The University of Iowa

Speaker Biographies for "Contagion: Causes, Costs, and Containment"

2015 ConferenceConference Schedule | Speaker Biographies | Reading Materials

More information on speakers for the 2015 Global Health Studies conference will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

Christopher Squier

Christopher Squier

​Director of Graduate Studies & Professor of Oral Pathology, College of Dentistry, University of Iowa and Director, Global Health Studies Program, University of Iowa. Dr. Christopher Squier is Director of Graduate Studies and a Professor of Oral Pathology in the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa. He also directs the Global Health Studies Program at the University of Iowa. Dr Squier received his education at the University of Cambridge and the London Hospital Medical College; he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (London). Dr Squier is actively involved at the national and international level in tobacco control and oral cancer prevention. He has worked on tobacco control in Iowa for over 25 years, during which time he served three terms on the State Commission for Tobacco Control. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Division of the American Cancer Society. Dr Squier’s research is concerned with the mechanisms by which tobacco causes oral cancer and with the role of oral health professionals in assisting their patients with tobacco cessation. He has published over 200 books, chapters and peer-reviewed articles.

Maureen McCue

Maureen McCue​

Professor, College of Public Health & College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa and Coordinator, Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility. PDr. Maureen McCue is a founding member, faculty, and former director of the University of Iowa Global Health Studies Program as well as a founding board member for the UI Center for Human Rights. As Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Colleges of Public Health and of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Dr. McCue has been teaching Health and Human Rights courses since 1997. Before coming to Iowa, she worked as a primary care provider with marginalized communities and has worked for a local women’s clinic for the last 16 years. She has coordinated the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility for the last 10 years. Endeavors in each arena have focused broadly on the human right to health within a life supporting sustainable planet. Specific interests have focused on health impacts of militarism, energy/climate change, food policy, women’s and disability rights. Dr. McCue has traveled, consulted, and worked extensively as a peace maker, researcher, and physician.


Christine C.  Brunner Luse​

Coordinator, Global Health Studies Program, University of IowaChristine received her B.S. in Nursing and her M.A. in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. As an Illinois native, she started her nursing career doing home health nursing visits in the high risk areas of Rockford, IL, while working as a “jail nurse” at the Winnebago County (Illinois) jail. After the completion of her M.A, she supervised a home health agency in Elgin, IL, followed by working as the Director of Nursing for the McHenry County Health Department in Woodstock, IL. In 1995, she started her own management consulting agency, specializing in non-profits, local government institutions, and local and state health departments. She has held several board positions in the past, including chairperson of the McHenry County Hispanic Liaison Committee; and the March of Dimes, Chicago Chapter, Public Affairs Committee. During her time as a consultant, she has had a variety of clients, including the City of West Chicago, numerous county health departments, the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators, and McHenry County Domestic Violence Board. She was instrumental in developing and implementing the start-up of a low-income clinic in Elgin, IL. Christine is interested in many local and global public health issues, including human trafficking, preventable communicable diseases, and the effects of conflict on children and mothers.

Hans R House

Hans R. House

Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics





Ted Powers

Ted Powers teaches in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Iowa, and is currently a member of the university's Global Health Steering Committee. Ted Powers received his PhD from the CUNY graduate center in 2012. As a sociocultural anthropologist, his research focuses on the dynamics of health, politics and social inequality in post-apartheid South Africa. Building on conceptual approaches from medical anthropology, the anthropology of development, transnationalism and African studies, Ted's' work focuses on situating the politics of South African health outcomes in an increasingly interconnected world.



Chris Buresh​

Ambassador to Haiti, American College of Emergency Medicine, Medical Director, Keokuk County Ambulance Service, Representative, State EMS Advisory Council, University of Iowa Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine. Shortly after graduation, the medical school friendship between Chris Buresh and Josh White grew into a partnership devoted to serving the people of Haiti. After several medical relief trips to Haiti, they launched a primary care initiative for some of that country’s most remote populations, which brought continuity of care through recurring visits to the same villages in the mountains of Haiti. Following the earthquake of January 2010, Buresh and White set up a primitive field hospital and headed a team that saw more than 30,000 Haitian patients, performed over 800 surgeries, and delivered more than 250 babies. Their non-profit Community Health initiative, Haiti, continues to strive to provide quality health care for the Haitian people. Currently, Buresh is a clinical associate professor at the University of Iowa Department of Emergency Medicine. White is an emergency medicine physician at Gifford Medical Center in Vermont and at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.


