Mary Fran McLane: The Woman Who Keeps It Running

Mary Fran McLane

(L to R) Tun-Hou Lee, Phyllis Kanki, Mary Fran McLane, Max Essex, Richard Marlink By Martha Henry Though the cafeteria was packed, there were no objections when Max Essex proclaimed, “No one in the room has worked harder at her job than Mary Fran McLane.” On February 24th, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health honored employees who have reached milestones in service. Mary Fran has worked at Harvard…

Victor DeGruttola

Ask most people, “Do you have a purpose in life?” and they’ll pause and stammer. Ask Victor DeGruttola and he answers, “To develop, apply, and use quantitative methods and quantitative thinking to defend the interest of vulnerable people.” His job as Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) allows him to do those things every day.

Molly Pretorius Holme – The Necessary Questions

Molly with a cheetah in South Africa, 1999

By Martha Henry It was in a medical anthropology class at Mt. Holyoke College that Molly Holme began asking the kind of questions that influence her work at the Harvard AIDS Initiative (HAI). “In our culture, we take for granted scientific premises like germ theory,” said Molly in a recent interview. “You have to think about how this translates into other settings when you’re trying to initiate life-saving public health…

Kate Powis: Plan C

By Martha Henry Plan A As a young adult, Kate Powis loved to solve puzzles. Her father was a Secret Service agent and she planned to follow in his footsteps. She took college courses in criminal justice, financing her education by working as a “loss prevention” officer at a chain of department stores. She questioned shoplifters and employees caught stealing, but she didn’t enjoy the work. She often found herself…

Drs. Roger Shapiro & Shahin Lockman: Partners in Research & Parenting

Shahin Lockman and Roger Shapiro

By Martha Henry There are not many couples in which both husband and wife are first authors on a paper in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, but Drs.Roger Shapiro and Shahin Lockman are one of them. In addition to being researchers for the Harvard AIDS Initiative, both are also physicians specializing in infectious diseases. Together they have three sons, ages three, six and nine. And in spite of…

Profile: Rebeca Plank

By Martha Henry If it hadn’t been for public health, Rebeca Plank might not have been conceived. Her parents met at a medical conference in the late 1960s. Her father, Stephen Plank, a physician from the U.S., did his medical residency in the Panama Canal Zone. While there, he was dismayed to discover that he had to send people out from the hospital to the same conditions that had brought…

Kelesitse Phiri: Examining Pediatric AIDS in Botswana

Kelesitste Phiri

  Oddly enough, Kelesitse Phiri learned about the enormity of the AIDS epidemic in her native Botswana when she was studying at Bryn Mawr College in suburban Philadelphia. The year was 2000. That June UNAIDS released figures showing that Botswana’s adult HIV prevalence at the end of 1999 was 35.8%, the highest in the world. “At that time, people back home didn’t talk about HIV or that somebody had died…