ASU is at the frontier of health research and education, bringing new perspectives on persistent health concerns in developing countries. There is a growing recognition that the solution to any global health problem – whether environmental pollutants, HIV, reproductive cancers, childhood diarrhea, malaria, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, malnutrition, obesity or diabetes – requires a sophisticated understanding of the social, economic, environmental, behavioral and cultural roots of disease. ASU’s approach draws upon transdisciplinary expertise to take on the great challenges of our time in health care, from vaccine development to medical training to improvement in systems and delivery. ASU International Development helps to match the university’s knowledge assets in health care with opportunities to apply technology and innovation in developing countries. ASU engages the global health care sector in emerging countries through multiple capabilities:
- ASU’s partnership with the Mayo Clinic has made ASU a national leader in advancing the science of health care systems, services delivery and training of top doctors. The partnership advances research and development of medical expertise for real-world application and system-level impact.
- The W. P. Carey School of Business is home to ASU’s top five-ranked supply chain management program, whose faculty include globally recognized experts in procurement, logistics, operations management and supply chain performance optimization. Faculty are exploring new approaches to global healthcare supply chain management through the Health Care Supply Chain Research Consortium.
- ASU’s Global Health Program explores the ecological, cultural, institutional, historical and social causes of health challenges worldwide
- Clinician and health care worker training platforms leverage ASU’s low cost, easily scalable online training platforms, which can be rapidly adapted to any geographic or cultural context in the world.
In 2015, ASU professor Charles Arntzen, the founding director of ASU’s Biodesign Institute, developed the world’s first Ebola treatment, which was deployed in Liberia to treat infected American health care workers who were responding to the Ebola outbreak. The treatment, which produced antibodies to the virus in genetically altered tobacco plants, is credited with possibly saving the lives of two health care workers. Fast Company magazine chose Dr. Arntzen as #1 on its list of the “100 most creative people in business.” The historic development of the treatment, and especially its rapid deployment in a crisis situation in an emerging country context, reflects ASU’s ability to rapidly implement cross-disciplinary solutions across borders.
Professor Charles Arntzen, inventor of the Ebola vaccine, at the ASU Biodesign Institute (credit: ASU Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development)