Global Health

October 25, 2019

Martin to help guide Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s education, training efforts

Marie Martin, PhD, MEd, has been named associate director for Education and Training in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health


by Holly Fletcher

Marie Martin, PhD, MEd, assistant professor of Health Policy, has been named associate director for Education and Training in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH).

Marie Martin, PhD, MEd

Martin stepped into the role at the beginning of the fiscal year, succeeding Douglas Heimburger, MD, MS, who will focus his time on leading projects with grant funding from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Heimburger started in 2009 as associate director of Education and Training.

With nearly two decades of experience in international education and development, Martin is positioned to lead the program into a new era. She served as assistant director for Education and Training at VIGH for the last eight years and currently directs both the Global Health Track of the MPH Program and the VUMC Global Health Education Committee.

“During her time at VIGH, Marie has been instrumental in capacity building programs domestically and internationally. She’s a natural, talented educator poised to expand the reach of VIGH’s program to indelibly improve health in communities around the globe,” said Edwin Trevathan, MD, MPH, Amos Christie Chair in Global Health, professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, and director of Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Martin came to VIGH from the Global Education Office of Vanderbilt University having served as assistant director and senior study abroad advisor. She received her undergraduate degree in English from Vanderbilt University and master’s degree in International Education Policy from Vanderbilt’s George Peabody College of Education and Human Development. She completed her doctorate at Tennessee State University in Public Administration and Policy with an emphasis on global health policy and public budgeting.

Her education and teaching interests lie at the intersection of global health, public policy and international education. She specializes in capacity building, curriculum development, and program evaluation. In collaboration with Heimburger and global partners, she developed the University of Guyana’s first Master of Public Health Program, the Global Health Track in Vanderbilt’s Master of Public Health Program, and a faculty mentoring program at the University of Zambia.

With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Martin is directing initiatives that strengthen medical education, research capacity, and ophthalmology training in post-Ebola Liberia with a team of Vanderbilt faculty from VIGH and the Vanderbilt Eye Institute through the Partnership for Residency, Integrated Medical Education, and Research Program (PEER-Liberia) at the University of Liberia’s A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine.

“It has been an enormous pleasure to conceive, build, and establish multiple global health education and training programs with Marie at Vanderbilt and in several other countries. Her keen insight and stellar expertise have been recognized and highly appreciated by all who have worked with her. I am so grateful that she has stepped forward to lead these programs, and I look for them to thrive under her leadership,” said Heimburger.

Douglas Heimburger, MD, MS

Heimburger, professor of Medicine, took on the associate director role in 2009, joining from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For the last decade he has directed global health education and training initiatives for VIGH and championed global health education domestically and abroad. His commitment and passion to mentoring the next generation of global health practitioners laid the foundation for global health education at Vanderbilt.

As principal investigator (PI) of several Fogarty-funded training programs, students and trainees have benefited from research opportunities and personal mentorship. He served on the Fogarty Advisory Board (2004-2008), co-led the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows (FICRS-F) program from 2009-2012, and currently serves as PI of two Fogarty-funded initiatives: the Vanderbilt Emory Cornell Duke (VECD) Fogarty Global Health Fellows Program and the University of Zambia-Vanderbilt Training Partnership for HIV-Nutrition-Metabolic Research Program (UVP) .

“Doug is a classic global health expert who is such a good educator that he recognized earlier than most the pivotal role professional educators play in global health. To that end, he has been a transformative leader far beyond the campus of Vanderbilt. His profound impact reaches from the NIH’s Fogarty International Center to communities across Sub-Saharan Africa. I am excited to see what flourishes from grants under his leadership,” said Trevathan.

Heimburger joined VIGH after a long tenure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Departments of Nutrition Sciences and Medicine, where he directed the NIH-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program for 20 years (through 2009), supporting the training of 140 pre- and postdoctoral trainees in non-communicable disease research. He completed a Fulbright sabbatical in Zambia in 2007, conducting NIAID-supported research in malnourished Zambians starting antiretroviral therapy for HIV, leading to subsequent clinical trials and cohort studies.

Heimburger received his undergraduate degree from Harding University and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at St. Louis University. He completed a fellowship and earned a master’s in Nutrition Sciences from University of Alabama at Birmingham.