Welcoming 2019-2021 Postdoctoral Fellows

Photo: Preterm Birth Initiative 2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellows

The Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi) focuses on strengthening communications, collaboration and capacity building within the maternal and newborn health field, and offers a two-year, non-accredited transdisciplinary postdoctoral fellowship focused on prematurity. This fellowship is an extraordinary opportunity to work with world-class researchers and mentors, develop ideas and partnerships within a collaborative network, present works in progress and final results in domestic and global symposia, and formally build additional research skills. Applications for our 2020 cohort are open and due October 1, 2019. You can learn more here

We are thrilled to welcome the 2019-2021 cohort to our Postdoctoral Transdisciplinary Research Fellowship

April Bell

April Bell, PhD(c), MPH 

April J. Bell will receive her doctorate in Epidemiology from the Indiana University School of Public Health at Bloomington.* She obtained her MPH with a dual concentration in Epidemiology and Social & Behavioral Sciences from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Ms. Bell's research is focused on decreasing reproductive health inequities among women and youth by addressing the impacts of societal and structural biases on adverse birth outcomes, sexually transmitted infections, HIV acquisition, abortion access, and unintended pregnancy. Having worked extensively in both the US and across sub-Saharan Africa, she is interested in using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including digital storytelling, to bridge the expanse between US and African settings.

*April will begin her fellowship in September 2019 upon completion of her PhD. She is jointly funded by PTBi-CA and a NICHD T32 training grant.


Bridgette Blebu, PhD, MPH

Bridgette Blebu, PhD, MPH

Bridgette received her PhD in Public Health from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her BS in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and her MPH at the University of Southern California. Her dissertation research examined neighborhood social context, migrant selection and prematurity among infants born to black immigrant women in the state of California. During this fellowship, she will continue to explore preterm birth among infants of black women, by focusing on equitable implementation strategies that optimize access to psychosocial support resources during pregnancy. *Bridgette is jointly funded by PTBi-CA and a NICHD T32 training grant.

Mary Muhindo, MBChB, MPH

Mary Muhindo, MBChB, MPH 

Dr. Muhindo obtained her MBChB from Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda and MPH from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She works with Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration (IDRC) in Uganda and is particularly interested in studying and implementing tools that rapidly improve neonatal care in resource limited settings. With the Preterm Birth Initiative Discovery Grant in 2016-2017, Dr. Muhindo studied the NoviGuide, a mobile health application, in the care of newborns in Tororo District Hospital, Uganda. With this fellowship, in collaboration with Global Strategies, she will advance her work in studying the NoviGuide in facilitating the rollout and maintenance of oxygen saturation monitoring in Tororo District Hospital, Uganda.

*Mary is funded by PTBi-EA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.