Molly Forrest Franke
Molly Forrest Franke, SD
Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine
Co-Director, Global and Community Health Advanced Integrated Science Course (AISC)
Epidemiologist, Global Health Research Core

Dr. Franke is a global health researcher whose work brings the rigor of epidemiology to intractable infections (tuberculosis [TB], cholera, HIV, SARS-CoV-2) and chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension depression) that disproportionately affect the poor or socially-marginalized. Her work has spanned a range of settings including Peru, Haiti, Rwanda, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, and the United States.

Franke’s current work has two broad objectives. The first is improve the health of children and adolescents affected by TB and HIV. She is the PI of a Peru-based pediatric tuberculosis diagnostic study that aims to identify the best non-sputum-based specimens from which to detect TB in children. She also leads intervention work in Peru that aims to improve the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults living with HIV through the provision of health navigation and social support and through youth-friendly modalities, such as music videos (

The second objective of her work is to ensure that care and treatment of health conditions that disproportionately affect the poor and socially marginalized is guided by the highest possible quality of evidence. To this end, she seeks to identify and apply the best epidemiologic methods for addressing critical knowledge gaps related to interventions and treatment.  Her past work has included the development and validation of questionnaires; design of studies to assess the effectiveness of cholera interventions, including vaccination; and assessment of community-based programs for care and treatment of HIV, tuberculosis, mental health, diabetes and hypertension. Franke currently holds funding from the National Institutes of Health to improve the evidence base guiding treatment of drug-resistant TB through the application and adaptation of statistical methods commonly used in other fields.

Molly Franke is associate professor in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She co-directs the HMS Global and Community Health Advanced Integrated Science Course (AISC) and is a member of the Department’s Global Health Research Core.

Franke completed undergraduate studies in Sociology and Spanish at Colby College and doctoral training in Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Prior to joining the Department in 2010, she worked for Massachusetts Department of Public Health Epidemiology & Immunization Surveillance Program and Partners In Health sites in Peru and Rwanda. She is a long-time volunteer with the Elm Project, which supports underserved youth affected by chronic illness.

Throughout her career, Dr. Franke has contributed to the learning of dozens of students and trainees within the Harvard community, at other institutions of higher learning and the field sites where she conducts research. She is an active participant in the HMS Masters of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery (MMSc-GHD) program, serving as a thesis advisor and member of the Curriculum and Admissions Committees. She has been recognized for excellence in mentoring: in 2017 she received the Jo Rae Wright Award for promising contributions in pulmonary research along with outstanding mentoring and professional leadership qualities, and in 2020 she was awarded the Young Mentor Award by Harvard Medical School.

Culture Conversion at 6 Months in Patients Receiving Delamanid-containing Regimens for the Treatment of Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis.
Authors: Authors: Seung KJ, Khan P, Franke MF, Ahmed S, Aiylchiev S, Alam M, Putri FA, Bastard M, Docteur W, Gottlieb G, Hewison C, Islam S, Khachatryan N, Kotrikadze T, Khan U, Kumsa A, Lecca L, Tassew YM, Melikyan N, Naing YY, Oyewusi L, Rich M, Wanjala S, Yedilbayev A, Huerga H, Mitnick CD.
Clin Infect Dis
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Food insecurity as a risk factor for preterm birth: a prospective facility-based cohort study in rural Haiti.
Authors: Authors: Richterman A, Raymonville M, Hossain A, Millien C, Joseph JP, Jerome G, Franke MF, Ivers LC.
BMJ Glob Health
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Time Dependent Confounding in Tuberculosis Treatment Outcome Analyses: A Review of a Source of Bias.
Authors: Authors: Rodriguez CA, Sy KTL, Mitnick CD, Franke MF.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med
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High prevalence of hepatitis C infection among multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients.
Authors: Authors: Seung KJ, Franke MF, Hewison C, Huerga H, Khan U, Mitnick CD.
J Hepatol
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Observational stepped-wedge analysis of a community health worker-led intervention for diabetes and hypertension in rural Mexico.
Authors: Authors: Worster DT, Franke MF, Bazúa R, Flores H, García Z, Krupp J, Maza J, Palazuelos L, Rodríguez K, Newman PM, Palazuelos D.
BMJ Open
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Outcomes of a primary care mental health implementation program in rural Rwanda: A quasi-experimental implementation-effectiveness study.
Authors: Authors: Smith SL, Franke MF, Rusangwa C, Mukasakindi H, Nyirandagijimana B, Bienvenu R, Uwimana E, Uwamaliya C, Ndikubwimana JS, Dorcas S, Mpunga T, Misago CN, Iyamuremye JD, Dusabeyezu JD, Mohand AA, Atwood S, Osrow RA, Aldis R, Daimyo S, Rose A, Coleman S, Manzi A, Kayiteshonga Y, Raviola GJ.
PLoS One
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Lifetime Changes in CD4 T-cell count, Viral Load Suppression and Adherence Among Adolescents Living With HIV in Urban Peru.
Authors: Authors: Rodriguez CA, Kolevic L, Ramos A, Wong M, Munoz M, Patel K, Franke MF.
Pediatr Infect Dis J
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Diagnostic accuracy of molecular detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in pediatric stool samples: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Authors: Authors: Mesman AW, Rodriguez C, Ager E, Coit J, Trevisi L, Franke MF.
Tuberculosis (Edinb)
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Performance of a household tuberculosis exposure survey among children in a Latin American setting.
Authors: Authors: Coit J, Mendoza M, Pinedo C, Marin H, Chiang SS, Lecca L, Franke M.
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis
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Understanding health-related behavior among adolescents living with HIV in Lima, Peru.
Authors: Authors: Rodriguez CA, Valle E, Galea J, Wong M, Kolevic L, Muñoz M, Lecca L, Franke MF.
BMC Pediatr
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