Photo Credit: Sandy Zarka



Guiding and Sustaining Leaders

To improve world health by mentoring a new generation of leaders, the UCLA Center for World Health provides clinical, research, and humanitarian education and training for medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty from UCLA and around the world. Programs at the UCLA campus and at clinical and research training sites in diverse international settings encourage learners to engage health challenges worldwide through a compassionate and humanistic lens. The Center’s Global Health Education Programs are led by Drs. Tom Coates, Lee Miller, Tanya Arora, Dan DeUgarte, Jorge Lazareff, and Traci Wells. For more information, please email Traci Wells at

Please visit our EXPLORE database for a comprehensive view of the global education and training programs conducted by faculty at the David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Health in collaboration with international partners.


Programs for UCLA medical students include international clinical and research electives, a global health selective course, an intensive global health pathway, and opportunities to engage and network with global health leaders.


Information on international electives and global health learning opportunities at several of the Residency Programs at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA offers a variety of pre- and postdoctoral fellowships for U.S. and international scholars. We maintain a comprehensive, interactive database of our fellowship opportunities.


Our educational endeavors are broad, from advanced training for physicians from around the world to course offerings open to the public. We seek to engage and inspire faculty and students from diverse disciplines and institutions, from the U.S. as well as other countries.


The UCLA Center for World Health holds lectures, discussion groups, and special events throughout the year on a variety of cutting-edge topics from experts in global health and international medicine.


This resource serves as an overview of some of the possibilities for global health careers and the training required, as well as links to global health job listings and sources of funding for global health fellows and other trainees.


  • Photograph: Shane Tubbs (Chief Scientific Officer, Seattle Science Foundation), Jorge Lazareff (Director of Latin American Initiatives, UCLA Center for World Health), and Rod Oskouian (Board President and CEO, SSF)

    By Fedra Djourabchi
    Director of External Relations at the UCLA Center for World Health

    The UCLA Center for World Health (CWH) and the Seattle Science Foundation (SSF) – a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the quality of patient care through education, research, innovation and technology- have partnered with the goal of training and bettering physicians around the globe.

    Through an international communication platform, the two institutions aim to bring together medical and scientific communities from around the world, and provide all of the tools necessary for physicians and researchers to make groundbreaking advancements in the field of medicine, particularly in neuro-surgery, neuroscience research and anatomy.

    Starting with Latin America, the Center’s vision is to become SSF’s gateway to global communities and amplify our global health work through the joint development of training videos, interactive courses and live broadcasts.

    Our approach would be two-fold: on one hand geared towards the medical students – representing the future Minister of Health of any nation, and the future clinical neuroscientists – in this instance, we will work through our partner universities in various countries to offer the courses. The curriculum would be based on the needs of each University program, and will encompass subjects such as Anatomy of the Brain, and Anatomy of the Spinal Cord.

    On the other hand, we would offer a program adapted to the needs of global health care providers. Using our connection with local entities such as the different neurological societies in each country, we will deliver a series of pathology-oriented courses to surgeons, following a horizontal conversation and needs’ assessment. Emphasis will be put on a thorough understanding of the best course of treatment, depending on the pathology of the disease, thus improving diagnostic skills and management techniques.

    In March 2017, to mark the start of our collaboration and as part of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute Neurosurgical Grand Rounds Series, the Seattle Science Foundation invited UCLA Professor Emeritus Jorge Lazareff to speak about the Global Brain and Chiari Malformations to an audience of neurosurgeons in Seattle, Washington.

    During the same visit, Dr. Lazareff and Dr. Tubbs recorded a didactic lecture on the importance of the study of anatomy and performed a lumbar dorsal Rhizotomy- a neurosurgical procedure that selectively destroys problematic nerve roots in the spinal cord – most often to relieve the symptoms of neuromuscular conditions and chronic pain. The session, broadcasted on Facebook Live, was viewed a record number of times from countries all around the world.

    As the field of neurosurgery continues to rapidly advance, there is a definite need for continued training of current and future healthcare providers in the specialty. Our goal is to address this significant need and improve patient outcomes.
    Photograph: Dr. Thomas Coates (Director, UCLA Center for World Health), Fedra Djourabchi (Director of External Relations, UCLA CWH), and Sam Miller meet at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for the initiation of the Brenda Lucille Miller UCLA-South Africa Education Fund.

