/ethnic and gender inequalities. The course provides descriptive assessments of health inequalities and analytic examinations of the mechanisms through which social factors affect health.

Cell and Molecular Biology

Introduces major concepts in eukaryotic cell biology with a focus on molecular biology. A major emphasis is placed on transcription, translation, protein targeting and transport. In addition, the structure and function of organelles and how they function in metabolism and energetics will be examined. The role of the cytoskeleton and extra cellular matrix in governing cell shape and motility will be addressed as well as the genetic regulation of DNA replication and its place in the cell cycle and how disruption of either can lead to cancer. The laboratory portion of the class would introduce common laboratory molecular biology techniques like DNA isolation, PCR, cloning, sequencing, immunocytochemistry and fluorescent microscopy.

Microbiology

This course examines a number of different types of microbes including bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses. Classical and modern approaches to the study of microorganisms and their roles/applications in everyday life, food, medicine, research and the environment. Topics covered include microbial cell structure/function, growth, genetics, energetics/metabolism, evolution and ecology. Virology topics include structure, life cycle, modes of transmission and host ranges. Additional examination of the role of microorganisms in disease, infection and immunology. The laboratory portion would stress aseptic technique and microbial culture; molecular, cytochemical, and physiological tests for microbial identification; and fermentation and its products for food and industrial production.

Ecology of Human Health

Humans are the dominant species on Earth and ecology is key to understanding the multiple feedbacks through which their activities affect human health. Fundamental principles of ecology, from population to ecosystem levels, will be examined through the lens of human health. Topics include human population growth and carrying capacity, why we age, infectious disease dynamics, the microbiome and human health, sustainable agriculture and food security, sustainable harvest of wild foods, dynamics of pollutants in food webs, ecosystem services to humans, and human impacts of climate change.

Genomics and Evolution

Examines the structure and function of genomics and the flow of genomicgenetic information from parent to progeny and through populations. Changes in genetic makeup underlie important biological processes from disease to adaptation and evolution. Topics include classical transmission genetics (inheritance, assortment, recombination), bacterial and phage genetics, gene regulation, genome structure and stability, mutation and repair, population geneticsgenomics, complex trait inheritance and genomic technologiesevaluation and modern genomic techniques. The laboratory portion examines genetic inheritance in common laboratory model systems like yeast and Drosophila with projects that show what can be learned about gene function by the examination of mutants. Mutants will be created by random mutagenesis as well as targeted recombination and CRISPR.

Introduction to Biochemistry

Provides an introduction to the chemistry of biological macromolecules from the single molecule to cellular metabolism to the whole organism level. Protein biochemistry topics include protein synthesis, folding and structure, enzyme catalysis and kinetics, and analysis methods. Cellular metabolism topics include glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, the Krebs cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. Whole organism biochemistry/physiology topics include glycogen storage, insulin signaling and diabetes. The laboratory portion will focus on protein purification and enzymatics. Students will isolate specific proteins from both native sample and E. coli and characterize the enzyme kinetics of their purified samples.

Cell Signaling and Diseases

During the past several decades, exploration in basic research has yielded extensive knowledge about the numerous and intricate signaling processes involved in the development and maintenance of a functional organism. In order to demonstrate the importance and processes of cellular communication, this course will focus on cell signaling mechanisms and diseases resulting from their malfunction, such as cancer, stroke, and neuron degeneration (including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Students will be exposed to current literature and cutting edge knowledge.

Cancer Genetics

Overview of the genetic changes associated with cancer and the molecular events that transform normal cellular processes into tumor-promoting conditions. Topics include: tumor viruses, oncogenes, growth factors, signal transduction pathways, tumor suppressors, cell cycle control, apoptosis, genome instability, stem cells, metastasis, and current therapeutic approaches.

Evolution of Infectious Diseases

Covers the physiology and the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a suite of infectious diseases. Case studies include influenza, cholera, HIV, and myxomatosis, among others, with an emphasis on pathogens infecting humans. Topics include: basic immunology, the physiology of different disease processes and transmission, the role of population size on disease transmission, the effects of climate and behavioral changes on disease dynamics, networks of disease spread, spatial spread of disease, evolution of virulence, antigenic evolution, emerging infectious diseases.

