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Global Health Initiative-Columbia Global Policy Initiative Seminar Series: Intersection Between Communicable & Noncommunicable Diseases

Led by Wafaa El-Sadr (University Professor and Director of ICAP and the Global Health Initiative (GHI) at the Mailman School of Public Health (MSPH)) and Arthur Rubenstein (Professor and former Dean of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania), the GHI-CGPI Seminar Series on the Intersection between Communicable (CDs) and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) seeks to examine widely discussed views of CD and NCD topics, reflect on them through the contexts of global public health and public policy, and identify common experiences and shared lessons that might inform approaches to improve health outcomes globally. This project was affiliated with the Columbia Global Policy Initiative in 2013. 

In 2014-2015, three seminars were organized that engaged a number of relevant speakers and co-sponsors from across Columbia University. There were 14 presenters and/or panelists, from various Columbia schools, departments and centers, as well as other organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Vitality Institute.

For the 2015-2016 academic year, project staff continues to plan seminars on potential topics, such as injuries, urban health, building upon the lessons of HIV treatment, and more. The project continues to develop a compendium of all the seminar discussions, which incorporates new information and learnings from each seminar. The compendium aims to extend the impact of the seminars’ rich discussions beyond the project timeline.

Policy Goals

  • Promote new dialogue and debate among the global community regarding the ongoing and looming threats from non-communicable diseases
  • Identify common experiences/shared lessons from communicable diseases and other areas of public health that may help inform the current non-communicable disease agenda


  • Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, Co-Director, GHI-CGPI Seminar Series
  • Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Co-Director, GHI-CGPI Seminar Series on the Intersection Between Communicable and Non-Communicable Disease
  • Melissa Reyes, Senior Program Officer, The Global Health Initiative
  • Alberto Mejia, Office Manager, The Global Health Initiative
  • Chandana Adhikarla, MD, Student Coordinator, The GHI-CGPI Seminar Series on the Intersection Between Communicable and Non-Communicable Disease
North America


University Professor Director, ICAP Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Professor of Global Health (in Epidemiology)
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