Field Notes, Update

Where the wild things are; the Indigo cooler; and farewell, lassie

The info hub for the hub of global health

Where the wild things are

Felix Lankester knows how to find—and film—them. He started as a wildlife vet and had a parallel career as a wildlife film director in his 20s. His first big breakthrough was filming the olive ridley sea turtle on the Costa Rica coast. Felix’s footage (the only camera that was at the right beach at the right time) now opens BBC’s The Blue Planet.

Today, Felix is the director of Washington State University’s Rabies Free Tanzania program. He’s spent time with Sir David Attenborough in Borneo and joined Prince Harry on a recent safari. The one thing Felix doesn’t do? Score goals when he’s up against his three young boys in soccer.

What’s cooler than being cool?

Staying slightly above ice cold. Vaccines need to be between 2 °C and 8 °C, and that’s easier to do thanks to Global Good’s invention, the Indigo cooler. This cold chain marvel was invented at Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures Laboratory and keeps vaccines at the right temperature for at least five days with no ice, no batteries, and no power. Early data shows that field vaccinators can reach up to four times as many places with the Indigo. This promising news has Bill Gates writing, too.

What’s hotter than being hot? 

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) forum featuring US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Murray is a member of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security and will open the conversation on building health security in a disordered world. Join us for this hot topic on August 6 at the University of Washington.

Sweet (brain) child of mine

The Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI) has a new brainchild that’s bringing hope to children with relapsed central nervous system (CNS) tumors. SCRI’s new immunotherapy trial (aka BrainChild-01) is enrolling children with relapsed CNS tumors and using a novel approach—delivering cancer-fighting CAR T cells directly into the brain.

Humble brag

Or maybe just a brag. WGHA board member Claire BonillaSightLife CEO, is bringing new vision to SightLife’s mission of ending corneal blindness worldwide by 2040. The Puget Sound Business Journal highlights how Claire’s vision is being passed down to the people who need it most.

And WGHA board member Ali Mokdad, with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, was named chief strategy officer for Population Health at the University of Washington. Ali will set the vision for UW’s Population Health Initiative—a 25-year effort centered on human health, environmental resilience, and social and economic equity.


So you wanna be a life scientist?

Step 1: Apply for Washington Research Foundation’s postdoc fellowship.
Step 2: Finish your PhD before the fellowship starts in 2019.

Meet Jesse, a virologist whose work at the Infectious Disease Research Institute is funded by Washington Research Foundation. He studies how RNA viruses replicate in their hosts as part of his quest to make better vaccines.

Take a cue from Jesse and apply today for one of ten Washington Research Foundation postdoc fellowships. Fellows will be funded for three years at eligible research institutions in Washington state. Don’t delay—applications are only accepted through July 15!

Farewell, lassie

WGHA’s beloved Hanna Hwang is dusting off her backpack and packing her rain boots to pursue her MPH at the University of Edinburgh. While we bid our favorite lassie farewell, we’re looking for WGHA’s next member engagement manager.

WGHA is looking for someone to stay current with Washington’s global health players, plan brilliant events, and support digital communications. The new lad or lass needs to be good with people, technology, and dogs (meet our office pup). If this sounds like you or someone you know, send us your cover letter and resume by July 11.

Around town

Check WGHA’s events page for regular updates on local events with a global health focus. A few of our favorites coming up:

  • Learn about neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that threaten nearly 1 billion people:
  • Join the BMGF Community Partner Days to meet two local groups fighting global diseases: UW’s Department of Global Health (July 11) and Pilgrim Africa (July 18).
  • Register for the Solutions Journalism Network’s West Coast Regional Gathering to explore how people are responding to social problems (July 14).

The midwife who helped my Peace Corps host mom became my North Star for the way she listened first and slowly built trust—eventually guiding my host mom to deliver in a facility that could keep her safe and alive. To this day, I still ask how she would do things.

—Carrie Hessler-Radelet, president and CEO of Project Concern International, sharing her personal career story at WGHA’s Field Notes Live event

Washington Research Foundation supports research and scholarship in Washington State, with a focus on life sciences and enabling technologies.

Do you have a tip for Field Notes? Send it to Tiffany Cain, tcain@wghalliance.org

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