Public Release: 

Mobilizing research for global health theme of 6th annual CUGH conference

1,600 attendees from 50 countries to attend March 25-28 event in Boston

University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

The sixth annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health conference is creating a stir by bringing together some of the world's leading researchers to tackle many of the biggest global health challenges we face.

"This is shaping up to be our best conference ever," said Dr. Gerald Keusch, conference chair and professor of medicine and public health at Boston University.

More than 1,600 people will be gathering at the conference March 25-28 from 50 countries.

A special session entitled "Big Problems - Big Ideas" will include a panel of seven internationally renowned leaders to who will share their bold vision to improve health outcomes: Paul Farmer, chief strategist and co-founder of Partners in Health in Boston; Glenda Elisabeth Gray, president and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council in Cape Town; Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust in London; Victor J. Dzau, president of the Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C.; Julio Frenk, dean at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Christopher Wilson, director of discovery and translational sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle; and Esther C. Dufflo, director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Six other plenary topics will cover the technology revolution in genetics, One Health (animal-human transmission of disease and environment); strengthening health systems as a priority for the Sustainable Development Goals; drivers of noncommunicable diseases, improvement science, and lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic.

"This meeting will showcase solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems and will facilitate collaborations that can scale up innovations to dramatically impact people's lives," said Dr. Keith Martin, CUGH executive director and conference co-chair.

Other sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including polio's last mile, the neglected international challenge of cancer, protecting health workers in conflict, conservation as a public health imperative, the global deficit in access to surgical care, nutrition, vaccines for the 21st Century, a new model for sustainable capacity building through civil-military collaborations, the challenge of antibiotic resistance, and a perspective from low-and middle-income countries on international development.

Other highlights include the global health documentary film festival with the Pulitzer Center. Topics include food recycling in South Korea, TB in Vietnam, road deaths in Cambodia, HIV and the church in Jamaica, gun violence in Chicago, the rise of HIV, sowing seeds of hope in the Democratic Republic of Congo and cervical cancer in Uganda.

Lancet Global Health will publish a special conference insert on the 26 oral abstract presentations and the Annals of Global Health will publish up to 500 poster abstracts showcased at the meeting.


The consortium, formed in 2008, includes over 114 universities and other organizations involved in global health. It is the largest university-member based organization in the world focused on using interdisciplinary approaches to address global challenges.

For the conference program, go to To follow the conference on Twitter, go to @cughnews. The conference hashtag is #cugh2015.

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