AMPATH Research Leader Changes Roles

Rachel Vreeman, MD, MS, is leaving Indiana for a new adventure in New York City, and although many of her possessions won’t fit in her new city apartment, her AMPATH involvement is making the move to the Big Apple.

Vreeman first participated in AMPATH’s activities in Kenya as a pediatric resident from the IU School of Medicine in 2004. Her research and engagement in Kenya grew dramatically over the years, and in 2014 she became North American Director of the AMPATH Research Network. In addition to AMPATH, Vreeman has had various roles at Indiana University over the last 16 years including chief resident, fellow and director of research for the IU Center for Global Health.

Rachel Vreeman, MD, MS

Rachel Vreeman, MD, MS

In early February, Vreeman will become the Vice Chair for the Department of Health System Design and Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Director of the Sinai Global Sites Network for the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She will have a dual appointment as a professor in the Department of Health System Design and Global Health and as a professor of pediatrics.

Mount Sinai is a member of the AMPATH consortium and as a faculty member, Vreeman will continue her pediatric and adolescent HIV research portfolio within AMPATH with her Kenyan colleagues Prof. Nyandiko and Dr. Apondi. She will also continue in her current roles as co-investigator in IeDEA (International epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS) and Chair of the IeDEA Global Pediatric Working Group. She hopes to continue to play a leadership role in the pediatric and adolescent care and research efforts within AMPATH.

Vreeman will use her experiences at IU and AMPATH in her new role. “I will be drawing on the lessons learned from the excellent infrastructure and research capacity in global health at IU to build a new research program at Mount Sinai,” she said. “In addition, as I have responsibility for building the Arnhold Institute's Global Sites Network, not only will AMPATH be one of our key partners in this network, but the AMPATH principles of partnership, collaboration, and advancing a tripartite academic mission to improve health and health care will guide how we establish the Sinai Global Site partnerships,” she concluded.

During Vreeman’s tenure as director of research, the IU Center for Global Health and AMPATH research programs have continued to grow and expand infrastructure and supports in both Indiana and Kenya. Additionally, the program’s global profile has been enhanced with multiple visits by National Institutes of Health leadership personnel, participation in international policy-making and clinical guideline creation, and a strong track record of grant funding and publishing influential manuscripts.

Bob Einterz, MD, Executive Director of the AMPATH Consortium, commended Vreeman’s impact on the AMPATH partnership, “Dr. Vreeman and her Kenyan co-leader Professor Winstone Nyandiko developed one of the world’s premier collaborative research programs.”

Vreeman is also proud of the advancement of other female global health leaders. “In the last year, three promising female global health leaders supported by the IU Center for Global Health received coveted career development awards (K awards) from the National Institutes of Health. These awards represent, not only research excellence, but significant success in the Center's commitment to improve gender equity in global health leadership,” she said.

Although Vreeman is excited for the adventures and opportunities that lay ahead for her family professionally and personally, she will miss the many strong relationships built during her years in Indiana.

Kara K. Wools-Kaloustian, MD, has been appointed interim North American Director of the AMPATH Research Network and interim director of research for the IU Center for Global Health. Wools-Kaloustian is a leading HIV researcher with decades of collaboration with AMPATH and the co-Principal Investigator of IeDEA East Africa Consortium.