Health Grand Challenge

Addressing Complex Threats

The Health Grand Challenge (HGC), established in 2007 as part of the University’s Grand Challenges Program and administered by CHW, is an integrated research and teaching program that seeks solutions to the pressing problems of global health and infectious disease.



A University-Wide Focus on Health

Health Grand Challenge catalyzes interdisciplinary infectious disease research across the University, integrating knowledge from biology, engineering, the social sciences, ethics and public policy.

The program provides educational and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in learning about global health issues and applying that knowledge in their research and future careers.

Program Activities

  • Multidisciplinary faculty research on global health and infectious disease
  • Research grants for graduate and undergraduate students
  • Undergraduate internships
  • Collaborations with international partners
  • Public lectures, seminars and workshops on global health topics 

The Grand Challenges Program is a collaboration involving the Princeton Environmental Institute, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

The Health Grand Challenge is funded by the Woodrow Wilson School’s Center for Health and Wellbeing.

The Center for Health and Wellbeing administers the Health Grand Challenge.

Active Research Projects

“The Impact of Anthelmintic Treatment on the Incidence of Diarrheal Disease in Vietnamese School Children”
Principal Investigators: Steven Baker OUCRU and Jacqueline Leung Ph.D. candidate Princeton University

“Should we Mass-Deworm the World? A Clinical Trial to Test Whether Anthelmintic Treatment Increases Risk of Virus and Bacteria-Induced Diarrhea”
Principal Investigator: Andrea Graham Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

“Informational Structure of Infectious Diseases”
Principal Investigator: Ramanan Laxminarayan Princeton Environmental Institute

“Measles and Rubella Serology in Madagascar: Estimating Burden and Targets for Vaccination”
Principal Investigator: Jessica Metcalf Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

“Uncovering the Molecular Mechanisms of Viral Pathogenicity and Life-Viral Vector Attenuation”
Principal Investigator: Alexander Ploss Molecular Biology

“Pollution, Early-Life Health, and Child Development in Developing Countries”
Principal Investigator: Tom Vogl Economics and WWS

Graduate Research Projects

“Healthcare Institutional Contact and Access to Civil Registration among Irregular Migrants in Malaysia”
Principal Investigator: Amanda Cheong Sociology

“Applying an Integrative Molecular Approach to Wildlife Disease: Exploring Drivers of Sarcoptic Mange Severity in Yellowstone National Park Wolves”
Principal Investigator: Alexandra DeCandia Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

“Anxious in Yaoundé: Mental Health, Public Health, and Psychopharmaceuticals in Cameroon in the Era of “Global Mental Health”
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Durham Anthropology

“Long-Term Effects of Combat Risk on Soldiers and their Families”
Principal Investigator: Dejan Kovac Economics

“A Smartphone Study to Measure Adolescent Mobility and Time Use in a Low-Resource Setting”
Principal Investigator: Celeste Marin Office of Population Research

“Emerging Prosthetics Technologies and the Transformation of Disability”
Principal Investigator: Alexandra Middleton Anthropology

“Understanding the Measles Paradox: Modeling the Impact of Viral Infection on the Host Immune System”
Principal Investigator: Sinead Morris Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

“Industrial Contamination & Toxic Exposure: Inquiries of Intention & Causation in the Ecuadorian Amazon”
Principal Investigator: Lindsay Ofrias Anthropology

“Regulatory and Killer T Cell Interactions During the Immune Response”
Principal Investigator: Edward Schrom Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

“Parasite Co-Infections in Raccoons (Procyon lotor)”
Principal Investigator: Liana Wait Ecology & Evolutionary Biology