March 07, 2024

Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health announces associate director to promote faculty engagement in global health

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obaro stephenStephen Obaro, M.D., Ph.D.Stephen Obaro, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health (MHIGH) as the associate director for Faculty Engagement and Service Initiatives, tasked to promote faculty engagement in global health.

Obaro is a professor in the UAB Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and is the Assistant Dean for Global Health at the Heersink School of Medicine. He holds a medical degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. He earned his Ph.D. in Immunology from Imperial College and completed various residencies worldwide. Obaro also completed fellowships in pediatric infectious diseases at Rhode Island Hospital and pediatric immunology at the University of Massachusetts. Obaro is the inaugural Helen and Robert Whitley Endowed Chair of Infectious Diseases in the UAB Department of Pediatrics.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Obaro to the MHIGH team and thankful for the collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, that made this possible,” said Alan T. N. Tita, M.D., Ph.D., senior associate dean for Global and Women’s Health and MHIGH director. “Dr. Obaro’s expertise, dedication to collaboration, and unwavering commitment to advancing health care will pave the way for meaningful strides in global health at UAB.”

As Helen and Robert Whitley Endowed Chair of Pediatrics, Obaro plans to contribute to an enriched learning environment for medical trainees in childcare and provide a solid educational foundation for their development as future national and global leaders.

“I hope to create a platform for multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and equitable engagement in global health that encompasses reciprocal learning across countries and regions,” said Obaro.

As associate director for Faculty Engagement and Service Initiatives, he supports the institute’s vision of having healthy people through equitable partnerships around the world, accomplished by catalyzing UAB faculty and staff contributions to global and local health through reciprocal learning, discovery, and clinical care.  

“My background training, research, and clinical experience across three continents (Africa, Europe, and North America) over four decades provide a unique fit for supporting a strong vision in academic medicine, research, and global health at UAB,” said Obaro. “This will also be an asset for UAB’s broader global health goals as the university navigates the challenges of establishing relationships with international partners that enhance both them and us.”

Obaro’s co-division director, David Kimberlin, M.D., is excited to have his experience and insight at UAB.

“We in the Department of Pediatrics are thrilled that Stephen Obaro has joined us at UAB,” said Kimberlin. “As the inaugural holder of the Helen and Robert Whitley Endowed Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Stephen brings his global expertise and track record of phenomenal research accomplishments to the division and the broader UAB community, all at a time of great growth in UAB’s global focus.”

Obaro’s roles will provide a significant platform for faculty global health engagement.

“His role as associate director for Faculty Engagement and Service Initiatives with MHIGH will serve as a bridge for pediatric and other UAB faculty with global health interests to engage in the tremendous activities that the institute is leading,” said Kimberlin. “This is a truly exceptional moment of convergence and growth across the UAB enterprise, and Stephen’s leadership will be pivotal to its successful development.”