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Yale Network for Global Non-Communicable Diseases

Mission Statement

Founded in 2015, the Yale Network for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NGN, pronounced “engine”) represents a transdisciplinary, on-campus collaborative that seeks to address the global crisis of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Our work in research, education, advocacy, policy, and implementation spans cultures and communities across the world – from New Haven to Asia and the Pacific Islands, Latin America, and East Africa.

NGN faculty have successfully competed for both internal and external funding and have leveraged those awards to sponsor a diverse range of projects in the field of global NCDs. In 2016, NGN convened a symposium entitled Fostering Cross-Campus Collaboration at Yale on the Global Non-Communicable Disease Crisis—the first of its kind—which drew over 100 participants from across the University. Subsequently NGN received a 2018 Hecht Global Health Faculty Network Award for our work on self-care among patients with NCDs in rural Uganda. As thought leaders in the field, our faculty have published in a range of high impact journals, including JAMA Internal Medicine, Nature Genetics, Lancet Rheumatology, Health Affairs, and Academic Medicine. If you are interested in joining this Network, contact Evelyn Hsieh.

Faculty Network Spotlight

The world is amidst an epidemiological transition– where the global burden of diseases is shifting from infectious diseases to noncommunicable diseases. In recognizing a need to bridge the gaps in global NCD research, treatment, and capacity, the Yale Network for Global Noncommunicable Disease (Yale NGN) was established in 2016.

Lead and Network Fellow

  • NGN Fellow, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Mikaili serves as NGN Research Fellow, where she plays a vital role in collaborating with the core NGN team to ensure the efficient coordination of faculty network activities and provides valuable support for ongoing research projects. Her academic pursuits and research interests are centered around the critical concept of health equity and its integration into the realms of chronic disease prevention, treatment, and outcomes for conditions like diabetes, sickle cell disease.
  • Associate Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology); Chief of Rheumatology, VA Connecticut Healthcare System; Associate Professor on Term, Chronic Disease Epidemiology; Network Lead, Yale Network for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NGN); Associate Program Director, Global Health Equity Scholars Program; Program Director, CMB Global Health Fellowship Programs; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Dr. Hsieh’s research integrates biomedical and behavioral methods to improve outcomes for rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease in countries in economic transition. This body of work includes mechanisms, epidemiology, and prevention strategies for osteoporosis, fractures and sarcopenia among individuals aging with HIV in China and Peru. In addition to serving as Network Lead for NGN, she chairs the Global Engagement Committee of the American College of Rheumatology and is Program Director of the Yale-CMB Global Health Leadership Development Program.