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

The structure, function and evolution of the vertebrate body systems including skeletal, digestive, circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems. Emphasis on understanding the functional, evolutionary and developmental basis for the similarities and difference observed among living vertebrates. In addition, examination of the physiological principles that function within these systems using examples like neural control, gas exchange, movement, excretion and metabolism. The laboratory portion will examine the various systems (muscular, skeletal, nervous, etc.) of human and non-human anatomical specimens. It will also include experiments examining the physiological aspects of the nervous, and respiratory systems.

Developmental Biology: Development, Stem Cells, and Regeneration

Mechanisms of fertilization, control of cell divisions, diversification of cell types, organization and differentiation of cells and tissues of the organism, and patterning necessary to establish the body plan of many organisms including vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Included among these mechanisms are the roles of transcription factors in controlling the trajectories toward tissues, signal transduction, morphogenetic movements, and other mechanisms used by different plants and animals to build a functional adult. Also includes stem cell biology, regeneration of tissues, sex determination, and evolutionary mechanisms of diversification.

Global Disease Control Programs and Policies

This course presents the history, social and political context, organization, technical content, funding and evaluation of current, major, global initiatives for disease control. This course emphasizes programs focused on health problems of the developing world and includes, initiatives for vaccines and immunization, non-communicable diseases, safe motherhood and reproductive health, malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases, HIV, emerging infectious diseases, TB, tobacco control, nutritional interventions and injury control. This course also examines the process of policy formulation and resource allocation to international health and disease control.

Global Comparative Health Care Systems

This course introduces students to the components of health systems (populations, financing, payment, workforce, service delivery, information, medicines and technologies, governance) as they appear in various health system frameworks, and to the ways in which these components and their combinations vary from country to country around the world. The course focuses on comparisons across countries at the same economic level (high-, middle-, and low-income), as well as on comparisons across levels. The course also considers how to assess health system performance, with attention to how measures of performance are invariably tied to often implicit and varying conceptions of health from country to country and culture to culture. Students will learn about the most significant challenges facing health systems within each economic level and about successes and failures in meeting these challenges with health system reforms. The latter part of the course introduces students to the role of politics and policy in strengthening health systems. Throughout the course, students learn not only about health systems but also about what systems (physical, biological, social) are, how they function, and about how systems thinking can be applied fruitfully to the study of health systems.

Global Health Governance and Policy

This course introduces global health governance and policy in four modules: 1. Globalization; 2. Health; 3. Governance; 4. Policy. Draws on faculty from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, biology, economics, history, medicine, political science, public policy, and sociology, to situate the concept and practice of “global health” within these four broad themes. This course introduces students to the primary governmental, intergovernmental, private, and civil society actors in global health, and provides an understanding of current issues in global health policy, including the political economies of health care, decision-making processes, governance structures, and the resource-constrained realities of global health policy-making.

Biological Basis of Disease

This course covers the basics of the structure and function of major organ systems of the human body in health and disease. The course is geared towards any students who are interested in learning more about how the human body works, how disease develops, and how mind-body connections can alleviate the progression of a disease process.

Evolution of Health and Disease

Covers evolutionary approaches to understand human health and disease at a global scale. Integration of evolutionary thinking and medical science provides new insights to a wide array of medical issues including obesity, cancer, allergies, and mental illness. Evolutionary perspectives reveal why some pathogens are more harmful than others, shed light on the origins and spread of infectious diseases in humans, and help in controlling antibiotic resistance. Evolutionary approaches provide insights as to why we age and provide solutions to alleviate human health problems that often differ from modern medical practice. Course will place these perspectives in the context of global health challenges.

Ecosystem Health and Human Well-Being

Explores interactions between ecosystem health and human well-being in context of global change and human population growth. Effects of climate change on food supply, water availability, land degradation and human well-being; impact of species distribution, disease spread, and human health; ecosystem services and human well-being. Case studies used to illustrate the scientific process and to evaluate supporting evidence.

Global Mental Health

Course examines global mental health from perspectives of culture, public health, epidemiology, human rights, policy, and intervention. Readings in the course focus on peer-reviewed research literature highlighting topics such as the prevalence of mental health disorders worldwide, the role of culture in mental health, and the interventions backed by strong evidence for prevention and treatment. Students will discuss and critique study methodologies and explore the needs for future research in this emerging field. Course is designed for students with prior research methods and psychology coursework.

