Current Topics and Methods in Microbiome Research Workshop

E. coli bacteria

Event Date & Time:

May 26, 2016 – 8:30am to 5:00pm

Check-in begins at 8am. The workshop starts at 8:30 and continues until 5pm.


Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Westlake Conference Room

West 8th Building (2001 8th Ave)

Seattle, Washington (link to Google Maps)

Information about getting to the workshop can be found here

Goal: The goal of the workshop is to share ongoing microbiome research being conducted by the University of Washington and partnering institutions and in doing so, to identify synergies and shared interests to strengthen research and build new collaborations.

Speakers from the University of British Columbia, the Forsyth Institute, University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Children’s Hospital, and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation will present short talks and engage in panel discussions on topics including:

  • The gut microbiome and its role in enteric health and disease
  • The oral microbiome and its role in oral health and disease
  • The genital microbiome and its role in sexual and reproductive health
  • Statistical methods for microbiome data
  • Research priorities for women, adolescents, and children: thinking across the host microbiome

The workshop agenda can be found here.

Please register for the workshop here

Preparing for an Emerging Zika Virus Epidemic


Join us for an expert panel drawn from public health, medicine, and bioengineering to discuss what we know, what we don’t know, and how to prepare


The University of Washington Global Center for the Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents and Children (Global WACh) is pleased to host an expert panel discussion to disseminate up-to-date information about Zika virus, its public health impact locally and globally, and what the general public and health care professionals need to know about preventing infection and minimizing the risk of birth defects due to Zika virus infection in pregnancy.

Event Details:

Friday, May 6, 2016


Hogness Auditorium

Health Sciences Building, UW Medical Center


This panel discussion is open to the public and seeks to provide factual information to the general community as well as to health care professionals and researchers.


What should I know before I travel to a region where Zika virus is currently spreading?

What do pregnant women need to know?

What should I do if I think I might have Zika virus?

What are the facts about Zika virus and birth defects?

Could Zika virus come to Seattle?

How is Zika virus currently diagnosed and what is needed to improve diagnostics?

What is the potential for pandemic spread?

What are the possible control measures?

Is a vaccine possible?

Is Zika virus sexually transmitted?


We have assembled a panel of experts to address topics including the public health response to Zika virus, infection control measures, implications of Zika virus infection in pregnancy, and current and future approaches to diagnosing Zika virus infection.

The expert panel will include:

Jeffery Duchin, MD

Health Officer of Public Health, Seattle & King County Professor, University of Washington


John Lynch, MD MPH

Medical Director of Harborview Medical Center Infection Control Associate Professor, University of Washington

Headshot portrait of Dr. John Lynch, infectious diseases.

Ghayda Mirzaa, MD

Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Center for Integrative Brain Science, Acting Assistant Professor, University of Washington



Alyssa Stephenson-Famy, MD

Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Assistant Professor, University of Washington


Paul Yager, PhD

Professor, Bioengineering Department Chair University of Washington


For more information please email globalwach@uw.edu

Global WACh Now Accepting Applications for Small Change Awards

Download the 2016 instructions and application here: GlobalWACh-Small-Change-RFA

Deadline: May 1, 2016

Small Changes With Big Impact

Life saving equipment purchased by Homa Bay Hospital with funds from the 2015 Small Change awards.

The University of Washington Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children (Global WACh) aims to contribute to scientific discoveries, nurture leaders, and foster collaborative approaches to improving the health and well-being of women, adolescents, and children.  As part of this commitment, Global WACh supports Small Change Awards that empower local front-line care providers to identify targets for clinical improvement, compete for support, and advocate for their patients.  Small Change awards improve the patient experience in limited and middle income countries by improving clinical care, patient satisfaction, workforce empowerment, and health service delivery for programs benefiting the health of women, adolescents and children.

Eligibility Requirements (Applicants must meet requirements to apply)

  • Applicant is employed by a current UW partner organization in a low resource setting
  • Applicant is a staff or faculty member working in a health program or clinical setting that serves women, adolescents or children

**NEW THIS YEAR: Low resources sites/programs located in the USA are now eligible for Small Change Awards

Types of resources funded

Proposals must address unmet needs and improve the experience of women, adolescents, and children receiving healthcare services.

