Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Biomedical Postdoctoral Council

Public Health

Considering becoming active in public health? Public health encompasses a variety of topics requiring a science degree. The major drive in public health is to address current public health problems with tools already available today. Another focus is to help create technologies that work in low-resource settings to mitigate treatable diseases in both developed and developing countries. These are just a few examples when imagining a career in public health. When you look for positions in many of these non-profit organizations you will find that you need a lot of experience to even be considered to work there. In today’s day and age, the best of us are multidisciplinary, with not only one degree. Universities recognize this and offer a professional degree in Public Health, for example. The Masters of Public Health program at some institutions is only 11 months long and geared towards MDs and PhDs to allow them to quickly achieve their goal of getting the degree to move ahead in public health. Nobody really wants to go back to school, but the value of doing so could be priceless, especially if considering working for such non-profits as listed below.


Jhpiego (pronounced "ja-pie-go"), is an international non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. For 35 years, Jhpiego has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families. By putting evidence-based health innovations into everyday practice, Jhpiego works to break down barriers to high-quality health care for the world’s most vulnerable populations. Mission—Jhpiego enhances the health and saves the lives of women and families in limited-resource settings. For nearly four decades, we have put evidence-based health innovations into everyday practice to overcome barriers to high-quality health care services for the world's most vulnerable populations. From our origins as technical experts in reproductive, maternal and child health, Jhpiego has grown to embrace new challenges, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and cervical cancer prevention—reflecting the increasing interconnectedness of global health. Vision—Jhpiego empowers front-line health workers by designing and implementing effective, low cost, hands-on solutions that strengthen the delivery of health care services, following the household-to-hospital continuum of care. We partner with organizations from the community to the national level, building sustainable, local capacity through advocacy, policy development, and quality and performance improvement approaches.


PATH is an international nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. By collaborating with diverse public- and private-sector partners, we help provide appropriate health technologies and vital strategies that change the way people think and act. Our work improves global health and well-being.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Foundation

The Foundation uses a three-pronged strategy to implement our work around the world: Research: The Foundation’s leadership in pediatric HIV and AIDS research over the last 20 years has resulted in major scientific advances, which are chiefly responsible for HIV-infected children in the United States leading longer, healthier lives. Foundation-supported research efforts around the world seek to improve the prevention, care, and treatment of pediatric HIV infection, train international research leaders to respond to the virus in children, and pursue the development of a pediatric HIV vaccine.
Lifesaving Programs: The Foundation’s work has closely followed the path of the HIV and AIDS pandemic to sub-Saharan Africa, China, India, and elsewhere, responding to the urgent need for implementation of lifesaving programs. The Foundation works with partners to provide accessible prevention, care, and treatment services for children, women, and families; researching and identifying better technologies and interventions for those in need; and documenting models that can be replicated throughout the world.
Public Policy and Global Advocacy: Elizabeth Glaser was a pioneer in fighting for the rights of children living with HIV, who were forgotten in the early days of the pandemic. Through work with policymakers, infected children and families, the scientific community, business leaders, and the media, the Foundation has built upon Elizabeth’s legacy by expanding funding for pediatric research; improving safety, efficacy, and availability of drugs for children with AIDS; and fighting to prevent discrimination against people living with HIV. Today, the Foundation continues to be a strong global voice on behalf of children, both to the U.S. government and international organizations and governments.

Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.