Carole Mitnick Promoted to Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine
The Department of Global Health and Social Medicine is delighted to announce the promotion of Carole Mitnick to Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine on October 1, 2020.
Carole is a world-renowned research and thought leader in optimizing the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Her groundbreaking, highly collaborative research on the treatment of multi-drug resistant TB in Peru has served as a foundation for the success of projects and health systems addressing TB elsewhere in the Americas, Africa, and Eastern Europe/Central Asia.
She saw the need for clinical trials to optimize TB treatment nearly two decades ago. At that time, there were few resources dedicated to, limited capacity for, and an apparent lack of interest in improving the quality of research that guides treatment for TB and multi-drug resistant TB. Carole has devoted much of her work to strengthening the capacity, infrastructure, and space for experimental research on TB while promoting the use of novel, analytic methods that improve the evidence that emerges from observational studies.
Seizing the opportunity offered by the end of a 40-year drought in TB drug development, Carole has made signal contributions to the study of effective therapy for this disease. She has designed the world’s most ambitious clinical trials of two new agents, and the largest observational study that informs their use pending trial results. These three studies are underway in 17 countries. Since tuberculosis is again the world’s largest infectious killer of adults, the significance of Carole’s work—which has already generated sufficient data to inform new treatment recommendations—cannot be exaggerated. Its significance for the evaluation of candidate therapies for other pandemics makes her research and leadership exceptionally important today.
As the pioneering TB trialist in our department, Carole continues to develop the capacity for such research in a number of countries, in conjunction with academic, public-sector, and non-governmental partners. She has raised the bar for integrating patient-centered care into research while blazing a path of experimental research on TB treatment that is redefining the field at the global level. Carole’s contributions are bringing us closer to the long-dashed hopes of eliminating TB.
Carole’s promotion also recognizes her contributions to teaching. She taught in the legacy, elective social medicine course and served as an inaugural member of the faculty teaching in the Introduction to Social Medicine and Global Health, the first social medicine course required of HMS students. She helped to develop and teach the first University-wide course on mixed methods research. She is an active faculty participant in the Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery degree program. HMS presented her the Scholars in Medicine Excellence in Student Mentoring Award this year. She mentors postdoctoral researchers as well as colleagues at Socios en Salud, the Partners In Health sister organization in Peru, where she conducts most of her research and partners to build research capacity there.
The vanguard research program that Carole has designed and funded stands to grow in its scope and impact to reduce the suffering caused by drug-resistant tuberculosis. This program has influenced many others while advancing the new field of delivery science along with our shared goal of equity in the quality of and access to health care.