Keli Gerken is a third-year veterinary student with a focus in public health and epidemiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University. She is also completing a Certificate in Global Health. She earned her Bsc in Biology in 2015 before applying to veterinary school. Her professional interests include global food security and zoonotic disease dynamics in low-income countries. She is the president of the One Health Club at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine and is a member of the NC One Health Collaborative. She has undertaken placements with various animal health NGOs across East Africa. Her research project in Ethiopia focuses on women dairy farmers in urban Addis Ababa. The study evaluated knowledge of milk safety, identified the prevalence of risky behaviors for disease transmission through traditional processing, and assessed dairy product nutrition patterns of women and their children. She hopes to continue working in the livestock livelihoods sector following her graduation in 2020. 


Dr Amare Argaw is currently an Animal Health Researcher and Livestock Research Process Owner in the Southern Agricultural Research Institute, Awassa Agricultural Research Center. Dr Amare graduated with a DVM from Addis Ababa in 2002. Since graduation he has worked in a number of different roles including: Field Veterinarian, Head of Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development Office (Boricha District, Sidama Zone) and as an Animal Health Instructor for the Ministry of Agriculture, Alage ATVET College. Dr Amare has also served as a member of Sidama Zone Administration Council and Secretary of Economic Affairs Committee of the Council. Currently, Dr Amare is a Masters Student of Tropical Veterinary Epidemiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University. Dr Amare's research project focused on understanding the knowledge, attitudes and behavioral practices of antimicrobial usage and antimicrobial resistance amongst people in rural central Ethiopia.

Dr Gemechu Chala graduated with Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Hawassa University in 2014. He was top of his class and a Gold Winner. Since 2014, he has worked in different sectors and institutions being a focal person for epidemiology at the Assella regional veterinary laboratory, Oromia, Ethiopia. He is currently a Lecturer at Wollega University, and previously a Lecturer at Samara University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Samara, Ethiopia. Since 2016, He has been working at Hawassa University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as a Lecturer. Currently, Dr Chala is a MSc Fellow in Medical Microbiology at Addis Ababa University, College of Health Sciences. He is currently studying the burden of Campylobacter species on livestock owning households in peri-urban Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



Hannah Sather is a current first-year veterinary student at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University. She earned the B.Sc. in Animal Science with a concentration in veterinary bioscience from North Carolina State University in 2017. Hannah has an interest in poultry medicine and One Health, and is completing the Certificate in Global Health. She is the Class of 2022 Representative for One Health Club and an active member of the Student Chapter of the American Association of Avian Pathologists at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Hannah has conducted and presented research exploring broiler breast myopathy and turkey stocking density. Her research project in Ethiopia focuses on investigating constraints and interventions for village poultry production in periurban Debre Zeyit. 

Dr Fufa Abunna Kurra is an Associate Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University and a Co-Investigator in the HEAL Group. Dr Abunna graduated from Addis Ababa University with a Master of Science (MSc) in Tropical Veterinary Epidemiology (2004-2006) and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) (1994-1999). As an academic and researcher, he has taught in Addis Ababa and Hawassa Universities in Ethiopia. Dr Abunna has advised 1 PhD student, 13 MSc students and 44 DVM students during their thesis and seminar work at Addis Ababa and Hawassa Universities. He is an author and co-author of more than 45 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals. Dr Abunna received recognition as a semi-finalist during the 3rd Africa-wide Women & Young Professionals in Science competition and has also been selected as a founding fellow of Ethiopian Young Academy of Sciences for his outstanding contribution in sciences. 

The Health and Livelihoods Group utilizes a One Health approach to study a range of issues at the interface of human and animal health and livelihoods



Dr Mulugeta Tesfaye graduated from Haramaya University with a DVM and currently works at Alage ATVET College in the Animal Health Department as an Instructor. Dr Mulugeta is now studying for his MSc in Veterinary Tropical Epidemiology at Addis Ababa University. Dr Mulugeta completed his degree thesis on herbal medicine (Antibacterial activity of Combratum molle extracts against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus agalactecea​). Dr Mulugeta's research project focused on understanding the knowledge, attitudes and behavioral practices of antimicrobial usage and antimicrobial resistance amongst people in urban central Ethiopia. 

Dr Ayele G Dinka graduated from Addis Ababa University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree in 2001. In addition, he completed a MSc degree in Veterinary Epidemiology also from Addis Ababa University. He is currently completing a MSc in Project Planning and Management. Dr. Ayele has a total of more than 15 years of experience in international development NGOs, the federal government (Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources - Director, ATVET Coordination Office), and in a number of Ethiopian universities as an assistant professor, researcher and guest lecturer. He has more than 30 peer reviewed publications and is currently a Research Assistant at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University. Dr Ayele is working on reducing the impact of production constraints on semi-intensive poultry producers in Ethiopia.


