Meet our Emerging Leaders
Shusmita is a nutritionist by training and a public health worker by heart. Currently she works as the coordinator/ director in the NCD unit of a Bangladeshi organization – Eminence – a member of World Heart Federation. Through her works in Eminence, she has gathered proven ability in NCD related program design, implementation, reporting, and evaluation of health programs. Shusmita has experience in design and/or implementation for the collection of NCD related demographic and health surveys. Moreover, she has been the author/co-author of more than 10 conference papers and three peer reviewed paper based on several epidemiological studies. In addition to her research related activities, she works as the technical coordinator for the NCD-F and have been undertaking NCD related advocacy and communication activities like World Heart Day, world Hypertension Day and “Go Red for Women”.
Personally, she believes in learning a new thing everyday, from everyone around her, in every possible way.
Rasha is currently working towards her PhD focusing on access to medication and its use in lower income countries at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), McMaster University. She previously worked at the Institute of Community and Public Health in Birzeit University in Palestine as a research assistant. Initially her research was focused on the Palestinian health care system. Rasha particpiated in a situation analysis involving the investigation of current clinical guidelines, laws and strategies aimed at the prevention and management of CVD in Palestine and other Middle Eastern countries. As a PhD student she was able to get funding for and conduct the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study in Palestine. Her prior experience working in Palestine provided her with the skills to create a PURE cite in Palestine, coordinate, and manage data collection for 1,500 participants. Currently Rasha is invloved in analyzing the PURE data from Palestine as well as 17 other countries at different stages of development. She is learning how to manage large epidemiology data and is developing methods to measure and compare access to CVD treatment in different regions of the world.
Gene is a cardiologist and global health researcher developing expertise in the intersection between these two fields. His primary professional goal is to push the frontier of global cardiovascular disease epidemiology and health service delivery (implementation) research through the development, implementation, evaluation, improvement and dissemination of integrated chronic care programs in rural low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Gene’s research stems from experience in the field in rural Rwanda and Haiti since 2008 in collaboration with local Ministries of Health and the non-governmental organization Partners In Health. He has developed and implemented care models and training curricula using the strategy of task-shifting: training in-country nurses and generalist physicians in simplified protocols to aid in specialty care for the diagnosis and management of NCDs including hypertension, diabetes, heart failure.
Dike was born in Delta State, Nigeria. He trained in basic medical education at Nigeria’s Premier University- University of Ibadan where he obtained his M.B; B.S Degree in 1995. Dike had Postgraduate Medical Training at University College Hospital Ibadan and obtained the Fellowship of West African College of Physicians in Internal Medicine with Special Interest in Cardiology in 2005. He also holds a Fellowship of the American College of Physicians since 2010 and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Medicine (Cardiology) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in the year 2013. Dike’s special areas of interest include Echocardiography, Hypertensive Heart Failure in sub-Saharan Africa, and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Nigerian Hypertensive patients.
Francesco specialized in geriatrics in 2008 in the Geriatric Cardiology department (Director Prof. Niccolò Marchionni and Prof. Giulio Masotti). Since 2010 he has become a Medical Assistant in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of the Geriatric Cardiology Department of the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi (Florence main hospital). In 2006 Francesco started a collaboration with the ANMCO Research Center (the Research center of the Hospital Cardiologists National Society), directed by Prof. Aldo Maggioni with educational, clinical and research involvement. During these years he was particularly involved in the organization and management of observational studies and randomized clinical trials (GISSI AF and GISSI HF or the ongoing NIH founded ISCHEMIA trial).
Rajesh became interested in global health during medical school and public health training, when he was one of the co-founders of the Swasthya Community Health Partnership in Sringeri, south India. This partnership focused on gender-based health care in rural areas, and one of the central initiatives was to train nurses to provide health education, basic clinical care, and community empowerment. After completing his residency, he spent one year as the Team Leader of the Indiana University-Kenya Partnership in Eldoret, western Kenya. His responsibilities included teaching Kenyan medical and clinical officer students on both inpatient wards and outpatient clinics. In addition, he was a co-investigator of a research project that evaluated the effectiveness of community care extenders in providing HIV care in rural western Kenya. Subsequently, as a cardiology fellow and now as a junior faculty member at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, he has been involved in a variety of global cardiology research initiatives. Rajesh’s research interest is in implementation research as applied to cardiovascular disease in low-resource settings. In Kenya, he is involved with the following projects: evaluation of the feasibility and effectiveness of nurse-based management of hypertension in rural western Kenya, and evaluation of novel strategies to optimize linkage and retention to a hypertension management program in rural western Kenya. He is also a co-investigator of the Grenada Heart Project, the first phase of which was a nation-wide survey of cardiovascular risk factors in Grenada. The second phase will involve an impact evaluation of a community-based program focusing on primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Rajesh has also been a co-investigator on the Si Colombia project, which evaluates the impact of a cardiovascular health promotion program on preschool-aged children in Bogota, Colombia. Through these experiences, he has accrued expertise in working in resource-poor settings in low- and middle-income countries, pursuing activities in capacity building, service delivery, and research.
Zhi-Cheng is the new elected Union Scholar Distinguished Professor by Pekin Union Medical College, he is the Professor of Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, and the Chief of the Thrombosis and Vascular Medicine Center at the National Center for Cardiovascular disease, Fu Wai Hospital, State Key Lab of Cardiovascular disease, Pekin Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Science, Beijing, China. He also chaired the National Referral Center for Thrombosis and pulmonary vascular Disease of China. Zhi-Cheng obtained his medical degree in 1998 from Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China, before participating in postdoctoral training at the Department of Pulmonary Disease and Intensive Care Unit at Hospital Antoine Béclère and the National Center of Pulmonary Vascular Diseases in Paris-Sud Université, Clamart, France.
Zhi-Cheng is the President of the Beijing Society of Thrombosis and haemostasis, and the Vice President of the 9th Youth Committee of Chinese Society of Cardiology, he has participated in more than 30 global clinical trials on Cardiology. Among his many awards, he received the Best Poster Award of ESC 2013, National Ministry of Education of China’s ‘Outstanding Scholarship of New Century’ in 2011, the ‘Outstanding and Leading Scholarship’ from the Shanghai Government in 2011 and the Young Investigator Award of the ESC 2010. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed academic papers in NEJM, LANCET, Circulation, AJRCCM, CHEST, ERJ, Cardiovascular Research and many international and Chinese academic journals, and is the Associate Editor of Annals of the American Thoracic Society. He is a member of the editorial board of the European Respiratory Journal, European Respiratory Review, the Chinese Medicine Journal (English version) and the China Journal of Cardiology.