Arachu Castro, who has earned international recognition for her research into infectious diseases and women’s health in Latin America and the Caribbean, has been invested into the Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
A recent ceremony honored Castro as the inaugural chairholder and celebrated her accomplishments in global health, which have included founding a program to drastically reduce the rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis in Latin America and the Caribbean through improved diagnosis and prenatal care. Castro’s work at Tulane will focus on international relations and collaborative research with Latin America. Her current research analyzes primary care throughout the region to better understand and improve healthcare systems serving people living in poverty.
Endowed faculty positions such as the Stone Chair are held by internationally renowned senior scholars such as Castro and are universally recognized as one of the most prestigious, influential, and meaningful ways a donor can make a positive impact upon an academic institution. By providing permanent support for a faculty member’s teaching and research, donors ensure the quality of education at SPHTM for generations to come.
Eminent faculty members who hold such positions build the school’s reputation and attract students from all over the world to study at Tulane.
With its focus on Latin American public health, the Stone Chair is the only one of its kind in the United States. As the Stone Chair, Castro holds a joint appointment between the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the SPHTM, providing opportunities to expand existing strengths and international collaborations as well as to build new bridges within the university and throughout the southern hemisphere.
The Stone Chair was established by gifts from the Zemurray Foundation, which was founded by businessman, financier, and philanthropist Samuel Zemurray. In 1912 Zemurray donated $25,000 to create the first school of hygiene and tropical medicine in the United States – today’s SPHTM.
The endowed chair is named for Zemurray’s late grandson Samuel Z. Stone, a prominent author, researcher, scholar, and emeritus member of the Board of Tulane. The Stone family continues an outstanding legacy of philanthropy at Tulane, providing for professorships, endowed chairs, scholarships, library holdings, research collections, and centers and institutes.
Castro said that with Tulane’s long tradition in both public health and Latin American studies, the university offers an “incomparable” academic environment for collaborative research into global health issues. “I feel privileged to be part of this endeavor.”
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