Yale News

Earlier this week, the Yale Institute for Global Health — which was established in 2018 — announced its inaugural director, vaccine expert Saad B. Omer.

Omer will lead the newly-formed Yale Institute for Global Health, which hopes to address international health challenges, drawing upon faculty talent from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health. According to the YIGH website, the organization strives to “improve and accelerate health and health equity for people worldwide through high impact research, education, service and advocacy.”

“I am looking forward to leading the Yale Institute for Global Health … My goal is to leverage all parts of the institution for developing public policy solutions for global and in-country decision makers,” Omer told the News.

Omer’s position as director will begin on July 1, 2019. He will come to Yale from Emory University, where he currently serves as a professor at Emory’s Schools of Public Health and Medicine.

Since YIGH is still in a fledgling state, a large part of Omer’s initial responsibilities will be to further cement the organization’s trajectory and goals.

“One of my initial activities will be talking to a wide variety of students, alumni, researchers and faculty interested in contributing to Yale’s global health agenda. Based on this feedback, we’ll finalize a strategic plan for the YIGH,” Omer said.

As a vaccine expert, Omer has served on an array of advisory panels such as the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, the Incentives for Vaccine Working Group of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the WHO Expert Advisory Group for Healthcare Worker Vaccination.

In addition, Omer has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet and The British Medical Journal.

“Dr. Omer has great experience with large-scale projects abroad and with mentoring younger faculty,” said Pericles Lewis, Yale’s vice president for global strategy and deputy provost for international affairs.

According to Lewis, the YIGH will also engage more with other schools at the University, including the School of Law, the School of Management and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Omer expects that the YIGH will sponsor many projects, including an internship and field-placement program, an expanded seed grants program, junior faculty mentoring and collaboration with low-income country partners.

“Yale has well over 100 different global health programs in various parts of the world,” Lewis said. “Dr. Omer is a great leader for this group and will help them to make the most of their research projects, particularly by coordinating efforts in various parts of the world.”

Instituted in 2018, the Yale Institute for Global Health aims to combat global health challenges by combining expertise from across campus with international partners, according to its website.

Jessica Pevner | jessica.pevner@yale.edu 

Ishana Aggarwal | ishana.aggarwal@yale.edu