    Monday, May 1, 2017

    The UCLA Center for World Health has announced the creation of the Brenda Lucille Miller UCLA-South African Education Fund. The Fund was created to honor the memory of Brenda Lucille Miller, a South African who lived with multiple sclerosis. Neurological illnesses tend to be underdiagnosed and undertreated in South Africa and take a tremendous toll on individuals and families.

    The aim of the Fund is to build South Africa’s capacity in preventing, diagnosing, treating, and managing neurological diseases and movement disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. Such capacity will benefit not only South Africa, but also the entire continent, as South Africa serves as a regional medical hub.

    The Fund will bring early career doctors to Los Angeles for two months to engage in postdoctoral studies. Working closely with UCLA faculty, participants will receive specialized neuroscience training in surgical, hospital, and outpatient settings, with the goal of applying this knowledge and skillset to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of neurologic diseases in South Africa.

    The training program is merit-based and competitive, with awards granted based on applicants’ training, records of achievement, and potential to succeed. To be eligible for funding, applicants must be South African citizens, have completed medical school in the last two years, or be currently working as a registrar. An impartial panel of UCLA and South African scientists, physicians, and professionals will oversee the interview process to determine the awardees. The application period is currently open and will close on May 5, 2017. Awardees are expected to train at UCLA from October to November 2017 at the Movement Disorders Clinic, directed by Dr. Jeff Bronstein, Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine.

    For further information, please contact Amber Dargenio at

    For 25 years, the UCLA/Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (UCLA/Fogarty AITRP) has provided education and training that enables international healthcare professionals to complete M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS. Through partnerships with leading universities and HIV/AIDS control programs in partner countries, UCLA/Fogarty AITRP aims to provide training for local healthcare professionals and technical staff to assist with the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. The program has collaborated with institutions and professionals in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    Trainees in the M.S. program typically spend between fifteen and twenty-one months in formal course work at UCLA and three to six months completing their fieldwork and thesis. Ph.D. trainees usually spend three years in academic studies at UCLA and twelve to eighteen months completing their dissertation. The UCLA/Fogarty AITRP also offers in-country courses, as well as a three-month postdoctoral training course at UCLA. To be considered for participation, health professionals must guarantee that they will return to their home country after completion of the program.

    In 2014, the Fogarty International Center, a division of the National Institutes of Health, announced plans to award five-year grants to three HIV/AIDS prevention projects headed by UCLA faculty. Dr. Roger Detels and Dr. Sung-Jae Lee, faculty in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology, received two awards of $1.4 million and $1.5 million for their ongoing efforts to provide effective HIV/AIDS education and training in Myanmar and Thailand. Additionally, Dr. Pamina Gorbach, also a professor in the Department of Epidemiology, received $1.4 million for her work training Cambodian public health professionals in the analysis and use of HIV/AIDS data collected by the Cambodian government.

    Through partnerships with the Myanmar University of Public Health (UPH), the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and the Cambodian University of Health Sciences (UHS), the three programs are giving M.S. and Ph.D. candidates, as well as postdoctoral scholars, the chance to train in advanced research methodologies both at UCLA and in their home countries. These training opportunities will enable professionals to better identify critical health trends, epidemiologic shifts, and use their knowledge to inform HIV/AIDS policies and program improvements.

    The UCLA/Fogarty AITRP also operates in Vietnam, in partnership with Hanoi Medical University (HMU). Led by Dr. Li Li, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, the program provides training in advanced research methodology and HIV/AIDS to trainees from Vietnam. In addition to holding courses at UCLA for M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, the program also provides in-country summer workshops on community-based interventions, program monitoring and evaluation, research ethics, advanced study design and evaluation, and grant writing and management. The training strategy builds curriculum development capacities for HMU, strengthening the institution’s research capabilities.

    Read more about Dr. Detel’s work
    Read more about Dr. Lee’s work
    Read more about Dr. Gorbach’s work
    Read more about Dr. Li’s work