Gratitude and Thanks to Dr. Lisa Vahapoğlu

Dr. Lisa Vahapoglu with UB Faculty Dr. Diana Aga, Dr. Shamim Islam, and Dr. Jared Aldstadt and partners from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh in 2017

Published December 21, 2020

Lisa knitted together a community of researchers who are invested in global health equity, both at UB and with partner institutions around the world.

In early 2016, we welcomed Dr. Lisa Vahapoğlu to the Community for Global Health Equity (CGHE) and the University at Buffalo. Over the past five years as CGHE program coordinator, Lisa has supported the tri-part mission of UB and CGHE: research education and outreach.

Since CGHE’s inception, Lisa knitted together a community of researchers who are invested in global health equity, both at UB and with partner institutions around the world. She connected countless UB faculty with one another and with global health research opportunities, supporting team formation, developing pilot projects, and coordinating proposal development. Lisa simultaneously cultivated relationships with community partners in Bangladesh, India, Ghana, and Uganda, in particular, which have led to research proposals, educational opportunities, and outreach activities.

UB students have also benefited from Lisa’s relationships with partners at UB and in institutions around the world. Students from across UB worked alongside and learned from our talented partners in co-designed research and educational programs. Lisa wrote numerous grant proposals, including one that supported the mentorship and training of international student leaders for CGHE’s annual Global Innovation Challenge, a problem-solving competition in which students begin to understand and address some of the major, global health challenges facing our world.

Finally, Lisa’s contribution to CGHE has moved the needle forward in translating global health equity research to a broader audience. She established our inaugural policy brief series, Global Health Equity Research in Translation, a mechanism by which faculty and students can share findings from their publications, and thereby expand the impact of their research. The relationships she established with faculty and partners are also woven into our Co-Production of Knowledge for Global Health Equity Seminar Series, which she planned, launched, and supported.

By design, the University provided support for Lisa’s position for five years; on December 2nd her role concluded. On December 1st a group of faculty, staff, and students joined together to extend their best wishes and deepest thanks to Lisa in a virtual meeting. Of note, the group recognized Lisa’s ability to connect with others as well as her commitment to students – advising them in their studies, connecting them to global health opportunities, and writing countless letters of recommendations. With deep gratitude, we would like to thank Lisa for her work and her friendship.