Mariola Espinosa

Associate Professor of History, University of Iowa; Associate Professor (Adjunct), Section of the History of Medicine, Yale UniversityMariola Espinosa is a historian of medicine and public health in the Caribbean.  Her 2009 book, Epidemic Invasions: Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban Independence, 1878-1930,  was awarded the 2007 Jack D. Pressman-Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Development Award of the American Association for the History of Medicine.  In 2010 she was recognized as the 2010 Virginia and Derrick Sherman Emerging Scholar.  She is currently working on a book project that looks into medical understandings of fever in the British, French, Spanish, and U.S. Caribbean empires.

Ruth Lynfield

​State Epidemiologist and Medical Director, Minnesota Department of Health. Ruth Lynfield, M.D. received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Cornell University, did postgraduate training in pediatrics and in pediatric infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and attended in pediatric infectious disease at MGH. She joined the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) as a medical epidemiologist in 1997, and was appointed State Epidemiologist in 2007 and Medical Director in 2010. At MDH, she has investigated and responded to infectious disease outbreaks, and has been involved in research and policy development.  She co-chairs the CDC Emerging Infections Program (EIP) Steering Committee, and leads the Minnesota components of the EIP Active Bacterial Core Surveillance System, Influenza, and Healthcare-Associated Infections at the Community Interface projects.  Dr. Lynfield is an editor of the textbook Infectious Disease Surveillance, and has co-authored more than 180 publications in the scientific literature. She  chaired the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Public Health Committee and has served on multiple other public health workgroups and committees, including several federal advisory committees. Dr. Lynfield is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. State Epidemiologist and Medical Director, Minnesota Department of Health

Erika Ernst

Associate Professor, Health Services Research, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Infectious Diseases, UI Department of Pharmaceutical Care


Newman Abuissa​

Syrian-American activist.  Newman Abuissa was born in Damascus, Syria in 1961 and came to South Dakota State University in 1983 where he received his B.S. and then M.S. Civil Engineering in 1989. He works for the Iowa Dept. of Transportation and covers state highways in five counties in this area. He is active in the grassroots presidential primaries in Iowa and was elected as alternate delegate in Iowa to the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. Other notable roles: Board President of Council for International Visitors to Iowa City, 2010-present; Parish Council Chairman and founder of St. Raphael church in Iowa City, 2001-2006; Iowa City Human Right Commission Board President, 2008-2009; and Arab American Institute Iowa Chair, 2002- present. Abuissa has appeared on Aljazeera Arabic and BBC Arabic covering American politics.

Jack Stapleton

Professor of Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Professor of Microbiology at the University of Iowa.  Dr. Stapleton's research interests focus on the molecular biology, epidemiology and effects of co-infection of hepatitis C virus (HCV), human GB virus type C (HGBV - also called hepatitis G virus), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In addition, he has clinical studies under way related to antiviral therapy and the management and therapy of HIV, hepatitis C virus, and GBV-C.




Loureen Herwaldt

Professor of Internal Medicine  - Infectious Diseases; Professor of Epidemiology, College of Public Health. Dr. Herwaldt is the hospital epidemiologist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In that role, she works to prevent healthcare-associated infections and to increase patient safety. In addition, she is interested in patient-clinician communication and patient’s stories. Her book, Patient Listening: A Doctor’s Guide, grew out of a sabbatical during which she explored patients’ stories.



Paul Greenough

Professor, History of Modern India, Environmental and Global Health History. Paul Greenough is the co-director of the Global Health Studies Program. He has three broad areas of interest: the history of global public health, the social and environmental history of India, and the cultural, material and political relationships between India and other parts of the world during the late imperial period (c.1800-1960), and the follow-on consequences of migration out of India in the age of globalization.  His first involvement with global public health occurred when he was infected with hepatitis-B from a cholera inoculation given by a public health worker while attending a major pilgrimage center in India.  He is something of a smallpox buff, and has published several papers on smallpox control and eradication in South Asia between 1800 and 1975. Currently, Greenough is collaborating with a UK historian at York University, Dr. Sanjoy Bhattacharya, on the history of smallpox control and eradication in Bangladesh.  Off and on for several years, he has been writing a book about investigative epidemiology in the US Centers for Disease Control, and in the course of his research he has followed epidemiologists abroad to see how they fare outside their North American cultural moorings. Greenough's current research in this area explores themes such as agency, vulnerability, theodicy, and relief in the social response to natural disasters. Because Indian social and environmental history has so many practitioners, it offers a churning sea of continuous research results, with theoretical twists and turns, and the possibility (even for historians) of making practical suggestions for intervention.

