Meet the Fulbright Chair in Global Health at Rutgers University

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December 6

Annual Global Health Fair

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Banner image of x-ray, Dr. de Lima, map of Brazil
Monday, November 22nd

The Fulbright Chair in Global Health at Rutgers University was awarded to Dr. Mara Rúbia André Alves de Lima, a Brazilian pulmonologist who is spending the fall academic semester at Rutgers teaching and doing research, as well as delivering public lectures. The Fulbright Chair in Global Health is co-sponsored by Rutgers Global and Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Mara Rúbia André Alves de Lima, MD, PhD, MSc is a professor of pulmonology at the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA) in Brazil, and her primary focus is the care of patients with chronic cough from conditions including TB, COPD, asthma, and bronchiectasis. She has 15 years of experience as a principal investigator in clinical trials on asthma and COPD. Dr. de Lima noted, “At the Medical School, I am the professor in charge of the pulmonology course, and I'm also passionate about teaching global health, medical interviewing, and physical examination.”

Dr. de Lima is also a member of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee at UFCSPA, focusing on the health of the people of color and Haitian immigrants. She serves as Director of Youth Services at Rotary Porto Alegre Gloria-Teresopólis, and Regional Director for South America, for the Welcome Clubs International, an organization in special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. 

Dr. Karen Lin, assistant dean for global health at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has been working with Dr. de Lima during the semester, and helping to organize scholarly activities, grand rounds, and public lectures. “We are fortunate to have Dr. de Lima in residence at Rutgers this semester to share her expertise in the field with our students and faculty.” 

One public lecture organized in November was on the Rondon Project, a topic for which Dr. de Lima has delivered a TEDx talk. The Rondon Project was launched in 1967 in Brazil to encourage students attending higher education institutions to participate in the sustainable development of vulnerable communities, as well as strengthening citizenship through social inclusion and the reduction of regional inequalities. This project is financed by the Federal Government and coordinated by the Ministry of Defense. 

Dr. de Lima’s lecture titled “Rondon Project: Strengthening Leadership and Social Accountability in the Brazilian Amazon,” covered the history of the community service project, and discussed the impact of the UN 2030 agenda-aligned project on health, education, culture and human rights in a low-resource setting. The lecture culminated with reflections of lessons learned by the students who have participated in the project, as well as the future of the Rondon project. (See a slide deck of the lecture here.) 

On November 29, Dr. de Lima will be the speaker at the first Fulbright Scholar Research Sharing Session of this academic year in New York City. During this session, she will be speaking about a capacity building project on Clinical Reasoning Processes that aims to develop and strengthen social accountability, understanding and patient centered care in the next generation of doctors. Last October it won first place in the Medical Association of Rio Grande do Sul (AMRIGS) Award for Best Practices in Medicine. Currently this project is being shared with the Rutgers Global Health team. On December 14, she will present Grand Rounds at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health on “Tuberculosis (TB) in the COVID-19 Era: A New Impact on an Ancient Disease.”

Rutgers University has benefited from the experience and knowledge of Dr. de Lima. She has enjoyed her time at Rutgers as well. “I am always looking to increase my comprehensive vision of health on our planet, make sustainable partnerships and think globally. It has been a pleasure to share local professional experiences and projects in Brazil, and also my Brazilian culture.”