Molecular, Behavioral and Social Evolution: Evolution of Genomes, Traits, Behaviors and Societies

Looks through the lenses of different disciplines to examine Darwin’s theories on natural selection and evolution, and explore current ideas about the evolution of complex social behaviors and societies. This course starts with an introduction to the key concepts of biological evolution; variation, inheritance, fitness, natural selection and the modification of physical traits, followed by an examination of how simple behaviors evolved in animals and humans. Discussion of these topics also considers ideas from other disciplines that influenced Darwin, such as those of economist, Thomas Malthus and geologist, Charles Lyell. The second part of the course investigates how Darwin’s theories might also explain the evolution of social behaviors such as cooperation, altruism and language, and considers some contemporary theories about the evolution of societies. Finally, the course will end with an investigation of Darwin’s influence on important ideas within other disciplines such as those of political theorist; Karl Marx, psychologist; William James and philosopher/sociologist; Herbert Spencer.

Mathematical Foundations 1

The fundamental concepts and tools of calculus, probability, and linear algebra are essential to modern sciences, from the theories of physics and chemistry that have long been tightly coupled to mathematical ideas, to the collection and analysis of data on complex biological systems. Given the emerging technologies for collecting and sharing large data sets, some familiarity with computational and statistical methods is now also essential for modeling biological and physical systems and interpreting experimental results. MF1 is an introduction to differential and integral calculus that focuses on the concepts necessary for understanding the meaning of differential equations and their solutions. It includes an introduction to a software package for numerical solution of ordinary differential equations.

Integrated Science 1

This course focuses on the concept of energy and its relevance for explaining the behavior of natural systems. The conservation of energy and the transformations of energy from one form to another are crucial to the function of all systems, including familiar mechanical devices, molecular structures and reactions, and living organisms and ecosystems. By integrating perspectives from physics, chemistry, and biology, this course helps students see both the elegant simplicity of universal laws governing all physical systems and the intricate mechanisms at play in the biosphere. Topics include kinetic energy, potential energy, quantization of energy, energy conservation, cosmological and ecological processes.

Foundational Questions in Social Science

People everywhere ponder and debate fundamental questions: What does it mean to be human? How is society to be ordered? What is a moral life? Our ancestors asked such questions as well: it is likely that those questions lie at the origins of humanity itself. They also provide the foundations for much of the most important research in the social sciences today. This course examines the ways in which social scientists from a diversity of disciplines approach these fundamental questions. Study material for the course will include foundational texts from across the social sciences, as well as cutting-edge research from the present day. This course will not attempt to answer these vast questions, or provide neat solutions for students: rather, we want to excite students about the social sciences and whet their appetites for further study.

Introduction to Research Methods

This course provides students with an understanding of research designs and research methods used in the social sciences. Students will learn about the scientific method, research methods and design, measurement, and ethical issues. Topics include quantitative and qualitative approaches, as well as mixed methods.

Introduction to Global Health

This course introduces students to the essential features of global health from the varying perspectives of natural science, social science, and the humanities, drawing from a variety of conceptual frameworks at different scales (individual, community, country, and global). This course examines the global burden of diseases, how this burden is measured, and debate the utility of interventions used for disease mitigation and prevention. This course also introduces the state of the world’s global health infrastructure and explores how that infrastructure might or should adapt to the future world.

Global Health Ethics

This course introduces students to ethical theories and frameworks in the context of historical and current issues in global health. As part of this context students learn about best practices and standards of care in clinical settings, so that they can make cross-cultural and transnational comparisons and use these to set up difficult ethical questions about health disparities. The course emphasizes self-reflection, cultural sensitivity, and flexibility in thinking about ethical issues in a globalized world. In the context of historical and current issues, students analyze and critique the choices of multinational, national, and local policymakers; clinicians; and researchers, with an eye to the impact these choices have on individuals, families, and communities. Students also explore ethical issues of conducting research on or working with marginalized/stigmatized populations, using case studies and the theoretical frameworks introduced in the course. Students are encouraged to think creatively about the relationship between ethics and health and to explore solutions to what appear to be ethical dilemmas in a variety of contexts. Topics include: human rights and development; the ethics of aid; differential standards of care; protection of human subjects; access to essential medicines; genetic information and confidentiality; pharmaceutical development; health information technology; placebo controlled trials; best outcomes vs. distributive justice.

