History and About // Eck Institute for Global Health // University of Notre Dame

Eck Institute for Global Health

History and About

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences has a long and rich history of research and training in the fields of tropical infectious diseases and their arthropod vectors. Led by world-renowned vector biologist Dr. George B. Craig, Jr. (1957 – 1995), founder of the Vector Biology Laboratory, and parasitologist Dr. Paul P. Weinstein (1969 – 2008), Notre Dame became a global leader in these fields.

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The next generation of faculty, led by Dr. Frank H. Collins, established the Center for Global Health and Infectious Diseases in 1998. This group of researchers engaged faculty across disciplines to contribute to global health solutions. They established state-of-the-art genomics research at the University and led initiatives to sequence two of the most medically important disease vectors, Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti.  

The success of the Center was leveraged by a University Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) in 2008 focused on Genomics, Disease Ecology, and Global Health to become an Institute. The SRI supported a large investment in new faculty, the establishment of Genomics and Bioinformatics Core facilities, and further expansion of the scope of global health research in campus laboratories and with partners both on campus and around the world.

It was on this strong and growing foundation that the Eck Institute for Global Health was launched and made possible by a generous endowment from the Frank Eck, Sr., Family. The Institute brings together a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and alumni from different Colleges, Schools, and Departments whose research and teaching address our mission. With over 80 affiliated faculty members from across the University, the Eck Institute for Global Health embodies the definition and spirit of global health.

Our guiding objectives are to:

  1 - Serve as a central organizing and coordinating Institute for global health activities across the University to encourage partnerships, maximize participation, and create synergies in interdisciplinary research, training, and service programs.

 2 - Generate and share knowledge to address health problems endemic to the global poor.

 3 - Train a new generation of global health researchers: prepare ND undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows to assume leadership positions in global health.

 4 - Undertake service and service-learning in global health.

While we build on the University’s historical strengths in infectious disease research and training, we are also building a network of global partners. The Eck Institute for Global Health is determined to contribute solutions to some of the most pressing global health challenges of the day.

A list of current faculty members can be found here