Infectious disease treatment in impoverished countries is topic of next URI Honors Colloquium lecture, Oct. 2

Posted on
KINGSTON, R.I. – Sept. 24, 2012 – Joia Mukherjee, medical director of the international medical charity Partners In Health, is the next speaker in the University of Rhode Island’s Honors Colloquium, which examines the politics and money influencing health care around the world.

All of the lectures in the semester-long series, called “Health Care Change? Health, Politics and Money,” begin at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium on the URI Kingston campus. They are free and open to the public.

In her lecture, Mukherjee will discuss Partners In Health’s mission to deliver hope for the poorest of the poor. The organization treats infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, in developing countries.

Mukherjee has a master of public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and trained in infectious disease, internal medicine and pediatrics at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She travels to underprivileged nations around the world to help treat and fight deadly diseases. Details of some of her work with Paul Farmer were included in Mountains Beyond Mountains, a book written by fellow Honors Colloquium presenter Tracy Kidder.

The remaining speakers in the colloquium series are Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at the Mayo Clinic (Oct. 9); Roberta Friedman, director of public policy at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University (Oct. 23); Jonathan Gruber, director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (Oct. 30); Stephanie Chafee, co-founder of the Rhode Island Free Clinic (Nov. 13); Michael Fine, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (Nov. 27); and Unni Karanukara, international president of Doctors Without Borders (Dec. 10).

Other colloquium events include the URI Theatre presentation of the play Marvin’s Room, a dark comedy that deals with family care and end of life issues, on Oct. 11-14 and 18-21, and the medical musical comedy, Damaged Care, on Dec. 4.

Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online URI Live!

All remaining lectures will be streamed live at, where the complete schedule of events is also listed. For additional information about the URI Honors Colloquium, contact Deborah Gardiner at or 401-874-2381.

The major sponsor of the Honors Colloquium is the URI Honors Program, with sustaining sponsors including the URI Office of the President, Office of the Provost, the Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, and the Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment. Leadership sponsors include the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, the college of Pharmacy, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Multicultural Center, and the Department of Communications and Marketing. Also sponsoring the Honors Colloquium are Cox Communications, the College of Business Administration, Department of Publications and Creative Services, College of Engineering, College of Nursing, College of Human Science and Services, Division of Administration and Finance, Division of Student Life, and Department of Communication Studies of the Harrington School of Communication & Media. Joia Mukherjee’s lecture is also sponsored by the URI Multicultural Center.

This press release was written by Danielle Sanda, an intern in URI’s Department of Communications and Marketing and a public relations major.