Global Health Research Methods

This course introduces research methods in global health. Global health is a multi-disciplinary field, so the course considers approaches common to the behavioral and social sciences, public health, and medicine. Primary interest is the study of causal inference. Global health researchers, practitioners, and donors need to know what programs and interventions “work” and why. To answer questions of impact, the course explores randomized controlled trials, a mainstay of medical research, and spends significant time helping students understand the rationale, process, and limitations of field experiments. Randomization is not always possible or advisable, however, and researchers must build a causal argument using non-experimental methods. The course reviews several approaches, considers relevant threats to causal inference, and discusses how to improve non-experimental research designs. The course also covers research basics, such as developing and testing theory, asking good questions, understanding variability, designing good measurement, and selecting research participants. The latter part of the course turns to more specialized topics in global health research, such as cost effectiveness, community based participatory research, research on humanitarian aid, and monitoring and evaluation. Students will learn how to evaluate published and unpublished research and how to design a global health research project.

Social Determinants of Health

This course introduces students to the major social factors that affect public health at both the global and national level. Globally, students study a wide range of topics from the health impact of global income inequality, gender, and access to education, to the role of specific work place policies, among other topics. Lectures introduce a social variable (such as race or gender), discuss its theoretical underpinnings, and then link it to the current empirical evidence to health outcomes. Students learn to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the empirical evidence. The course considers the implications for intervention strategies and policy, with a focus on applicability to lower and middle-income country settings. Students also study how social factors influence health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on national context in specific countries. Topics could include obesity, aging, socioeconomic disadvantage, access to health insurance, public health systems, the role of the media, and racial/ethnic and gender inequalities. The course provides descriptive assessments of health inequalities and analytic examinations of the mechanisms through which social factors affect health.

Introduction to Policy Analysis

Basic concepts of analytical thinking including quantitative methods for assessing the probabilities of outcomes and appraising policy alternatives. Illustrated by problems faced by busy decision makers in government, business, law, medicine.

Political Analysis for Public Policy

Analysis of the political and organizational processes which influence the formulation and implementation of public policy. Alternative models.

Introduction to Statistical Methods

This course covers techniques for organizing data, computing, and interpreting measures of central tendency, variability, and association. Estimation, confidence intervals, tests of hypotheses, t-tests, correlation, and regression. Possible topics: analysis of variance and chi-square tests, computer statistical packages.

Policy Choice as Value Conflict

Public policy should be informed by evidence and facts, but it cannot be determined by them. People disagree about public policy not only because they disagree about empirical matters but also because they hold different understandings of familiar political concepts and they assign different weightings to competing political values. This course aims both to illustrate these general propositions and, more importantly, to introduce the tools and techniques with which one can construct and critique reasoned arguments about the political concepts and values that underpin policy choice. The course will be divided into four sections, each of which focuses on a set of contemporary policy disputes whose resolution depends upon clarifying and justifying our understanding of an underlying political concept and its associated values. The four concepts whose policy implications we shall explore are: democracy, justice, liberty, and rights. Readings are mostly works of contemporary political philosophy.

Microeconomic Policy Tools

Development and application of analytical economic tools in a policy environment. Emphasis on application of economic methods in a variety of policy settings and developing testable hypotheses that might be used to guide economic policy. Analytical topics include willingness to pay, derived demand, multi-market interactions, comparative advantage, investment analysis, and decision making under uncertainty. Applications include tax analysis, including incidence, effective protection, shadow pricing, introduction to government expenditures, labor market policy, examples of regulation and pricing externalities.

Intermediate Microeconomics I

Introduction of the concepts of preferences and technologies. Intermediate development of the theory of demand, supply and competitive equilibrium from individual preferences and technologies. Income and substitution effects, uncompensated demand and marginal willingness to pay. Conditions under which competitive markets result in efficient outcomes. Conditions under which government policy has the potential to increase efficiency. Tension between economic efficiency and different notions of equity.

