MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants Catalyst PDF File MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause

MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research
                          Studies Public Relations Research
                          Grants MUSC home page Community
                          Happenings Campus
                          News Applause


Tracking global trends

Researcher Spencer Wells, Ph.D., travels the farthest reaches of the globe using DNA samples as a tool to unravel secrets of the human story, tackling such issues as the origin of humans and how they spread across the globe. His travels will include a stop at MUSC at 4 p.m. Sept. 14 when he'll present his talk on "Discover the Roots of the Human Family Tree" on the 8th floor of the Storm Eye Institute Auditorium.

dunesA Chadean woman makes her way home as the sun sets over the Sahara Desert.

He is one in an impressive line-up of speakers Sept. 12 - 16 for the first Global Health Seminar Series, Why Global Health Matters, according to Lisa Saladin, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Health Professions.

The series includes local faculty involved in global work and national experts, such as Michael H. Merson, M.D., director of Duke Global Health Institute, and Kevin O'Reilly, Ph.D., a scientist with the World Health Organization.
Saladin said the series will provide students and faculty an opportunity to learn about the importance of research and collaboration in global health from some of the leading experts in the field.

National Geographic Maps

MapThis is a map of early human migration patterns, part of the Genographic Project aimed at tracing the migratory history of the human species.

"Each of our speakers brings an essential perspective and a unique approach to globalization, offering insight on three very different but related themes:  Where did we come from and how did we populate the globe? Why does global health matter to the U.S.?  How do we address the challenges that confront over 30 percent of the world's population living in extreme poverty which prevents them from accessing basic resources?"

Saladin said Wells is a dynamic speaker, accomplished genetics researcher and filmmaker who has traced humans' origins and migratory paths across the globe through his work with National Geographic.

Photo by David Evans
Spencer WellsDr. Spencer Wells, director of the Genographic Project, finds signs of an old encampment in the Sahara Desert.

Merson will bring his wealth of knowledge, having founded the global health institute at both Yale and Duke universities.

"We are often asked why we, as Americans and South Carolinians, should care about the health of people in other countries, especially given the current economic challenges, rising health care costs and growing national deficit. Dr. Merson's talk will shed some light on the issue by sharing how global health is indeed, our health, and how the problems abroad are looking more and more like the problems we face at home."

O'Reilly's talk will be drawing from his long history at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. "He will address an issue that faculty and health care professionals at MUSC are all too familiar with: how do we address the needs of neglected populations on the global stage and what are the most pressing needs, challenges and opportunities in global health," she said.

The seminar is just one way MUSC is pushing ahead with its global initiatives set out in its strategic plan. Other new global developments are:

  • An exciting start to the year for globalization efforts, starting with Dr. William Plater from Indiana University-Purdue University who served as the keynote speaker at the recent Faculty Convocation addressing "Global health and its importance to MUSC."
  • This September, MUSC launched a global health certificate program which is open to our students and faculty and will provide an understanding of critical health issues worldwide and ways to address or solve them.
  • A global health website,, will be expanded this fall, and will be a resource tool to connect faculty, staff and students and provide a platform to spark future international collaborations in all three areas of MUSC mission. 
  • The current work with consultants to develop a business plan for a proposed Center for Global Health.

The series also will include an international food festival Sept. 15. Speakers in the series will be videotaped for those who cannot attend.

Inaugural Global Health Speaker Series: Why Global Health Matters

Wednesday, Sept. 14
Spencer Wells, Ph.D., National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, director of Geongraphic Project
"Discover the Roots of the Human Family Tree"
Storm Eye Institute Auditorium, 4 p.m.,
Reception to follow

Thursday, Sept. 15
International food festival
Horseshoe, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Lunchtime Speaker Series
Noon - 1 p.m., Colbert Education Center & Library (CECL)

Dr. Michael Sweat getting water in an African village where he's done research.

Michael Sweat, Ph.D., professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry. Room 109, CECL
"HIV Prevention and Care in Less-Developed Countries"

Shane Woolf, M.D., assistant professor, Orthopaedic Surgery. Room 115, CECL "MUSC Response to Haiti's Disaster: Lessons Learned"

Friday, Sept. 16
Storm Eye Institute Auditorium, HA809, Noon to 1 p.m.
Michael H. Merson, M.D., director, Duke Global Health Institute
"Why Global Health Matters to the U.S."

1 to 2 p.m.
Kevin O'Reilly, Ph.D., scientist, World Health Organization, "Needs, Opportunities and Challenges in Global Health"



Friday, Sept. 9, 2011

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.