Department of Global Health & Emerging Diseases Faculty Skip Menu Navigate: Select to Navigate... - GHED Home - About GHED -- What are Global Health and Emerging Diseases? -- Vision, Mission and Values -- Strategic Focus Areas -- Job Opportunities - Who We Are -- Faculty and Staff -- UTMB Partner Organizations - Where We Work - Study With Us -- Prospective Students -- Academic Programs - Research -- Academic Skills Building -- Biosafety Training at UTMB - Global Health News - Media -- Publications - Contact Us GHED Home About GHED What are Global Health and Emerging Diseases? Vision, Mission and Values Strategic Focus Areas Job Opportunities Who We Are Faculty and Staff UTMB Partner Organizations Where We Work Study With Us Prospective Students Academic Programs Research Academic Skills Building Biosafety Training at UTMB Global Health News Media Publications Contact Us Chair, ad interim, Faculty GHED - Faculty & Staff Matthew Dacso, MD, MSc Aerospace Medicine Program Faculty GHED - Aerospace Med. Faculty Ronak V. Shah, DO, MBA, MPH Director Close Ronak V. Shah, DO, MBA, MPH Associate ProfessorDirector, Aerospace Medicine Board Certification:Internal MedicinePreventive Medicine — Aerospace Medicine Serena Auñon-Chancellor, MD, MPH Close Serena Auñon-Chancellor, MD, MPH Clinical Assistant ProfessorProgram Director, Aerospace Medicine ResidencyBoard Certification:American Board of Internal MedicinePreventive Medicine – Aerospace Medicine Amy Kreykes, MD, MPH Close Amy Kreykes, MD, MPH Assistant ProfessorAssociate Program Director,Aerospace Medicine ResidencyBoard Certification:Family MedicineSports MedicinePreventive Medicine – Aerospace Medicine Natasha Chough, MD, MPH Close Natasha Chough, MD, MPH Clinical Assistant ProfessorFlight SurgeonBoard Certification:American Board of Emergency MedicinePreventive Medicine – Aerospace Medicine Adjunct Faculty GHED - Faculty & Staff Miles Farr, MD, MPH Close Miles Farr, MD, MPH Laurie Farroni, DPT, PT, PCS Close Laurie Farroni, DPT, PT, PCS Dr. Farroni is the Assistant Dean for Global Outreach and Community Engagement at UTMB’s School of Health Professions, an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and a Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist. As a seasoned clinician and rehabilitation educator, she is passionate about developing health care professionals who will deliver compassionate, patient centered care that is sustainable for dedicated professionals working in complex health systems. She has supported and developed multiple international partnerships focusing on community driven, local clinician and educator rehabilitation training that integrates allied health student experiences. In the Galveston community she partners with multiple organizations to promote health, inclusivity, and advocacy for persons with disabilities. Michael Goodman, MDiv, MPH, DrPH Close Michael Goodman, MDiv, MPH, DrPH Dr. Michael Goodman is adjuct faculty in the Department of Global Health and Emerging Diseases, and an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. His interests revolve around the socio-ecologies of risk, resilience and flourishing for children, families and communities in adversity; and evidence- and theory-supported mechanisms to measure, optimize, and scale effective interventions to improve environmental, economic, social, behavioral, psychological and clinical outcomes across socioecological levels. His work has lead to innovative, effective models to support the reintegration of children living on Kenyan streets, foster flourishing communities, and integrate digital technological platforms with community-based interventions. He is currently funded on a K01 project to adapt the Flourishing Community model to families and communities directly impacted by HIV in Kenya. Gregory Gray, MD, MPH Close Gregory Gray, MD, MPH Gregory C. Gray, MD, MPH is the Robert E. Shope, MD, Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the Departments of Internal Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Microbiology & Immunology, Global Health & Emerging Diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.Professor Gray received his medical degree, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama, his Masters in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene & Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, and his Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He underwent residency training at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, District of Columbia. His medical boards are in Preventive Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Gray has conducted diverse epidemiological studies of infectious diseases for more than 25 years in 5 continents. He has authored more than 370 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. Much of his work has involved studying human and zoonotic respiratory viruses. These include: human and animal influenza A viruses, influenza D viruses, human and animal adenoviruses, human enteroviruses, human and animal coronaviruses, human metapneumovirus, human and bovine respiratory syncytial viruses, and human parainfluenza viruses 1-4. Dr. Gray and his colleagues have recently detected, cultured, and characterized a novel canine-like coronavirus that has been associated with human respiratory disease in both Malaysia and Haiti.Professor Gray’s current research is summarized on the UTMB One Health web site: https://www.utmb.edu/one-health/research/publicationsA strong supporter for the One Health approach, he has won multiple One Health research and training grants, helped to established centers of One Health (USA, Romania, China) and developed four graduate programs in One Health (PhD, MHS, and certificates).Professor Gray is a Fellow in the Infectious Diseases Society and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Shannon Guillot-Wright, PhD Close Shannon Guillot-Wright, PhD Shannon Guillot-Wright, PhD is an Associate Professor at UTHealth Houston's School of Public Health and holds an affiliation in the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and the Center for Health Equity. She is also the Director of Health Policy Research at the Center for Violence Prevention. Her program of research focuses on occupational health equity and the use of evidence in policymaking, with an emphasis on structural violence and social justice. She is particularly interested in understanding power, influence, and social change. Dr. Guillot-Wright’s research is grounded in community based participatory research principles and her methodology is ethnographic, including photovoice and digital storytelling. She has collaborated with im/migrant and low SES waterfront workers since 2016 to examine how precarious employment shapes health inequities, as well as the broader impact of social, structural, and political economic factors on people’s health. To that end, she is also involved in numerous studies exploring the use of research evidence among congressional policymakers. She was a selected artist for the National Academy of Medicine’s Health Equity Gallery; was selected to be part of AAMC’s Center for Health Justice team to document health care system mistrust; has displayed over 100 photographs in art galleries that were developed with participants through photovoice; and her work has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Houston Public Radio, TIME Magazine, Texas Monthly, and Houston Chronicle. She has received research support from federal, state, and foundation partners and is a Governing Councilor for APHA, sits on the Advisory Board for the Children’s Defense Fund – Texas, and was recently named a Robert Graham Center Scholar in Health Policy. Dr. Guillot-Wright has her PhD in Medical Humanities from UT Medical Branch, MA in Human Rights from Columbia University, and completed her postdoctoral training at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State. Lynne Hughes, PhD, PT, OCS, MTC Close Lynne Hughes, PhD, PT, OCS, MTC Lynne Hughes, PT, PhD, practiced clinically full-time for 16 years, primarily in outpatient orthopedics, and has 17 years of teaching experience in orthopedics, manual therapy, and anatomy in 3 Texas PT programs. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at UTMB and the Director of the Bridge PTA to DPT Program. Dr. Hughes is a member of the UTMB Academy of Master Teachers and is recognized as a Distinguished Teaching Professor. She has a faculty appointment with the Center for Health Promotion, Performance & Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Hughes continues to lead mixed-methods research projects with a particular interest in the effectiveness of manual therapy and exercise in patients with hyperkyphosis. Philip Keiser, MD Close Philip Keiser, MD Maureen Laroche, PhD Close Maureen Laroche, PhD Maureen Laroche MSc, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Global Health & Emerging Diseases. She’s a medical entomologist and clinical bacteriologist from Martinique (French Caribbean). She is a tick expert and her research focuses on neglected vector-borne bacterial pathogens targeting the endothelium. She has extensive experience in One Health studies and leads studies aimed at identifying etiologies of acute undifferentiated fevers in vulnerable populations in East Africa and Latin America. She studies the virulence of rickettsiae, Rickettsia prowazekii and Rickettsia rickettsii in particular, and the pathogenesis of Bartonella species. Corri Levine, PhD Close Corri Levine, PhD Dr. Corri Levine is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Global Health and Emerging Diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Public and Population Health. Dr. Levine is a virologist, specializing in high-consequence infectious diseases, and program manager for the Special Pathogens Excellence in Clinical Treatment, Readiness, and Education Program (SPECTRE). Within SPECTRE, Dr. Levine oversees national networking with the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) ensuring our nation is prepared and ready to respond to the next special pathogen threat. She also ensures institutional readiness for clinical special pathogens research in conjunction with the national Special Pathogens Research Network (SPRN). This includes the establishment of the UTMB Biorepository for Severe Emerging Infections (BSEI) for which Dr. Levine is the director. Dr. Levine’s work focuses on the intersection of bench research, clinical care, and population health to strengthen our health care system’s response to high-consequence infectious diseases. Heidi Luft, PhD, RN Close Heidi Luft, PhD, RN Heidi Luft, PhD, RN is adjunct faculty at the Department of Global Health and Emerging Diseases at the UTMB School of Public and Population Health and tenure-track Assistant Professor in the PhD program at the UTMB School of Nursing. For the UTMB Institute of Translational Sciences, she is co-lead of the dissemination and implementation science core and member of the team science core. Dr. Luft uses transdisciplinary collaborative research to advance dissemination and implementation sciences and improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and reach of services and policies aimed at improving psychosocial health of