2015-2016 Postdocs

U.S. Trainees

MCMarcela Castillo, MD completed her training in obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System in June 2014. She started her training as a Global Women’s Health fellow in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in July 2014. She is obtaining a MSCR through the Gillings School of Global Public Health to prepare her for applying her clinical training to research work. Dr. Castillo’s research interests include access to healthcare, high risk and emergency obstetrics, and determining acceptability and adherence to new interventions to prevent preterm birth. She is also working on a team to evaluate the obstetrics and gynecology specialty training at the University of Zambia in order to propose interventions that could advance and expand this training.


RFRobert Flecker, DVM spent his fellowship year at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima under the mentorship of Hector Garcia, MD, PhD and Seth O’Neal, MD. His research focused on field evaluation of TSW5 monoclonal antigen detection assay for Taenia solium in pigs. Dr. Flecker practiced veterinary medicine for over 25 years and left a successful practice to pursue a career in global health. In additional to working with small animals, he has several years of large animal, zoo animal, wildlife, and oncology clinical experience. Dr. Flecker’s interest in the One Health Approach focuses on the human-animal disease interface. His goal is to help develop control strategies for emerging infectious diseases especially in the developing world.


CFCatherine Ford, MD, MPH completed medical school in 2011 at NYU and a Master’s of Public Health in 2010 at Harvard. She has had several global health experiences through her education and training in Ghana, Tanzania, Guatemala and Rwanda. She is excited to be a part of the UNC Fellowship to further explore her interests in global public health, specifically with obstetric emergencies and improvement of maternal mortality. Through working in Lusaka, Zambia with this program, she is exposed to both research and clinical experiences that have developed her career as an OB/GYN physician with a focus in global women’s health research.



SPSuzanne Pollard, PhD, MSPH spent her fellowship year at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima under the mentorship of William Checkley, MD. Her research focused on a comprehensive asthma management intervention in Peru. Dr. Pollard completed her doctoral training in International Health, Global Disease Epidemiology and Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). Dr. Pollard’s dissertation research focused on the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and asthma in Peruvian children. Dr. Pollard has experience in the design and conduct of epidemiological studies related to chronic lung disease in diverse settings in Peru. Her research interests include the influence of nutritional factors on chronic lung disease and interventions addressing pediatric asthma and obesity in LMICs.


TR Tiarney Ritchwood, PhD, MA spent her fellowship year at the University of Cape Town under the mentorship of Audrey Pettifor and Linda Gail Bekker. Her research focuses on the feasibility and acceptability of using community mobilization methods to activate HIV Treatment as Prevention (TasP) among youth. Dr. Ritchwood studies issues disproportionately affecting underrepresented and oppressed adolescents, including HIV/AIDS and substance use, using community-based participatory research methods. Dr. Ritchwood, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Alabama. Prior to that, she completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at Emory University.


ASAllison Seegar, PhD spent her fellowship year at University of Cape Town under the mentorship of Dr. Graeme Meintjes, Her research focused on understanding how the site of Mtb infection modulates peripheral cell recruitment and function in drug resistant TB contacts and the effect of HIV on this response. Dr. Seegar worked first in biotech (production at Bayer and R&D at Genentech), and in a hospital setting at California Pacific Medical Center in both bench and clinical research. She completed a BS in Cellular Biology and a BA in Applied Mathematics at the University of San Francisco and then moved to Munich, where she completed her PhD at the Max von Pettenkofer-Institut in 2012, studying the innate immune response to Aspergillus fumigatus. Now, though she’s shifted focus to a different pathogen—Mycobacterium tuberculosis—she remains interested in the host-pathogen interaction.


TSTrishul Siddharthan, MD spent his fellowship year at Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) at Makerere University in Kampala under the mentorship of William Checkley, MD. His research focused on assessing the role of urbanization in cohort characteristics and implementation of care in COPD among urban and rural populations in Uganda. Dr. Siddharthan completed his training in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 2014. Dr. Siddharthan joined the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Johns Hopkins University as a fellow in the summer of 2015 while conducting research on the effects of urbanization and lung injury through the Fogarty Global Health Fellowship.



