I am an emergency medicine physician with subspecialty training in Prehospital Emergency Medical Services and Disaster Medicine. In my current role as Durham County EMS medical director, I directly oversee Durham County EMS, 9-1-1 (Durham Emergency Call Center) as well as Durham City and County Fire Departments. This role, along with my research interests, has also allowed me to provide guidance and mentorship to students and residents interested in EMS. I am currently mentoring several research projects in Tanzania that look at development of a community needs assessment and evaluation of the emergency care system in the Kilimanjaro area. I have also closely worked with Drs. Vissoci, Mmbaga and Staton on various research projects.
I am a paediatrician at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) participating in clinical, teaching, and research activities. I am also a senior lecturer at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College of the Tumaini University Makumira. I graduated with a PhD in 2013 from the University of Bergen Centre for International Health and Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care. Currently, I am the Site Co-leader for the KCMC-Duke Collaboration in clinical research in which CFAR, IMPAACT and ACTG studies are part of the ongoing activities. I have been working with the KCMC HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Clinic as well as research activities at the institution since 2004. I was a member of IMPAACT Vaccine Immunology Scientific Committee for six years (2006-2012). I received a NICHD/Westat contract for IMPAACT studies from June 2014 as Principal Investigator. As a Senior Lecturer at the college, I also supervise students on their research proposals and thesis work for Master’s and PhD courses. Currently I am Director of the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (KCRI), leading and participating in numerous research activities including studies of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma within the ESCCAPE network, clinical trials of tuberculosis second-line drugs, clinical trials on prevention of HIV/AIDS mother to child transmission, and antibacterial resistance. I have led the establishment of zoonoses disease laboratory at KCRI including Brucella, anthrax, leptospirosis and leading febrile illness studies outbreak investigations using Taqman card array and I have led the implementation of the Illumina Miseq and establishment of whole genome sequence within KCRI. I have extensive experience in mentorship for students within and outside the country. I have been a mentor for two successful K awards (1K01TW009985-01 and K01 TW 010000), with the mentees getting R01 awards as well as other Fogarty trainees in Tanzania from Duke and UVA. For this application, as PD I will coordinate all research planning activities at KCRI-KCMC for the trainees within KCMUCo. I am and have been involved in training awards (D43TW009595 and R25TW011227) as a mentor to trainees in this capacity building grants. I am enthusiastic about further developing capacity for injury research.
By seeing three patients an hour, I can save lives, but by training the next generation of physicians and scientists to provide the best evidence-based care globally, we can save and improve lives for thousands around the world. In 2009, I participated in a Fogarty D43 Trauma and Injury program at Emory through an ARRA post-doctoral fellowship, where I helped train physician scientists to conduct injury prevention and control research in Mozambique. This experience not only solidified my interest in mentorship but also in conducting global injury research. After my transition to Tanzania and Duke, supported by two Mentored Research Training Program grants through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative, we started a Traumatic Brain Injury Clinical Registry at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC), to improve clinical care administered to patients and to continue to build research capacity on the ground. These grants and projects have identified areas of need at KCMC which have been the foundation of our collaborative work there. I completed my Fogarty K01 Career Development Award Addressing Alcohol Amongst High Risk Injury Patients in Tanzania where I culturally adapted a brief alcohol harm reduction intervention for injury patients (2015-2019). I am currently funded as PI on an R01 PRACT: A Pragmatic Randomized Adaptive Clinical Trial to Investigate Controlling Alcohol-related Harms in a Low-Income Setting; Emergency Department Brief Interventions in Tanzania to evaluate that intervention. As one of the first Emergency Medicine Global Health research scientists, I had few mentors in my specific field during residency and fellowship, but saw that mentorship is imperative to success. Since 2011, I have mentored over 100 undergraduate, masters, and medical students, residents, fellows, post-doctoral students and junior faculty from Duke, Stanford, Emory, UNC, Utah and other US based institutions as well as Tanzania, Brazil and Sri Lanka globally. Most notably, I have had mentees receive NIH, Gates, Fogarty- VECD, Fulbright, AHRQ, Laerdal Foundation, World Health Organization/PAHO, Brazilian Federal and Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funding. Separate from teaching research methods and writing skills, mentorship includes opening a trainees imagination and opportunities, empowering them to try something new and internalize a strong work ethic and integrity.
Since my doctoral studies, I have been driven to integrate innovative quantitative and data science research methods into different areas of biomedical research, specifically in public and global health. During my postdoctoral training, I dedicated my time to developing quantitative skills, including geographical information systems (GIS), longitudinal designs, epidemiology, dynamic systems and latent variable modeling. In 2016, I concluded postdoctoral training at the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), where I obtained further training in global health, applying and honing my data science skills by mining and modeling data with our partners at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) in Tanzania, and Uganda and other LMICs. Since joining the Duke Division of Emergency Medicine and the Section of Global Health in 2017, I have developed multiple global research projects focusing on data science as the tool to address healthcare problems. I have conducted built environment analysis with GIS, network analysis, natural language processing and machine learning. I have 6 years of experience in NIH-funded research with our collaborators at KCMC in Tanzania; I designed a pragmatic adaptive clinical trial to evaluate an intervention to reduce substance use, and designed a longitudinal study on disability post-injury care. Along with Dr. Staton, I now co-lead the Global Emergency Medicine Innovation and Implementation (GEMINI) Research Lab, focusing on developing data-driven innovation and design implementation studies in LMICs. Recently, I joined the Duke Global Health Institute Research Analysis and Design Core (RDAC), where I devote my time to designing and conducting research proposals in collaboration with the DGHI faculty. The RDAC has extensive infrastructure to provide the analytical support needed in this original proposal.
With colleagues in Brazil, I am currently the co-PI of a DGHI-funded Artificial Intelligence pilot project to combine Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning to identify chief emergency medicine complaints from unstructured text data of emergency (EMS or 911) calls. I have extensive previous work with machine learning models to predict traumatic brain injury, ischemic heart disease, and pregnancy related negative outcomes. I am also the lead methodologist to develop the GRID: Global Repository of Injury Data, a consortium supported FAIR database of injury data from low and middle-income countries.
- Nayara Caruzzo
- Linda Minja
- Thiago Rocha
- Anna Tupetz