Potential topics may include but are not restricted to the following:

  • Infrastructure improvements to existing structures (paint, furniture, signage) and associated labor costs
  • Electronics (telephones, tablets, computers, AV)
  • Medical equipment (stethoscopes, scales)
  • Youth-friendly clinic improvements (play areas, toys)
  • Patient educational materials

Proposals that will not be considered:

  • Consumable supplies (gloves, gowns, notebooks etc.)
  • Items that will not be retained at the site (e.g., giveaways to patients)
  • Items and supplies that are already provided through government programs (e.g., mosquito nets)
  • Ongoing salary support for staff

Funding Available

Awards of less than $1000 USD are strongly encouraged and will be given preference due to the scope of the award.

Visit the Small Change webpage for more details.

March Breakfast Lecture with Mark J. Manary

Join us for breakfast and a lecture sponsored by the CFAR Enterics Study Team and Global WACh on Wednesday and Thursday March 9th .

“The future of food and nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa”

Dr. Mark J. Manary
Washington University School of Medicine


Wednesday, March 9th, 9:00-10:00AM
Ninth and Jefferson Building, Room 1360
Harborview Medical Center

Hear Dr. Manary’s full talk below:

Breakfast with WACh with Dr. Christy McKinney

Christy McKinney PhD, MPH just joined Global WACh as part of our lecture series with an exciting presentation on The NIFTY™ Cup: A Neonatal Intuitive Feeding Technology for Infants who have Difficulty Breastfeeding in Low-Resource Settings.

McKinney_Christy_PhotoDr. McKinney is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral Health Sciences and the Academic Research Coach for the Division of Internal Medicine at the University of Washington. She received her MPH from Tulane University in 2002 and her PhD from the University of Washington in 2006, both in epidemiology. She is the recipient of an NIH Institute for Translational Health Sciences KL2 career development award, which she completed in 2014.

Her research areas include the etiology of oral clefts, feeding infants with breastfeeding difficulties, bisphenol A in dental materials, and the application of research methods in clinical contexts. She is the recipient of an NIH R01 to conduct a prospective cohort study to examine the extent to which children are exposed to bisphenol A during dental treatment. She is co-Principal Investigator of a recently awarded Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenges grant award that involves evaluating the Neonatal Intuitive Feeding Technology (NIFTY™) cup in Ethiopia. In her role as Academic Research Coach she provides research methods and implementation guidance to over 30 faculty and 30 different research projects.

You can view her entire presentation below.

Breakfast with WACh with Dr. Assaye Nigussie

For this Breakfast with WACh lecture we welcomed Dr. Assaye Kassie Nigussie, Deputy Director, Country Implementation, Newborn & Child Health at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

FullSizeRenderDr. Nigussie, an Ethiopian national, is a Medical Doctor and a qualified Pediatrician from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. Dr. Nigussie has over 20 years of experience in Pediatric Medicine and Neonatology, initially as a clinical instructor, practicing physician and Newborn and Child health researcher, and later as program manager for health programs focusing on Maternal, Neonatal, Child health and health systems. He brings both specific newborn expertise and a wealth of program implementation experiences across the MNCH continuum. He is currently working at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the Deputy Director of Country Implementation on the MNCH team.

Below, you can view Dr. Nigussie’s entire presentation on Evidence-Based Strategy Planning for MNCH: Country Experience.


Small Change Awards: Spotlight on Homa Bay

Small changes can make a big difference.  The Global WACh Small Change Awards are given to improve the patient experience in low and middle income countries by improving clinical care, patient satisfaction, workforce empowerment, and health service delivery for programs befitting the health of women, adolescents and children. We recently reviewed several highly inventive applications and ultimately funded three outstanding proposals. Among our award recipients was Dr. Liru of the Homa Bay Hospital in Homa Bay, Kenya.

