Infectious disease physician and China expert joins faculty

Dr. Joseph Tucker will lead and develop the University’s global health projects in China

June 10, 2012 — Joseph D. Tucker, MD, MA joined the faculty of the division of infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Spring 2012. Dr. Tucker is an expert on the prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in China. With the addition of Tucker, the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases is positioned to grow its programs in China, where Tucker will be based full-time.

joseph tucker headshot

Joe Tucker leads IGHID’s program in China

Dr. Tucker is not unknown to Carolina. As an undergraduate at Swarthmore, Tucker became familiar with the work of Gail Henderson, currently chair of the department of social medicine, and Myron Cohen, chair of the division of infectious diseases and director of the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases, because of his enthusiasm for HIV research in China.

He subsequently attended medical school at UNC and spent a year abroad at the National STD Control Center in Nanjing to study the sociology and epidemiology of HIV and STIs in the Chinese context.  Tucker completed his residency at the University of California at San Francisco and a fellowship in infectious disease at Harvard, where he also earned a Master of Arts degree in East Asian studies.

Tucker will be based in Guangzhou, China where collaborators at the Guangdong STD Control Center, the Municipal Infectious Diseases Hospital, and Sun Yat-sen University work together on HIV and syphilis research.  Supported by an NIH Fogarty Career Development Award, Tucker will investigate the social epidemiology of syphilis and sexually transmitted HIV in the Pearl River Delta.

“UNC is very fortunate to have top-notch colleagues on the ground in China and highly respected, senior China experts in Chapel Hill.  Very few universities in the world can claim this,” said Tucker, who will also direct the institute’s portfolio of global health projects in China.

Because China is actively trying to bring more foreign researchers into the country, “there are increasing opportunities for medical students, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows to undertake research in-country,” Tucker said. He hopes to expand on the UNC’s long tradition of working in China. In May 2012, he helped launch a new STI research training center in Guangzhou.  Ongoing projects focus on using social entrepreneurship to improve HIV/syphilis testing among men who have sex with men and planning a clinical service for the African diaspora in Guangzhou.


Media contact: Lisa Chensvold, 919-843-5719,

One Response to Infectious disease physician and China expert joins faculty

  1. Pingback: Faculty physician and China expert Joseph Tucker appointed term member at Council on Foreign Relations | Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases

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