Department of Medicine faculty lead global health initiatives

Cath lab in Tanzania
Physicians in the cardiac catheterization lab at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The most pressing health challenges and emerging diseases know no boundaries. In an interconnected world, the health problems affecting populations around the globe also affect us here at home. Featured below are some of the current global health initiatives that DOM faculty are leading:


Federica del Monte, M.D.
London, UK and Trieste and Florence, Italy: Dr. Federica del Monte is conducting a clinical trial to enroll patients with heart failure and patients with Alzheimer’s to define the prevalence of the combination of the two diseases. Her team’s research has shown that these two conditions, which affect millions of people, share in some cases the same cause. Through this study, del Monte and her team are trying to determine how many people belong to this subgroup and once identified, learn more of the mechanisms. They need to enroll a large number of patients from across the world, and have agreements with several universities in Italy and the United Kingdom to participate in the study.

Thomas G. Di Salvo, M.D., MPH, MBA
Germany: Siemens Healthineers MUSC partnership

Michael R. Gold, M.D., Ph.D.
China: Dr. Gold is a visiting professor representing the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). An international nonprofit organization, the HRS is a leading resource on cardiac pacing and electrophysiology. This specialty organization represents medical, allied health, and science professionals from more than 70 countries who specialize in cardiac rhythm disorders.

Aomori, Japan: Dr. Gold has been collaborating with Yuji Ishida, Ph.D., a cardiac electrophysiology research fellow from Hirosaki University in Japan, who came to train at MUSC through a partnership with the university.

Eric R. Powers, M.D., Peter L. Zwerner, M.D., Adrian Van Bakel, M.D., Rich Bayer, M.D.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: MUSC cardiologists Drs. Peter Zwerner, Eric Powers, Adrian Van Bakel and Rich Bayer are part of a team of U.S. cardiologists who have traveled to Tanzania for many years as part of an ongoing program to train local physicians to build capacity in caring for patients with cardiovascular disease. The team assisted in the establishment of an advanced training program and clinical services in cardiovascular disease at Muhimbili National Hospital—the first advanced cardiac and catheterization center in the country. The mission driving the care model at Muhimbili National Hospital is to develop skills and knowledge of the local health officials using best practices from western medicine.

Daniel P. Judge, M.D.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: The cardiology fellowship program directed by Dr. Judge, offers a global health elective rotation. Last year, the program accepted one fellow, Ishan Shah, M.D., now one of MUSC’s chief cardiology fellows. Dr. Shaw completed a four-week rotation at the advanced cardiac care center in Tanzania focusing on cardiovascular care and teaching, working closely with local health officers and faculty from MUSC.

Now more than ever, students pursuing a career in health care are looking for rotations or experiences in developing countries that allow them to interact with other health systems. At MUSC, more than 100 students travel abroad annually – whether through participation in a faculty-led research, clinical electives or service learning.

“In addition to enhancing clinical and scholarly work, surveys have shown that many resident physicians select their training program at least partly based on availability of global health training opportunities,” says Judge. “And trainees who participate in international clinical rotations are more likely to later practice medicine among underserved and multicultural populations in the United States.”

Jeff Winterfield, M.D.
Bordeaux, France: Imaging
Tel Aviv, Israel: Biosense Webster, 3D heart mapping/imaging


Patrick J. Coyne, MSN
India: Implementation of home-based palliative care for cancer patients.


Susan Dorman, M.D.
MUSC Center for Global Health (CGH): Dr. Dorman has been working to expand the infectious diseases research portfolio related to global health, with initial emphasis on tuberculosis as well as divisional strengths of HIV, infection control, and antimicrobial resistance. Another focus of the division’s collaborative effort with the CGH is the expansion of international research and clinical opportunities for MUSC trainees.


David Ploth, M.D., and Zipporah Krishnasami, M.D.
Kisarawe District, Tanzania: Drs. Ploth and Krishnasami are working on a study assessing the prevalence and uptake of referrals for chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes, hypertension, and HIV/AIDS infection to be able to inform government health centers on the demand for care of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, hypertension and CKD.


Gary Gilkeson M.D.
Nanjing, China: Dr. Gary Gilkeson assessed the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell transplantation as a treatment for lupus.

Bo, Sierra Leone: Dr. Gilkeson and his team are currently studying lupus in African Americans from the Sea Island communities of South Carolina and Georgia. The main purpose of the study is to identify and characterize genes as well as factors from the environment that result in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus. The connection between the Gullah people and the people of Sierra Leone is a very special one. The rice plantation zone of coastal South Carolina and Georgia was the only place in the Americas where Sierra Leonean slaves came together in a large enough number and over a long enough period of time to leave a significant linguistic and cultural impact. The people of Sierra Leone look to the Gullah of South Carolina and Georgia as a kindred people sharing many common elements of speech, custom, culture and cuisine.

Haiti: MUSC Service Learners International (SLI) is a student-led organization focused on delivering health care to the Central Plateau region of Haiti. In Haiti, SLI works in collaboration with Project Medishare to deliver healthcare in the Central Plateau of Haiti. As part of this initiative, Dr. Gilkeson accessed the health needs of the patient population, trained and collaborated with local health care workers, assisted in the improvement of local healthcare infrastructure, and promoted awareness of health care.


Global Health map with pins

Where you may find us...

Bo, Sierra Leone
Bordeaux, France
Florence, Italy

London, UK
Munich, Germany
Nanjing, China
Naples, Italy
Tel Aviv, Israel‎