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Institute for Public Health names new director of the Global Health Center

The Institute for Public Health announces the appointment of Victor G. Dávila-Román, MD, as director of its Global Health Center. He was also named vice chair of global health in the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine. Dávila-Román is professor of medicine in the cardiovascular division of the Department of Medicine, and a professor of anesthesiology and radiology at the School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico, and has been affiliated with Washington University since 1986. After completing residency training in internal medicine, fellowship training in cardiovascular diseases, and sub-specialty training in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology, he joined Washington University faculty in 1989 and became professor of medicine in 2005. He is also medical director of cardiovascular imaging at the Clinical Research Core Laboratory in the cardiovascular division. He is also deputy editor for the journal, Circulation, Cardiovascular Imaging.


“The importance of public health has never been more evident than in the last two years, and global health is a vital part of our work at the Institute for Public Health,” says William G. Powderly, MD, the J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine and the Larry J. Shapiro Director of the Institute for Public Health. “For the past two years, under Victor’s leadership as associate director of the Global Health Center, Washington University has gained national and international recognition as a leader in global health, and we look forward to continuing this growth.”

Dávila-Román has extensive experience in clinical research and administration and in leading national and international research studies in chronic non-communicable diseases including hypertension and heart failure. Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the Fogarty International Center (FIC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he is primary investigator on the NHLBI-funded, cooperative agreement grant, “Developing T4 Translational Research Capacity for Control of Hypertension in Rwanda”, for which he also serves as consortium steering committee chair. He is multiple principle investigator (MPI) on the NHLBI-funded, UG3 hypertension trial, “Addressing HyperteNsion and Diabetes through Community-Engaged Systems in Puno, Peru”, and on the U24 NHLBI-funded grant, “HLB SIMPLe HIV-Research Coordinating Center,” on which he works with collaborators from Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. He is co-investigator on the NHLBI-Gates funded research grant, “Household Air Pollution Intervention Trial”. In addition, he has an extensive record of accomplishment in capacity building, training and mentoring in low-resource environments. He is MPI on several Fogerty International Center-funded training grants, including, “Research Training: Chronic Non-communicable CVDs and Comorbidities in Peru”, “Developing research training in Zambia to address cardiovascular disease epidemic amongst HIV infected people”, and the program, “Research Training in Data Science for Health in Rwanda.”

“It is a great honor for me accept the position of director of the Global Health Center at the Institute for Public Health,” says Dávila-Román. “Our global work in low- and middle-income countries has taught us very important lessons regarding the use of multicomponent interventions to address non-communicable diseases and in particular, hypertension in low-resource settings where health care disparities, low socioeconomic status, health illiteracy and limited access to health care affect medical care. Our multidisciplinary team approach to global health benefits technological innovations in medicine, health care delivery, data science, implementation science and others.” He adds, “Lessons learned in low- and middle-income countries allow us to bring back ideas that can be applied to address the health care challenges that disproportionately affect rural and inner-city areas here in the U.S., representing a paradigm shift in which “global health is local health.”

The Global Health Center at the Institute for Public Health aims to improve global health through transdisciplinary programs and partnerships across Washington University in St. Louis and around the world.

The Institute for Public Health harnesses the strengths of Washington University to address the complex health issues and health disparities facing the St. Louis region and the world.