GIM Faculty Spotlight: Shenglan Tang, PhD

Monday, April 11, 2016
Dr. Tang hiking in Geneva

Shenglan Tang, MD, PhD, is a Duke Professor of Medicine and Research Professor of Global Health. He is the Associate Director for Duke Kunshan University. We learned from his arrival at the Duke Global Health Institute in 2012 that Dr. Tang came to Duke from the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), based in Geneva. He holds several appointments from leading universities, including Fudan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chongqing Medical University and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.

We asked Dr. Tang to tell us about coming to Duke. We wanted to know what a typical day looks like.

I have been at Duke for over four years. My tenured faculty appointment is with the Division of General Medicine, but I have actually been based at Duke Global Health Institute. My responsibilities at DGHI, as Associate Director for DKU and China initiatives of the institute, include:

overseeing the operation of global health related activities in China, especially at Duke Kunshan campus
doing teaching in both Durham and Duke Kunshan
supervising post graduate students from both campuses
leading several large research projects in China and other Asian countries

It is hard to tell what a typical day looks like. Often mixed activities of meetings, teaching, and research. I have got lots of international traveling and spent many evenings on teleconference calls with colleagues from Duke Kunshan and other parts of world.

Could you tell us more about your role as a researcher?

With support from the Gates Foundation, I have led a large project aimed to monitor and evaluate TB/MDR-TB interventions undertaken in three provinces of China. I am also Director of Research Hub of Asia-Pacific Observatory of Health Systems and Policy hosted by WHO, to lead policy-oriented research projects to improve the performance of health systems in Asian countries.

Please let us hear how did you got into this field.

After I received my medical training in Shanghai, I got my Masters of Public Health from UW in Seattle, and DPhil in health economics from Sussex University, UK. Since then, I have started my career in the field as academics in US/UK universities and also spent over six years to provide services at WHO.

How has your subject area changed (or where you see future changes)? 

25 years ago I studied the subject, called “international health.” Now it is named “global health.” It is not just a change in name. The nature of subject area emphasizes more about partnership and cooperation in health between developed and developing countries, rather than Western countries’ support to their southern partners via bilateral aid programs.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the division? 

Reading and hiking

Have you recently read any books, articles, blog posts or other material that would be of interest to our members?

Health and the SDGs: Out of the doldrums, heading for the rapids

What is a fun fact about you that people may not know? 

I enjoy fine wines!

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Dr. Tang is editor of the blog: China Health Policy Report