PPS Faculty Grows
Of six new faculty appointments at the Sanford Institute this academic year, three are joining Duke from other institutions—M. Giovanna Merli, Subhrendu K. Pattanayak and Seth Sanders—while three are current members of the public policy faculty being promoted to new positions: Cory Krupp, Clara Muschkin and Anthony So.
“These new appointments expand our core faculty, an important step in transforming the Sanford Institute into a school,” said Director Bruce Kuniholm. “They work across disciplines in innovative ways and further our goals of strengthening our positions in health, social, environmental and international policy.”
The three new external hires all hold dual appointments in PPS and another department at Duke, building on the Institute’s tradition of fostering cross-disciplinary research collaboration.
M. Giovanna Merli, a native of Italy, was appointed as an associate professor of PPS and sociology. Merli’s research interests include health and population studies, in particular, the consequences of HIV/AIDs, sexual behavior and sexual networks, and HIV/AIDS modeling. Recently, she has been examining the impact of HIV/AIDS in two very different societies: China and South Africa. She is a faculty member of the Duke Global Health Institute.
At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Merli was associate chair of the sociology department and served as associate director of the university’s Center for Demography and Ecology. Merli was the principal investigator on NIH and National Institute of Child Health and Development grants to research sexual behavior and STDS in China and co-principal investigator for a Ford Foundation grant researching behavior and STDS in female sex workers in Shanghai. She is a recipient of the Vilas Young Investigator Award from the University of Wisconsin and was a fellow of The Rockefeller Foundation in New York in 1998 and 1999.
“I look forward to enabling students to become familiar with the basics of population studies of demography,” said Merli. Her husband, Giovanni Zanalda, also joins the Institute as a visiting assistant professor of PPS and history.
For Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, his appointment as associate professor of PPS and environmental economics is a return to old stomping grounds, as he earned his PhD at Duke in 1989. His research focuses on evaluation of ecosystem services, primarily from forests, and the economics of environmental health. He builds models to analyze the causes and consequences of human behaviors and uses estimated parameters in integrated simulation tools to help design behavioral interventions and policies.
“Few universities try to promote scholarship across environmental, health and economic development issues, particularly through interdisciplinary schools. Duke is an exception, and my hope is to deepen and broaden what they have started in global environmental health,” Pattanayak said.
Previously, Pattanayak was an institute fellow and senior economist at RTI International and associate research professor at NC State University. At RTI, he built a research program on water, sanitation and health in South Asia, serving as the principal investigator for several World Bank grants. He is also a Fellow of the South Asian Network of Development and Environment Economics and of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Sciences at Conservation International. He serves as an editor of the journal Conservation Letters.
Seth Sanders, professor of economics and PPS, was a professor of economics and director of the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland.
“Duke is a special place that truly gives you the opportunity to talk to people in different departments—it’s a strong tradition here,” Sanders said. “If you are an economist and you want to talk to a doctor or a sociologist, it’s the norm of the university. Although relatively unusual, it’s very important today,” he said.
Sanders’ research interests concern labor economics and econometrics with a specialization in population research. He has studied the economics of gay and lesbian families, wage differentials among the highly educated with respect to race, class and gender, and costs of teenage childbearing for mothers. One of his current projects involves the development of new tests to inform pregnant women of fetal abnormalities. He is co-principal investigator on a National Institute of Child Health and Development grant on immigrant assimilation and labor market adjustment.
Cory Krupp came to Duke in 1998 and has served as director of graduate studies for the Program in International Development Policy (PIDP) in the Duke Center for International Development since 2005. She travels abroad frequently, recruiting students and seeking out new opportunities for the program. Her new title is associate professor of the practice of PPS.
An active mentor to students, Krupp’s primary research is in industrial organization and international trade. Her current focus is on the use and effectiveness of industrial policy as a development strategy, and the role of infrastructure in development including regulation of the electricity sector and rural access in developing countries. She also teaches in the Executive MBA program at Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Clara Muschkin is an assistant research professor of PPS in addition to being the director of the North Carolina Education Research Data Center within the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. A sociologist and demographer, Muschkin’s research uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore how policies that shape educational institutions influence student behavior and academic performance.
She also frequently teaches courses in the undergraduate Children in Contemporary Society Certificate. Previously, she was director of demographic projects at McMillan and Moss Research Inc. and assistant research professor at the Duke Center for Demographic Studies.
Professor of the Practice of PPS and Law Anthony So is the founding director of the Program on Global Health and Technology Access, which is expanding its staff and activities. He also directs the Duke Global Health Fellows Program, which combines summer internships and coursework in Geneva, Switzerland.
So’s interests include pharmaceutical innovation, access to essential medicines, intellectual property rights and biotechnology; tobacco control in developing countries and global health philanthropy. His current initiatives include a tobacco control project in Southeast Asia funded by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center; a study of the antibiotic development pipeline for ReAct, an international organization combating antibiotic resistance; and collaboration with the international, nonprofit Drugs for Neglected Disease Initiative. Previously So was associate director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Health Equity Program, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCSF-Stanford and a White House Fellow. He earned his MD at University of Michigan and his MPA at Princeton University.