New management structure and strategic plan for the UiO Centre for Global Health

The Centre for Global Health is pleased to announce its 2021-2023 strategic plan and new management structure including Deputy Directors from all three Institutes at the Faculty of Medicine.

The Faculty of Medicine Board at the University of Oslo (UiO) established the Centre for Global Health (CGH) in 2014 and refined the CGH mandate in 2019. The CGH is based on a broad definition of global health as ‘an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving health equity for all people worldwide.' In this broad sense, “global health” includes the study of major societal challenges such as global inequalities in healthcare resources, health impact of globalization and cultural mobility, as well as global implications of and solutions to local health problems.

The Faculty of Medicine Board underscores that global health

“can be thought of as a notion (the current state of global health), an objective (a world of healthy people, the condition of global health) or a mix of scholarship, research and practice (with many questions, issues, skills and competencies)." [1]

The Faculty of Medicine Board states that:

“The CGH will build competence and develop research projects in selected global health research areas. Another key function of CGH is to review and disseminate knowledge about global health at the University of Oslo, as well as to the national and international community of researchers, decision makers and the public.”

In the refined mandate, a CGH Board was established and members have been appointed for two years. The Chair is the current Head of the Institute of Health and Society, Terje P. Hagen. The Board is to ensure that the CGH has a strategic plan. The new strategy (2021-2023) was approved in November 2020, and states that the CGH’s main ambitions are: 

  • to mobilize cross-sectorial, multi- and interdisciplinary global health research
  • to be a hub for capacity development in research based global health education
  • to act as a facilitator of community engagement, knowledge-based dialogue, and public opinion formations related to important global health discussions thus ultimately contributing to sustainable development. 


The UiO Centre for Global Health is a multi- and interdisciplinary hub for education and research capacity development in global health, contributing to sustainable development through collaboration and networking. 


Advance capacity for global health research, education and communication at UiO and partner institutions. 


  • Develop and facilitate research projects in selected global health areas across units at UiO; 
  • Advance capacity for research education in global health nationally and internationally; 
  • Disseminate global health knowledge to students and faculty at the UiO, as well as to the wider community of researchers, decision makers and the general public;
  • Establish and consolidate formal cross-sectoral networks of researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders within selected areas at UiO, in Norway and globally. 

Concurrent with this process, a new management structure for the CGH emerged - view.

CGH Deputy Directors

The CGH proudly welcomes its Deputy Directors who will be responsible for:

  • initiating and running CGH activities at their institute;
  • mobilizing the staff of their institute in global health related activities within teaching, research and dissemination in line with the CGH strategic plan;
  • mobilizing students at their institute in CGH student activities;
  • ensuring synergy between the institute and the CGH in strategic activities related to global health;
  • serving as a global health advocate;
  • representing CGH in relevant contexts.

Institute of Clinical Medicine

CGH Deputy Director, Asgeir Johannessen, MD, PhD, is a specialist in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He is part time a senior consultant at Tønsberg Hospital, Norway. His PhD is from the University of Oslo (2011), focusing on simplification of diagnostics and management of HIV/AIDS in East Africa. He has previous cross-cultural experience from humanitarian work and research in Ethiopia, Angola, Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen and Jordan. In 2015, Dr. Johannessen established a hepatitis B treatment program in Ethiopia, which to date is the largest treatment centre on the continent, with research resulting in several PhD thesis. In 2018, he established the multicentre Nuc-Stop study in close collaboration with scientists in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Ethiopia. This study aims to assess the effects of stopping hepatitis B treatment in selected patients with full viral suppression. Stored biological samples will be used to study the immunological mechanisms of hepatitis B cure. He was deemed professor competent by two independent scientific committees appointed by the Faculty of Medicine at UiO (infectious diseases / global health) in 2020.

Institute of Basic Medical Sciences

CGH Deputy Director, Mekdes Gebremariam, MD, MPhil, MSc, PhD is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Nutrition, UiO and has her MD training from Ethiopia. Her MPhil and PhD are from UiO, and she was a Scientia Fellow at University of California, Los Angeles 2016-2018. Her research focuses on social inequality and the promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors and the prevention of non-communicable diseases in adolescents. Dr. Gebremariam has coordinated and led several research projects including international interdisciplinary research projects. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a large interdisciplinary research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project aims to identify trends in the development of socioeconomic inequalities in body weight from birth to 14 years of age using a birth cohort study. It also explores mediators of socioeconomic inequalities in lifestyle behaviors and body weight among youth. She is a collaborator in a Horizon 2020 project involving nine countries, aimed at obesity prevention among youth. She also participates in different public health and capacity building projects in Ethiopia. She is a Management Committee Member from Norway for a COST Action Plan (Determinants of Physical Activity in Settings), which includes participants from 26 countries.

Institute of Health and Society

CGH Deputy Director, Andrea S. Winkler, MD, PhD, is professor in Department of Community Medicine and Global Health. She is a neurologist and the co-director of the Center for Global Health at the Technical University of Munich. Prof. Winkler has close to 20 years of experience with both clinical work and research in various sub-Sahara African countries. Her special interest is in poverty-related neglected diseases, both infectious and non-infectious, global neurology/mental health as well as global digital health. She has/had leading roles in various large-scale multidisciplinary health consortia in sub-Saharan Africa funded by the German Research Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Norwegian Research Council and the Germany Ministry of Education and Research. Dr. Winkler in an internationally acclaimed One Health researcher and is currently co-chair of the Lancet One Health Commission (together with Dr. John Amuasi, KCCR, Ghana) with offices in Germany, Ghana and Norway.


[1] Koplan JP, Bond TC, Merson MH, Reddy KS, Rodriguez MH, Sewankambo NK, et al. Towards a common definition of global health. Lancet. 2009; 373:1993–5.

Published Dec. 16, 2020 12:14 PM - Last modified Aug. 19, 2021 9:15 AM