Dr Tadesse Eguale is an Associate Professor, and Head, Microbiology Research Unit in the Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University. Dr Eguale got his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, MSc degree and PhD in Pharmacology from Addis Ababa University. Dr Eguale previously worked as field veterinarian in Jimma Zone of Oromia Region and as Animal Health Researcher at National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Center, Sebeta, Ethiopia. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Ethiopian Veterinary Journal from 2016-2018 and currently he is a Member of Executive Board of Ethiopian Society of Tropical and Infectious Diseases.  He was a visiting Scholar at the Ohio State University from 2011-2012 and also received African Biosciences Challenge Fund Fellowship Award in 2014. He has authored and co-authored over 40 scientific and presented several oral and poster presentations internationally. Dr Eguale’s current area of research interest involves exploring the role of antimicrobials in food animals on the spread of drug resistant pathogens and drug resistance genetic markers in humans and the environment and investigating epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in foodborne pathogens. 

Dr Andy Stringer is the founder and principal investigator of the HEAL Group. Dr Stringer has a veterinary degree and PhD in Veterinary Epidemiology from the University of Liverpool. Dr Stringer's PhD focused on evaluating the efficacy of knowledge-transfer interventions for communicating animal health messages to rural farmers in Ethiopia using a large randomised controlled trial. Dr Stringer joined SPANA (a British non-governmental organisation) in 2010 as Director of Veterinary Programmes, where he was responsible for managing SPANA’s global veterinary programmes aimed at improving the health and welfare of working animals. In June 2015, Dr Stringer joined the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), North Carolina State University (NCSU) as Clinical Assistant Professor, Director of Global Health Education (CVM) and Director of Global Health Initiatives (NCSU). Dr Stringer also holds a position as an Honorary Lecturer in International Animal Health at the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool.


The group is coordinated from the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University (NCSU), with research and programmatic activities conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of the HEAL group activities are based in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is challenged by a range of health issues affecting both humans and animals which impact the livelihoods of millions of people. The human population of Ethiopia is 89.4 million (World Bank, 2011), with 82 percent of the population living in rural areas (World Bank, 2011). Additional data has identified that 30 percent of the population are living below the national poverty line and 44.2 percent of children under the age of five are suffering from stunting (World Bank, 2011).


Ashlan Westbrook is a second-year veterinary student with a focus in mixed animals at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University. She is also completing a Certificate in Global Health. She earned her BS in Biology with a minor in Business Management in 2017 before applying to veterinary school. Her professional interests include the One Health movement and global zoonotic diseases in low income countries. Ashlan is participating on a research project in Ethiopia that focuses on Epizootic Lymphangitis in working equids, a neglected infectious disease caused by the fungal agent Histoplasma capsulatum var. farciminosum (HCF). This study will focus on identifying potential transmission routes for HCF between animals in Ethiopia and providing data for future studies that aim to explore opportunities for disease prevention and control. Following her graduation in 2021, she hopes to continue incorporating research in global health into her future career endeavors. 


The HEAL Group members study a range of issues focused on the interface of health and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa:


Health and livelihoods group 

Macayla Wall is currently a senior undergraduate student studying Biological Sciences with a concentration in Human Biology, along with a minor in Nutrition and a second minor in Health, Medicine, and Human Values. She is the Co-Founder of CURE U at NC State, a non-profit organization that focuses on fundraising money for pediatric hydrocephalus, club foot, cleft lip/palate, and burn contracure surgeries at the Beit CURE Hospital in Malawi, Africa. She is also a University Ambassador, a member of the Pre-Med Club, a member of the Pre-Med Honor Society Alpha Epsilon Delta, and a certified Pediatric CNA. Macayla has previously studied abroad in Belize, working with other students from NC State to set up medical clinics in rural villages to bring healthcare to those in need. Macayla's research interests include the human response to global health issues based on varying cultures and knowledge, along with antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases.  

Dr Ziyad Dessalegn graduated with a DVM from Addis Ababa University in 2007 and joined Alage ATVET College in 2008. Dr Ziyad is currently a Lecturer in the Animal Health Department in the College and studying for his MSc in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Immunology and Public Helath at Addis Ababa University. Dr Ziyad's research project focused on understanding the knowledge, attitudes and behavioral practices of individuals to Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZDS) In urban central Ethiopia.

Hanna Kiryluk is currently a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Tech studying Animal and Poultry Sciences on the Pre-Veterinary Track. She has two minors, one in French and one in Leadership and Social Change. Hanna is a member of University Honors and works for the Teaching and Research Animal Care Support Service at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a brother of the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and has previously traveled with Virginia Tech to the Dominican Republic to work with the citizens of Pedro Garcia on bathroom construction and resume/career instruction in schools. During the summer of 2019, Hanna collaborated with the HEAL Group and Dr. Mohammad Obaidat (Jordanian University of Science and Technology to determine the serotypes and virulence genes of Listeria monocytogenes in Jordanian meat products and bulk tank milk. Hanna's research interests include epidemiology, zoonotic disease, and approaches to the global burden of disease.

Stephanie Lola is a current second year undergraduate student at North Carolina State University studying Microbiology with a concentration in Microbial Health Sciences, with a minor in English. She is a member of the University Honors Program at NC State, and works with the Life Science First Year Program in the College of Sciences. She has previously conducted and presented synthesis research on the health effects of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries, and has participated in microbial research on the muscle cells of mice. Stephanie is also a member of the Timmy Global Health Club on campus, and she will be traveling to Ecuador in March to work with Timmy Global Health to assist in providing healthcare to the people of the Napo province. Stephanie’s research interests include epidemiology and a holistic approach to global health.