Homa Bay has one of the worst child mortality rates in Kenya, primarily caused by respiratory infections, malaria, diarrhea and neonatal conditions. Dr. Liru Meshack, a pediatrician at Homa Bay, identified inadequate respiratory support equipment as a barrier to reducing inpatient case fatality at the hospital.  Dr. Liru requested new respiratory equipment that could save the lives of critically-ill children and adolescents at the hospital.

Global WACh is very excited to partner with Homa Bay hopsital through our Small Change Awards.  Here is a video showing the need for new equipment and a heartfelt thank you from our partners in Kenya.

The Small Change Awards are supported through private donations from people like you. You can make a gift on our website’s Small Change Award page or give through the UW
Combined Fund Drive that supports more than 5,000 nonprofits in the UWCFD campaign (Charity 1481904).

Breakfast With WACh with Simon Hay

Last Thursday, Global WACh was excited to welcome Simon Hay of the Institute for Health metrics and Evaluation as part of our Breakfast with WACh lecture series. He did an excellent presentation on Global Mapping of Infectious Disease.

You can view the entire presentation below.


haySimon Hay is a Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington and Director of Geospatial Science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). His career has focused on spatial and temporal aspects of infectious disease epidemiology to support the more rational implementation of disease control and intervention strategies. His best known work is focused on accurately defining human populations at risk of malaria and its burden at global, regional and national scales through the co-founding of the Malaria Atlas Project. He now leads an international collaboration of researchers, from a wide variety of academic disciplines, with the objective of improving the outputs and outcomes of infectious disease cartography.


Spotlight on Global WACh Seed Grant Recipient Deepa Rao

We took a few moments to catch up with Dr. Deepa Rao, an Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health and recipient of a Global WACh integrated health seed grant.  Dr. Rao’s grant funding was awarded to explore the impact of domestic violence and depressive symptoms on preterm birth in South India.  India has a very high domestic violence rate in addition to having the highest number of maternal deaths, preterm birth, and under 5 mortality in the world.  Global WACh viewed this proposal as an opportunity to understand more about the relationship between the two.

“We need to look at the person holistically and realize a mother’s mental health is connected to their baby’s health and it’s not a solely biological process. In my training I’ve always seen the social, interpersonal connected to the biological.”

Dr. Rao was awarded $25,000 to estimate the prevalence of depressive and PTSD symptoms in pregnant women in South India and examine the effects of these symptoms on birth outcomes.  Dr. Rao’s team also conducted interviews with key informants to gather information on how therapeutic techniques could be adapted to be culturally relevant.

Deepa Rao

The study was conducted at two different hospitals, and involved 150 Indian women over the age of 18 who were in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. All of the women were married, had some education, and about nine percent were employed outside of the home. Twenty-one percent of them reported clinically significant depressive symptoms and PTSD.

Her findings, to be published in an upcoming paper entitled The Impact of Domestic Violence and Depressive Symptoms on Preterm Birth in South India, showed that both psychological abuse and clinically significant depressive symptoms were associated with preterm birth. In addition, her team found that maternal depressive symptoms and experience of psychological abuse were strongly associated with each other. During the study, female research assistants asked questions about home situations that could shed light on whether or not the women had suffered abuse. Several women had.

Dr. Rao points out that current policy initiatives focus predominantly on physical abuse, and psychological abuse may be overlooked through these initiatives. She emphasized the need for future research to focus on understanding the psychosocial causes of preterm birth to better target interventions and improve maternal child health in limited resource settings.

New Lecture Series -Breakfast with WACh with guest Dr. Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli

Please join Global WACh as we welcome Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli MBBS, MSc of the World Health Organization as part of our new Breakfast with WACh lecture series.

chandramouliDr. Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli is an expert in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. He has worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva since 1993. His experience in generating knowledge and taking knowledge to action is global in scope and spans over 25 years.  A key area of his work is research on effective ways of providing sexuality education in different social, cultural and economic contexts, and then using these research findings to strengthen sexuality education programs in low and middle income countries.


October 8th 9-10 AM University of Washington, South Campus Center Room 354

Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Why is there so much discomfort about it?  What are the implications for public health and health care professionals?

For more information please see this flyer.

For the full filmed presentation, please visit this link.