children, adolescents, and families throughout the US and Latin America. She has been based in the Dominican Republic since 2020, where she conducts research in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Institute of Mental Health and Telepsychology, Eitkos Research foundation, and other academic, government, and other multisectoral civil society organizations across the country. She has received multiple grants from the US Embassy in Santo Domingo, including a prestigious Fulbright US Scholar Award (2022), to adapt and implement an evidence-based healthy relationships program in public high schools across the Dominican Republic. She is also Principal Investigator of a grant funded by the State of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to evaluate the effectiveness, implementation, and dissemination of new state legislation regarding the use of evidence-based, court mandated Family-Based Safety Services. Susan McLellan, MD, MPH Close Susan McLellan, MD, MPH Kathleen Murphy, DNP, RN Close Kathleen Murphy, DNP, RN M. Kathleen Murphy is the Associate Dean for Inclusivity, Global Health & Community Engagement at the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing, Professor in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and board certified as a Nurse Executive-Advanced and Global Nurse Consultant. She has spent the majority of her career in public and community health primarily with historically excluded or underserved persons as a clinician, teacher, advocate and leader. Her practice has been in low resource settings and includes community maternal child nursing, school health services, and nurse-led free clinics for persons experiencing homelessness and immigrant communities. As faculty, she mentors students and faculty in quality improvement, project management, and advocacy with a focus on the individual but an eye on the big picture. Dr. Murphy is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program and a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Jonathan Mwiindi, PhD, MHA, DipPharm Close Jonathan Mwiindi, PhD, MHA, DipPharm William Pate, DPH Close William Pate, DPH Dr. Pate is Program Director for Radiation & Occupation Safety and Institutional Radiation Safety Officer at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He has over 15 years of experience in health & safety and holds two master's degrees (public health & business administration) and a doctorate in public health with a focus on environmental & occupational health sciences. His current areas of responsibility include non-ionizing and ionizing radiation safety, occupational safety, industrial hygiene, construction safety, food safety, and water quality. Dr. Pate is board certified in Health Physics (CHP), Industrial Hygiene (CIH), Safety Management (CSP), Hazardous Materials Management (CHMM), Healthcare Safety (CHSP), Laser Safety (CLSO), Public Health (CPH), and Healthcare Facility Management (CHFM), and Security Management (CPP). He is also licensed as a medical physicist in Texas with a specialization in medical health physics. In 2021, Dr. Pate was appointed by Texas Governor Abbott to Chair the Texas Radiation Advisory Board, a board that reviews and evaluates radiation policies, programs, and proposed rules, as well as makes recommendations and provides technical advice related to sources of radiation. Dr. Pate is past-president and past-secretary of the State of Texas Chapter of the Health Physics Society. He is a professional member of the American Society for Healthcare Engineers, a member of the Health Physics Society and the NFPA Laser Fire Protection Technical Committee, and a plenary member of the American Academy of Health Physics. Additionally, he is past-Chair of the University of Texas System Radiation Safety Advisory Group and a member of the Laser Subcommittee of the American National Standards Institute.In his free time, Dr. Pate enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters at home as well as traveling. Dr. Pate also enjoys writing and has been published in Professional Safety, ACS Chemical Health & Safety, Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health, and has published textbook chapters on Waste Management (APIC) and Physical Hazards (ASSP). Hani Serag, MD, MPH Close Hani Serag, MD, MPH Hani Serag, MD, MPH, is a physician and a public health researcher. He is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Internal Medicine – Division of Endocrinology, an adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Global Health and Emerging Diseases of the School of Public and Population Health, an adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Pediatrics, and an associate member of the Graduate Faculty at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).Dr. Serag focuses on enhancing the responsiveness of health systems, specifically through incorporating preventive measures for chronic health conditions into clinical settings. