Center for Global Health


The Center for Global Health was founded by the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in 2006 to advance our ability to understand and address global health challenges as a critical, complex part of the broader human condition. Leveraging ASU’s massive capacities in social science and in cross-cultural research, we question our most basic assumptions about why people get sick and what we should do about it. We work closely with ASU’s undergraduate degree program in Global Health – the first and largest in the nation – that the Center helped to design and launch.

Women carrying buckets

There are five key ideas that set the Center for Global Health apart:

We embrace social science, understanding social and cultural processes are at the center of most global health challenges. We recognize that illness is created within social and economic systems, and effective sustainable global health solutions need to address these broader factors.

We develop new methodologies—ranging from biological measurement, to social network analysis, to textual and cultural analyses, to citizen science—that can help us understand complex global health problems. We are developing cutting-edge methods for counting the uncountable, measuring the unmeasurable, and unraveling poorly-understood global health dynamics in low resource settings most especially.

We value collaboration. Global Health problems cannot be solved by a single nation, community, company or research center. Diverse partnerships are essential to thinking big and making sustainable change, so we make these a priority. And you have to follow the advice and lead of the people on the ground: a commitment to the principles of community-centered, community-serving research is also evident in everything we do.

We work cross-culturally; when designed systematically and applied thoughtfully, a comparative perspective can transform how we think about and then solve global health challenges. Our ultimate goal is to develop projects and partnerships that result in meaningful, sustainable health improvements that transcend political, social and geographic boundaries. We work across the globe from Bangladesh to Paraguay. But we also leverage our location in a major, diverse, arid urban valley in the Southwest, taking action locally in Phoenix as well.

We place student training at front and center within these research endeavors, because we believe in investing in a more effective, experienced and well-prepared global health workforce. Also, integrating smart, diverse, energetic emerging professionals – like ASU’s amazing global health students -  in everything we do massively expands the scope, scale and impact of our activities.

At ASU, we work closely with the Institute for Social Science ResearchCenter for Evolution and MedicineJulie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of SustainabilitySimon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center, and the PLuS Alliance.