Payam Nahid to Head UCSF’s Institute for Global Health Sciences


Payam Nahid, MD, MPH, who has played a leading role in improving tuberculosis care around the world, has been named executive director of UCSF’s Institute for Global Health Sciences.

Nahid, who joined UCSF more than 20 years ago, currently serves as the director of Clinical Trials Operations in the Office of Research. He brings a wealth of experience in clinical trials, treatment guidance and translational research on tuberculosis, as well as coinfection with HIV.

As the director of the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis, Nahid oversees the implementation of the newly established Tuberculosis Research Advancement Center at UCSF and UC Berkeley, which is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

My dedication to advancing global health equity and reducing disparities has always been at the core of everything I do.”

Payam Nahid, MD, MPH

He also guides research strategies in diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for the Supporting, Mobilizing and Accelerating Research for Tuberculosis Elimination, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Nahid’s expertise has been tapped by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), and he is a member of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on TB.

“UCSF has a long and illustrious history of combatting TB, and it is fitting to have an expert like Payam to lead IGHS,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “He brings a deep understanding of global efforts to eliminate TB, which has killed more people than any other infectious disease.”

Nahid succeeds Jaime Sepúlveda, MD, MPH, DrSC, who stepped down as executive director in August 2023. George Rutherford, MD, MA, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, has been serving as acting IGHS director.

Advancing global health equity

Nahid said he was drawn to the role at IGHS because of the institute’s commitment to addressing global health disparities and supporting equitable international partnerships.

“My dedication to advancing global health equity and reducing disparities has always been at the core of everything I do,” said Nahid, a professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. “What excites me about leading IGHS is that it offers an unparalleled opportunity to tackle these issues across a broad spectrum of disciplines, particularly in light of the growing challenges brought on by climate change. This is ultimately about improving lives worldwide.”

With more than 400 faculty and staff members, IGHS serves as an accelerator for global health projects, trains leaders and helps governments around the world. As executive director, Nahid said he will work to strengthen its research and teaching and raise its international profile.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Catherine Lucey, MD, who headed the committee that ran a competitive, international search, cited Nahid’s passion for addressing the health care needs of low- and middle-income countries, already a focus at IGHS, as a key qualification for the job.

“This was evident in his multidisciplinary research and in the clinical trials he leads on patient-centered approaches to tuberculosis treatment in resource-limited settings,” Lucey said. “His work with WHO committees tackling complex problems with diverse stakeholders shows the type of leadership skills needed for this role. I am delighted that Payam chose this role as the next step in his career, and I look forward to working with him.”

He will start his new position on April 1.


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