Jennifer A Downs   Assistant Professor of Medicine

I am a faculty member of Weill Cornell Medical College and conduct my research and teaching at the Weill Bugando School of Medicine in Mwanza, Tanzania. I have lived in Tanzania for much of the past ten years, gained fluency in the local language (Kiswahili), obtained a Tanzanian medical license, and built collaborations with a study team of Tanzanian research scientists. My research focuses on the relationship between female genital schistosomiasis, mucosal immunity, and HIV susceptibility in girls and women, and on improving adolescent girls’ access to health care in rural Tanzania. I also conduct implementation science research in Tanzania to improve uptake of healthy behavior by rural Tanzanians. My research in Tanzania has been recognized by an award of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (2009), the Weill Cornell Department of Medicine Outstanding Junior Faculty Investigator Award (2011), an NIH K23 Award (2014), a Gates Grand Challenges Award (2014), the Weill Cornell Friedman Family Research Scholar Award (2016), a Spirit of Medicine Award from the American Medical Association (2016), a Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2017), and a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award (2017).

I also train and mentor students interested in global health careers including undergraduate students from Cornell University, graduate students from Weill Cornell Graduate School and Weill Bugando in Tanzania, and medical students from Weill Cornell in New York and Qatar. I am particularly interested in fostering the careers of women scientists in global health. 


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