Christopher C. Beyrer, MD, MPH, an internationally renowned epidemiologist who has worked on the front lines of HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 treatment and research, will be the next director of the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), University officials announced Friday.
Beyrer will join Duke on August 30 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he is the first Desmond M. Tutu Professor of Public Health and Human Rights as well as a professor of epidemiology, nursing and medicine.
He succeeds Dennis Clements, MD, professor emeritus of pediatrics and professor-researcher of global health, who served as interim director since 2020.
“Chris Beyrer will be an outstanding and passionate leader of the Duke Global Health Institute,” said Provost Sally Kornbluth. “He is a researcher, scholar, teacher and advocate whose work has made a difference around the world. There has never been a more important time for global health, and under Chris’s leadership, DGHI and Duke will continue to be a leader in research, education and service to society.
Beyrer has extensive experience leading international collaborative research and training programs related to infectious disease epidemiology and disease prevention. At Johns Hopkins, he directs the HIV epidemiology and prevention science training program, is associate director of the Center for AIDS Research and the Center for Global Health, and is the founding director of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights.
“During this time of profound change, the Duke Global Health Institute has continued to shine a light on social and health inequities here and around the world,” said A. Eugene Washington, MD, chancellor of health affairs at Duke University. and Chairman and CEO. of the Duke University Health System. “At Chris, we have an exceptional leader, an exceptional administrator and an outstanding expert on human rights and inequality across various social gradients. His background, experiences and unrelenting passion for global health make him an ideal leader to help grow and amplify DGHI’s excellence and impact,” he added.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all how truly interconnected we are as a global human family and how critical advances in biomedical research have been,” Beyrer said, “but also how critical we have been challenged to answer fundamental questions of equity, access to health care, and compassion for the underserved. It is an honor and a privilege to join the extraordinary team at Duke Global Health Institute, who will continue to be part of the solution to these inequalities. I am confident that we can bring about real change where it matters most – in the lives of those we seek to serve.
Beyrer, who has worked on COVID-19 vaccine trials since 2020, is currently a senior scientific liaison with the COVID-19 Vaccine Prevention Network. He is past president of the International AIDS Society, the world’s largest group of HIV professionals and has served as an advisor to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the HIV Vaccine Trials Network , the National Institutes of Health’s Office of AIDS Research, the US Military HIV Research Program, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Open Society Foundations, among many other organizations.
“Our mission at the School of Medicine is to advance patient care, research and education locally and globally,” said Mary E. Klotman, MD, dean of the School of Medicine at Duke University. “As an internationally recognized scientist and leader in the field of human rights and public health, Dr. Beyrer will be a visionary leader for our Institute of Global Health, expanding the work already underway and opening the door to new opportunities.
Born in Switzerland to American parents, Beyrer grew up in New York and has pursued research, studies and interests in more than 30 countries. Author of “War in the Blood: Sex, Politics and AIDS in Southeast Asia”, he conducted collaborative research in Thailand for 30 years.
He attended Hobart and William Smith colleges, where he majored in history and was elected a Phi Beta Kappa. He received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and holds a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Beyrer was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2014.
Beyrer’s appointment follows a global search led by Gillian Sanders Schmidler, professor of population health sciences and medicine and deputy director of the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, and a committee of Duke and University faculty. global health experts.
“I am so grateful to Dennis Clements for leading DGHI through the most significant public health crisis of the last century, and to the Search Committee for their perseverance and dedication,” said Provost Kornbluth.
Beyrer is a widower. Her late husband, Michael Smit, was a nurse practitioner in his hometown of Baltimore.
Founded in 2006, the Duke Global Health Institute brings together professors of medicine and nursing, anthropology, psychology, public policy, engineering, environmental science, and other fields to conduct research and collaborative and interdisciplinary education on the most important global health issues of our time. DGHI hosts education programs for undergraduate, master’s, medical, and doctoral students in a wide range of disciplines. During the past academic year, DGHI researchers conducted 270 research projects that received funding totaling over $75 million.