Janet Turan, Ph.D., has been named the interim director of the Sparkman Center for Global Health. Turan is a professor in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
One of her responsibilities as director of the Sparkman Center will be engaging the UAB community in global health and development initiatives.
“I think we can make an impact by working collaboratively with people around the globe and utilizing the knowledge, skills and creativity of our faculty, students and staff,” Turan said. “I want to promote the use of innovative and rigorous research and evaluation methodologies to ensure we are selecting and using the strategies that will have the greatest impact on major global health challenges, such as infant and maternal mortality, infectious diseases, violence against women, and the growing burden of chronic diseases.”
Turan’s research has focused on maternal and child health in low-resource settings of both developing and developed countries. She has conducted research around the world, including studies in Kenya, Turkey, Jordan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Eritrea and the United States.
Her current research includes qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies designed to address HIV-related stigma, as well as intersectional stigma related to poverty, gender, race/ethnicity, and reproductive choices in settings as diverse as rural Kenya and the Deep South in the United States. She is the principal investigator on several NIH-funded studies that examine effects, mechanisms of action and intervention strategies for HIV-related stigma, as they relate to utilization of maternal-child health services, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, HIV medication adherence and engagement in HIV care.
One of her top priorities is connecting diverse people with the resources available at UAB to conduct global health research and practice.
“I want to provide even more opportunities for students, faculty, health professionals and community members to interact and learn from one another to solve challenging global health problems,” she said. “I see a lot of passion and excitement around global health in the student body, and I am excited about what this means for the future.”
Turan is the co-chair of the Psychosocial and Behavioral Working Group of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study and co-director of the UAB Center for AIDS Research Community and Behavioral Sciences Core.