  • Dr. Achhra’s research interests are in epidemiological studies in HIV/AIDS. Some of his notable work has focused on the impact of BMI and weight gain from antiretroviral therapy on diabetes and cardiovascular outcomes, dual-drug therapies for HIV/AIDS, inflammatory markers and clinical outcomes in HIV, and implementation research on improving HIV treatment outcomes in Asia-Pacific, amongst others.
  • Dr. Chekijian’s research interests lie in global emergency medicine and include emergency care systems development in LMICs, unintentional injury prevention in LMICs, as well as stroke and cardiac care in LMICs. Dr. Chekijian has led and participated in projects in the Republic of Armenia, Uganda, and Iraq. She has consulted for the World Bank and the US Department of State and USAID. She is active member of the Stroke Initiative Advisory Task-Force for Armenia and was recently inducted into the Armenian Stroke Council.
  • Dr. Desai’s work is in the application of epidemiologic methods to clinical and health services research. Most of his research effort is devoted to mentored, team-science projects in which he is leading or substantially contributing to the analytic and methodological aspects of the work. The overarching goal of his work – across various content areas – is to improve health equity in access, quality, and outcomes of care in a broad range of populations and settings.
  • Dr. Hagaman is a qualitative methodologist who examines the complex collection of factors that influence depression and suicide in varying cultural contexts, particularly among vulnerable populations. She collaborates with several interdisciplinary teams around the world to develop and test innovative strategies to alleviate depression and enhance maternal health systems, with field sites in Nepal, Pakistan, and Ethiopia. She also contributes to the development of innovative qualitative and mixed methods to improve the study of evidence-based practices.
  • Dr. Hawley's expertise is in the impact of non-communicable disease (particularly obesity, and hypertension) on maternal and child health. Her research focuses predominantly on Pacific Islander populations, although she has ongoing collaborations in South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Mexico, and the US. Methodologically, Dr. Hawley employs a life-course approach that utilizes cross-sectional, cohort, and randomized controlled trial designs to address questions of causality and identify critical periods of susceptibility.
  • Dr. Lowe’s research focuses on the consequences of exposure to a range of potentially traumatic events for mental health and other domains of functioning. She examines long-term post-trauma mental health symptom patterns, the mechanisms leading from trauma exposure to outcomes, and the role of factors at various socio-ecological levels in shaping risk and resilience. She is currently working on a examining the intergenerational transmission of traumatic stress related to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. She also teaches the YSPH course “Trauma and Health.”
  • Dr. Martinez is a maternal and child public health nutrition investigator and implementation scientist with a focus on translating effective interventions into public health policy and practice in disparity populations. She has extensive experience using social and behavioral theory in research design, piloting, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Dr. Ni’s research focuses on using mobile technologies to prevent cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Dissertation Award of Duke University and the Excellent Paper Award of Chinese Nursing Association. He has conducted international research at the interface of chronic diseases, infectious diseases, and mobile health in the U.S., China, Nepal, Malaysia and Indonesia. His current projects are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and focused on developing artificial intelligence chatbots to promote HIV testing and prevention in Malaysia among populations at high risk for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Ni is also a lead faculty of the Yale Office of Global Affairs & Planetary Health and serves as the Director of International Academic Partnerships and Programs in Yale School of Nursing.
  • Dr. Oladele’s research focuses on social determinants of cardiovascular health disparities, with specific focus on the role of nutrition, healthcare quality, food, and built environments, including development of dietary assessment methodologies for African descent populations. Her research aims to generate evidence to support health policies and interventions to improve cardiovascular outcomes among racial/ethnic and immigrant populations. Dr. Oladele’s current work examines the role of food insecurity and ultra-processed food on disparities in hypertension incidence and control.
  • Dr. Prust is dedicated to providing the best care to patients and their families who are suffering from acute neurologic illnesses such as brain hemorrhage, stroke, seizure, and traumatic brain injury. His research interests lie at the intersection of neurology, critical care, and global health. He is passionate about finding ways to improve outcomes from neurologic emergencies in resource limited settings.
  • Dr. Rabin is an Internist and Pediatrician, Director of the Office of Global Health (Department of Internal Medicine), and Associate Program Director for Global and Community Health in Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program. She co-directs the Makerere University-Yale University medical education capacity building collaboration which is based in Kampala, Uganda. Her areas of interest include both domestic and international global health and education; global health ethics; and the prevention and management of diabetes.
  • Dr. Reid specializes in defining the conditions and the context that make palliative care an essential, cost efficient, yet missing component of care in humanitarian and low resource settings. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a randomized controlled trial of early palliative care in Ethiopia and is collaborating with international partners on other projects at the intersection of palliative care and Emergency Medicine in East Africa.
  • Dr. Rivara is an evolutionary anthropologist who focuses on human biology and the evolution of health and disease in modern populations. Her research aims are to better understand how immune and metabolic responses, in association with poverty and gendered pressures, construct noncommunicable and infectious diseases in women, and perpetuate poor health outcomes.
  • Dr. Schwartz’s work focuses on identifying and addressing gaps in NCD care in Uganda. His areas of focus include self-care, mobile health, clinical integration of HIV and HTN, and access to essential NCD medicines. He is a co-founder, and the US-based co-Director, of the Uganda Initiative for the Integrated Management of NCDs. Dr. Schwartz is Lead of the Yale Institute for Global Health Faculty Network Program.
  • Dr. Spatz is a general cardiologist and clinical investigator at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). Her clinical and research interests include the development of individualized approaches to preventing and managing cardiovascular disease, along with tools to help patients become more active in their healthcare decisions.
  • Dr. Spiegelman’s research is motivated by problems which arise in epidemiology and require biostatistical settlement. In particular, she focused on methods for study design and data analysis which reduce bias in estimation and inference due to measurement error or misclassification in the exposure variable. A particular current interest is risk-based monitoring of multi center investigations to enhance quality and prevent fraud. She has extensive expertise in troubleshooting and solving methodological issues that arise in longitudinal investigations, in clinical trials, and in large scale public health effectiveness evaluations.
  • Dr. Wang’s work is at the intersection of health equity, informatics, and data justice with a focus on optimizing health and health-related information, data, and technology for marginalized communities. Her research goal is to improve the health of marginalized communities by engaging them in the collection and use of health data and improving the quality of social and structural determinants of health data, such as race, ethnicity, and residential address.