KWKate Westmoreland, MD spent her fellowship year at UNC Project-Malawi in Lilongwe under the mentorship of Satish Gopal. Her research focused on determining if plasma Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) DNA can be used as a prognostic biomarker in HIV- and HIV+ children with endemic Burkitt Lymphoma (eBL) in Malawi. Dr. Westmoreland received her medical degree from Wake Forest University and then completed her pediatric residency at the University of Utah. Dr. Westmoreland received the AAP international elective award and the Resident Research Award at Western Society for Pediatric Research. She will start a pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship in July 2016 with a research focus on pediatric viral associated malignancies.



LMIC Trainees


CMMaga Chagomerana, PhD, MS will spend his fellowship year at UNC Project-Malawi in Lilongwe under the mentorship of Mina Hosseinipour. His research will focus on HIV viral suppression in pregnant women on Option B+ in Malawi. Dr. Chagomerana recently finalized his PhD in Epidemiology at UNC- Chapel Hill focusing on the impact of the implementation of Option B+ among HIV infected pregnant women in Malawi. Prior to joining the PhD program at UNC, he worked with a large malaria research group and subsequently, attended the Harvard School of Public Health, where he received a Master’s degree in biostatistics. After completion of his Master’s training, he worked as a Data Core leader for International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research in Malawi.


FLFengying Liu, MD, MS spent her fellowship year at the Institute Guangdong Provincial Centers for STD and Skin Diseases Control in Guangzhou under the mentorship of Joseph Tucker. Her research will focus on an implementation science evaluation of online HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men in Guangzhou, China. Dr. Liu’s main career goal is to continue improving and refining her skills to aid her focus on social epidemiology of HIV/STD, especially among high risk populations. She received her MD from Shanxi Medical University and then received her MSc degree in epidemiology from Shantou University. Since 2011, Dr. Liu has worked as a junior researcher in the STD control department of Guangdong Provincial Center for STD Control. Currently, Dr. Liu is interested in HIV/STD self-testing and conducted a preliminary study on online HIV self-testing from e-commerce websites. Her study was accepted by the International Union Against STIs-Asia Pacific Regional Conference and was recognized as one of the top three oral presentations.


CSWChristine Sekaggya-Wiltshire, MBChB, MMed spent her fellowship year at Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) at Makerere University in Kampala under the mentorship of Yukari Manabe. Her research focused on a systematic review in the context of a clinical trial of the correlation of pharmacokinetic parameters of anti-TB drugs with TB treatment outcome among TB/HIV co-infected patients. Dr. Sekaggya-Wiltshire is a clinician and researcher with seven years of experience in medicine. She interned at WHO headquarters in Geneva where she worked on human rights-based health indicators. She is currently earning her PhD, funded by the University of Zurich and Medical Education for Equitable Services to All Ugandans, studying population pharmacokinetics. Dr. Sekaggya-Wiltshire is the lead physician in the TB/HIV clinic at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) and is involved in the training of doctors and other health workers in TB and HIV.


WTWeiming Tang, PhD, MD, MS spent his fellowship year at UNC Project-China in Guangzhou under the mentorship of Joseph Tucker. His research focused on the cost-effectiveness of crowdsourcing video and conventional video in HIV testing uptake campaigns among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (TG) individuals. Dr. Tang received his PhD degree in Epidemiology from UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, received his MS degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Bachelor of Medicine degree in Preventive Medicine from Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China. Dr. Tang’s interests include epidemiological methodology, longitudinal data analysis, epidemiological and social and behavioral aspects of HIV/STDs.


BVBraulio Valencia, MD, MSc spent his fellowship year at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima under the mentorship of Robert Gilman, Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas, Andrea K. Boggild, and Eduardo Gotuzzo. His research focused on empowering health workers in endemic regions for confirmatory diagnosis of Leishmaniasis based in two PCR-approaches—LAMP and conventional PCR. Dr. Valencia Arroyo is a Peruvian physician interested in tropical medicine with emphasis in American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) and buruli ulcer (BU). His research and clinical training were done at Institute of Tropical Medicine “Alexander von Humboldt”. He has experience in execution, monitoring and evaluation of clinical trials and interventions for the prevention and control of leishmaniasis.