Introduction to the United States Health Care System

Overview of the key health policy issues in the United States. Topics include: (1) sources of morbidity and mortality; (2) access to health care; (3) financing of health care including an overview of how health insurance works, Medicare and Medicaid and why there are uninsured persons and to what effect; (4) quality of health care; (5) the role of innovation in both treating disease and influencing costs; (6) mental health, including why drug and alcohol treatment is generally considered to be a mental health service; (7) the role of non-profit versus for-profit ownership of health care facilities and to what effect; (8) long term care; and (9) the impact of social phenomenon such as income inequality, social class and culture on health care.

War and Public Health in Africa

An inquiry into the nature of contemporary war in sub-Saharan Africa and its human cost. Uses public health as a parameter to assess the impact of organized collective violence on people’s lives. Link between war and public health established and measured with respect to civilian deaths, gender based violence, physical and psychological trauma, mental disorders, malnutrition and famine, and the spread of epidemic diseases, inter alia HIV/AIDS. Special attention is given to rape as “a weapon of war”, to the trafficking of human beings in war zones, the child soldier phenomenon, and to death counts as a vector of humanitarian or political advocacy.

International Development and Poverty

What factors account for the persistence of poverty in some countries? Is it always going to be the same way – i.e., will poor people remain poor within the foreseeable future – or can something be done to reduce poverty (or at least alleviate its most painful consequences)? Academics and policymakers have come up with alternative formulations as they have attempted to deal with poverty over the last 50 years. This class provides students with an overview of social and economic development in developing countries since the early 1950s. What problems do residents of developing countries face, what kinds of solutions have been advanced to deal with these problems, how have different solutions fared in practice, and what needs to be done now and in future? The course traces how development practice has evolved in the theoretical literature, and students use this knowledge to investigate what needs to be done now and in future.

Global Comparative Health Care Systems

This course introduces students to the components of health systems (populations, financing, payment, workforce, service delivery, information, medicines and technologies, governance) as they appear in various health system frameworks, and to the ways in which these components and their combinations vary from country to country around the world. The course focuses on comparisons across countries at the same economic level (high-, middle-, and low-income), as well as on comparisons across levels. The course also considers how to assess health system performance, with attention to how measures of performance are invariably tied to often implicit and varying conceptions of health from country to country and culture to culture. Students will learn about the most significant challenges facing health systems within each economic level and about successes and failures in meeting these challenges with health system reforms. The latter part of the course introduces students to the role of politics and policy in strengthening health systems. Throughout the course, students learn not only about health systems but also about what systems (physical, biological, social) are, how they function, and about how systems thinking can be applied fruitfully to the study of health systems.

Global Health Governance

Health issues are rarely isolated. They cross borders and travel through human and non-human channels around the globe. Global health governance takes place through both multilateral discussions between nations as well as through a variety of organizations that have been created to address the expected and unexpected consequences of global health issues. This course introduces students to the primary governmental, intergovernmental, private, and civil society actors in global health, offering both a history of how and when these actors came to be, and an account of their shifting interrelationships in the face of evolving global health crises. Students learn about the post-World War II development of the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the United Nations and its agencies on one hand, and about the parallel development of civil society organizations like OXFAM, CARE, and Catholic Relief Services on the other. The course then explores the development of governmental organizations like the CDC and USAID in the United States and an DFID in the United Kingdom, and, in the 1990s and 2000s, the addition of large private actors like the Gates Foundation and new models of governance like the Global Fund and UNAIDS. The course examines the tensions, struggles, challenges, and successes of these international organizations and their relationships and processes, through case studies of how these organizations have interacted, individually and collectively, with various countries and communities in which global health crises have emerged. In this way, the course uses global health governance as a lens through which to view many of the driving issues in global health: HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and a rising tide of new infectious diseases; the alarming global spread of diabetes, obesity, and cancer; the persistence of malnutrition and the deaths of children under five; violence, war, and mental health; and the continuing challenges of reproductive and maternal health. The solutions to all of these pressing global health issues, and many others as well, will be a product of global health governance.

Media and Health Communication

This course examines health communication theory, research, and practice. Major topics include the impact of media on health and behavior; use of mass, new, and social media strategies for health promotion, patient-provider communication; and the role of culture in health communication campaign design. Students should have basic understanding of social science research methods. Students will develop the skills necessary to use media strategically to advance public health policies and social change. The course covers the design, implementation and evaluation of media campaigns to promote public health goals, and examines theories and research on media influences with respect to its potential harmful effects on wellbeing. Students will design a digital media-based health communication campaign.