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs focusing on diabetes prevention and diabetes self-management education. He is also the project director of HIV routine screening at the Emergency department. Both programs are supported by the Texas Department of State Health Services.Dr. Serag is the convenor of the UTMB Annual Conference on Migration and Health and the director of UTMB global health sites in the Middle East and North Africa, providing quality training opportunities for UTMB students abroad. Dr. Serag's teaching, research, and public health practice interests are health, health system policies, health equity, and rights-approach for community empowerment. He has sound experience in working in different settings and across cultures.Before joining UTMB, Dr. Serag served as the global coordinator of the People's Health Movement (2006-2015), a worldwide network of civil society organizations, academic institutes, and health activists. He is currently the Co-Chair of the Global Steering Council of the PHM. From 2005-2008, he led the civil society engagement with the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Between 2000-2009, he served as the Health Policy and Systems Program director at the Association for Health and Environmental Development, a leading think-tank group in Egypt. Nikolaos Vasilakis, PhD, MA Close Nikolaos Vasilakis, PhD, MA Scott Weaver, PhD, MS Close Scott Weaver, PhD, MS Dr. Scott Weaver is the John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Human Infections and Immunity, Director of the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity (IHII), Scientific Director of the Galveston National Laboratory, and Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). He leads two major NIH-funded center grants at UTMB: the West African Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses. Dr. Weaver is a virologist and mosquito biologist with over 400 peer-reviewed research publications on emerging viruses, mosquito vectors, and vaccine development, as well as many invited presentations at international conferences, and international leadership roles. He has received many awards from national and international scientific societies, including the Walter Reed Medal from the American Society of Tropical medicine and Hygiene for career research contributions, and the Robert Gallo Award for Scientific Excellence from the Global Virus Network. Dr. Weaver is also a fellow of the American Academy of Inventors in recognition of his contributions to vaccine development, and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He holds nine patents for vaccine and diagnostics development for viral diseases.Dr. Weaver teaches and mentors young scientists extensively. He was named the Leon Bromberg Professor of Excellence in Teaching and received the Research Mentoring Excellence award at UTMB. He earned his BS degree in biology and music from the College of William and Mary in 1979, his MS degree in entomology from Cornell University in 1982, and his PhD degree in virology from the University of California, San Diego in 1993. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University School of Medicine, he joined the UTMB faculty in 1994. Andrés G. (Willy) Lescano, PhD, MHS, MHS Close Andrés G. (Willy) Lescano, PhD, MHS, MHS Dr. Lescano has a PhD in Global Epidemiology and Disease Control and Masters’ degrees in Biostatistics and Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins University. He is an Associate Professor at Cayetano University in Peru, and has adjunct appointments at the Tulane, Johns Hopkins, Wake Forest and Texas Medical Branch universities. He leads Emerge, the Emerging Infections and Climate Change Unit and a Masters’ and Doctoral programs in Epidemiological Research, and is the Director of Clima, the Latin American Center of Excellence for Climate Change and Health. Dr. Lescano research studies emerging diseases epidemiology and climate change, and has trained hundreds of epidemiologists under major capacity building efforts. Staff GHED - Faculty & Staff Sadie Odem Close Sadie Odem Brad Brock Close Brad Brock Coordinator IICenter for Global & Community Health & Texas AHEC East Tomiko Fisher, MBA Close Tomiko Fisher, MBA Director, Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) East Center for Global and Community HealthAIDS Education Training Center Robert A. Rodriguez, PhD, MPH Close Robert A. Rodriguez, PhD, MPH Robert A. Rodriguez, PhD, MPH, is the program manager for the Department of Global Health and Emerging Diseases for the School of Public Health and Population Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. Dr. Rodriguez received both his doctorate in Population Health Science and a Master's in Public Health in Epidemiology at the UTMB School of Public and Population Health, and a Bachelor's in Biology from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He was awarded a T32 Pre-Doctoral fellowship from the National Institute on Aging, where he worked on investigating the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors among sexual and gender minorities in Texas. His research also includes educational topics on HIV prevention, epidemiological surveillance, and health disparities experienced by minority populations. He is a member of various scientific societies and professional organizations such as GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Sciences (IAPHS), The Gerontological Society of America, The American Public Health Association, and the International AIDS Society (IAS). In addition, he is an executive Board Director for the non-profit organization Access Care of Coastal Texas (ACCT). Before joining the Department of Global Health and Emerging Disease, Dr. Rodriguez worked in healthcare administration and clinical research at Shriners Hospital for Children – Texas. He has experience in performance and quality improvement, risk management, and health outcomes monitoring utilizing patient-reported outcome measures. His research in pediatric burn care includes qualitative perspectives on psychosocial recovery and community reintegration, recovery of hypermetabolism and the association of Insulin Resistance, and the use of immersive virtual reality as a non-opioid analgesic for pain management during burn wound debridement.