Margaret Carrel

Assistant Professor, Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa. My research centers on exploring geographic patterns of health and disease using GIS and spatial statistical techniques. The focus of my current research is to understand how complex interactions between people and environments result both in disease outcomes and the progressive evolution of human pathogens. As a research emphasis, human-environment drivers of pathogenic evolution is situated in the emergent field of landscape genetics, which combines the spatial analytic techniques of landscape ecology and geography with the computational methods of population genetics. I am applying these landscape genetics methods to the study of H5N1 influenza in Vietnam, H1N1 in China, malaria drug resistance in the Congo and HIV drug resistance in North Carolina. I also conduct diarrheal disease research in rural Bangladesh, examining how the installation of flood control measures and deep drinking water tubewells interact to produce or prevent diarrheal events. Projects based in Iowa examine the patterns of drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, particularly in relationship to livestock production.

Hazel H. Seaba

Associate Dean, Assessment, Curriculum and Compliance; Adjunct Professor (Clinical), International Programs; Clinical Professor, Applied Clinical Sciences. Hazel H. Seaba is a clinical professor in the University of Iowa's Pharmacy and International Programs. For 30 years, she was the director of the UI College of Pharmacy's Division of Drug Information Service, a drug information retrieval database with national and international subscribers. While at DDIS, she developed the Iowa Drug Information Network and implemented a customized drug information training program for international pharmacists.

As an educator, she created, initiated, and taught the required drug information coursework in both the B.S. and Pharm.D. curricula. She has authored several book chapters on drug information and literature evaluation. Seaba's teaching focuses on building new opportunities in the Pharm.D. curriculum for community-service learning, public health and health care accessibility, both locally and globally. She facilitates Pharm.D. student study abroad experiences and offers a pharmacy projects course for these students. She is a founding faculty member for an international, interdisciplinary, service-learning course that enrolls professional, graduate, and undergraduate students. 

Michal (Maggie) Milstein

Michal "Maggie" Milstein was born and raised in Los Angeles. She attended college at UCSD and was then accepted into the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program as an Iowa Arts Fellow. During her time at Iowa she experimented with essays that explored the medical, forensic, and psychological aspects of crime in California. She also co-authored a book about the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic in New York.  She received her M.F.A in 2014 and went on to write and produce a film as well as write her second book. Her work has been featured in Los Angeles Magazine, The Jewish Journal, and the Seneca Review, among others. She currently works and lives as a journalist in Studio City. She is authoring a series of literary essays that explore the personal and cultural narratives of people directly involved--or affected--by the anti-vaccination movement in California. 

Elisha Renne

Elisha P. Renne

Professor, Department of Anthropology and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan. Elisha P. Renne is a professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Her interests include African ethnology and infectious disease; fertility and reproductive health; gender relations; the anthropology of development; religion and social change; and the anthropology of cloth. Her book, The Politics of Polio in Northern Nigeria, was published by Indiana University Press (2010).

Jon Stillman

Jon Stillman​

Jon joined the Stillwater Sunrise Rotary Club in 1985, the year that Rotary International announced that it would raise funds sufficient to eliminate the dreaded disease of polio. This was the first and largest privately funded public health initiative.  Jon has been working to make this Rotary dream reality for nearly 30 years and is willing to share a history making, success story with anyone who will listen. 

Rotary was joined in 1988 by its’ spearheading partners the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention who together formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined the GPEI in 2007.  Powerful lessons learned during the thirty-year effort to rid the world of polio have established a new paradigm for accomplishing international public health initiatives.

As a Rotary volunteer during the past five years, Jon has had a multistate responsibility for raising funds and helping Rotarians keep the story alive of the needs that still exist if we are to rid the world of polio.  In a new role he is now a member of the International PolioPlus Committee that meets four times a year with representatives of the GPEI.  One of his responsibilities in this role is to coordinate forty-one Rotary fundraising volunteers throughout the world. 

He is energized by his personal experience of placing two drops of the Sabin vaccine on the tongues of small children during an immunization activity in Nigeria knowing that these children will never have to suffer from polio.

Brett Hendel-Paterson

Dr. Brett Hendel-Paterson is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Global Health in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.  He is the co-director of the University of Minnesota Global Health Course, and a Councilor for the Clincal Group of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  He is a clinician-educator with an interest in immigrant and refugee issues and health disparities. He trained at the University of Minnesota for both medical school and a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency.  Currently he is an attending physician in adult hospital medicine and palliative care at HealthPartners Regions Hospital, and at the HealthPartners Tropical Medicine and Travel Clinic, both of which are located in St. Paul, Minnesota.  

Bill Stauffer

Dr. Bill Stauffer is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics, and Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He is an expert in travel and tropical medicine working in clinical medicine, surveillance and policy development. He serves as a technical advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he works on issues of human mobility and how it effects human health. He works extensively overseas including in Peru, Haiti, and in Tanzania. His research areas include infectious disease surveillance, malaria diagnostics, neglected tropical diseases, cost evaluation of public health programs, avian influenza, strongyloidiasis and viral hepatitis.