Global Disease Control Programs and Policies

This course presents the history, social and political context, organization, technical content, funding and evaluation of current, major, global initiatives for disease control. This course emphasizes programs focused on health problems of the developing world and includes, initiatives for vaccines and immunization, non-communicable diseases, safe motherhood and reproductive health, malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases, HIV, emerging infectious diseases, TB, tobacco control, nutritional interventions and injury control. This course also examines the process of policy formulation and resource allocation to international health and disease control.

Global Comparative Health Care Systems

This course introduces students to the components of health systems (populations, financing, payment, workforce, service delivery, information, medicines and technologies, governance) as they appear in various health system frameworks, and to the ways in which these components and their combinations vary from country to country around the world. The course focuses on comparisons across countries at the same economic level (high-, middle-, and low-income), as well as on comparisons across levels. The course also considers how to assess health system performance, with attention to how measures of performance are invariably tied to often implicit and varying conceptions of health from country to country and culture to culture. Students will learn about the most significant challenges facing health systems within each economic level and about successes and failures in meeting these challenges with health system reforms. The latter part of the course introduces students to the role of politics and policy in strengthening health systems. Throughout the course, students learn not only about health systems but also about what systems (physical, biological, social) are, how they function, and about how systems thinking can be applied fruitfully to the study of health systems.

Global Health Governance and Policy

This course introduces global health governance and policy in four modules: 1. Globalization; 2. Health; 3. Governance; 4. Policy. Draws on faculty from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, biology, economics, history, medicine, political science, public policy, and sociology, to situate the concept and practice of “global health” within these four broad themes. This course introduces students to the primary governmental, intergovernmental, private, and civil society actors in global health, and provides an understanding of current issues in global health policy, including the political economies of health care, decision-making processes, governance structures, and the resource-constrained realities of global health policy-making.

Biological Basis of Disease

This course covers the basics of the structure and function of major organ systems of the human body in health and disease. The course is geared towards any students who are interested in learning more about how the human body works, how disease develops, and how mind-body connections can alleviate the progression of a disease process.

Evolution of Health and Disease

Covers evolutionary approaches to understand human health and disease at a global scale. Integration of evolutionary thinking and medical science provides new insights to a wide array of medical issues including obesity, cancer, allergies, and mental illness. Evolutionary perspectives reveal why some pathogens are more harmful than others, shed light on the origins and spread of infectious diseases in humans, and help in controlling antibiotic resistance. Evolutionary approaches provide insights as to why we age and provide solutions to alleviate human health problems that often differ from modern medical practice. Course will place these perspectives in the context of global health challenges.

Ecosystem Health and Human Well-Being

Explores interactions between ecosystem health and human well-being in context of global change and human population growth. Effects of climate change on food supply, water availability, land degradation and human well-being; impact of species distribution, disease spread, and human health; ecosystem services and human well-being. Case studies used to illustrate the scientific process and to evaluate supporting evidence.

Global Mental Health

Course examines global mental health from perspectives of culture, public health, epidemiology, human rights, policy, and intervention. Readings in the course focus on peer-reviewed research literature highlighting topics such as the prevalence of mental health disorders worldwide, the role of culture in mental health, and the interventions backed by strong evidence for prevention and treatment. Students will discuss and critique study methodologies and explore the needs for future research in this emerging field. Course is designed for students with prior research methods and psychology coursework.

Social Determinants of Health

This course introduces students to the major social factors that affect public health at both the global and national level. Globally, students study a wide range of topics from the health impact of global income inequality, gender, and access to education, to the role of specific work place policies, among other topics. Lectures introduce a social variable (such as race or gender), discuss its theoretical underpinnings, and then link it to the current empirical evidence to health outcomes. Students learn to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the empirical evidence. The course considers the implications for intervention strategies and policy, with a focus on applicability to lower and middle-income country settings. Students also study how social factors influence health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on national context in specific countries. Topics could include obesity, aging, socioeconomic disadvantage, access to health insurance, public health systems, the role of the media, and racial/ethnic and gender inequalities. The course provides descriptive assessments of health inequalities and analytic examinations of the mechanisms through which social factors affect health.