Dr. Lowe to lead Global Center for Health Security

John Lowe, PhD

John Lowe, PhD

As the UNMC Global Center for Health Security reflects on five years of success in advancing preparedness for and responding to health emergencies, it is positioning itself for future growth.

Beginning this month, the Global Center for Health Security will transition from a four-person executive director model to a single director, led by UNMC’s John Lowe, PhD.

“We’ve had immense success,” Dr. Lowe said. “This transition is in response to our remarkable achievements and will allow us to evolve more rapidly.”

“Moving to a streamlined management structure will allow us to be more nimble as well as position the Global Center for continued growth in how we support international partners, U.S. government agencies and state and local partners in responding to health emergencies.”

To date, the center has been led by four executive directors from UNMC and Nebraska Medicine: John Lowe, PhD; Chris Kratochvil, MD, who recently assumed the role of interim vice chancellor for external relations at UNMC; James Lawler, MD, who now will serve as associate director of international programs and innovation; and Shelly Schwedhelm, who will serve as associate director of clinical operations and emergency management.

Overall, the 55-member Global Center team serves as a coordinating hub to advance research, clinical care, training and education for health emergency threats. “We’re not a policy or think tank; we’re a ‘do’ tank,” Dr. Lowe said, noting the team both partners with, and serves as, responders to advance health security practice.

By any measure, the Global Center for Health Security has had an unprecedented first five years. During that time, the team has:

  • Generated more than $122.6 million in extramural funding and 150 academic articles.
  • Produced scientific knowledge that informed global, national, and local COVID-19 responses, including guidance to the White House National Security Council and others.
  • Provided risk mitigation and pandemic navigation for a variety of Nebraska institutions (meat packing facilities, public/private schools, long-term care facilities, government agencies, shelters, correctional facilities, financial institutions, insurance agencies, private companies and hospitality industries).
  • Launched international response teams to assist in multiple health emergency response operations, including in Nigeria, Uganda and Japan.
  • Partnered with a major NGO to develop a CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high yield Explosives) awareness training course for humanitarian relief workers in Ukraine.
  • Launched a Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area graduate program titled “Biodefense and Health Security” with an initial cohort of eight students.
  • Initiated development of a health security clinical fellowship program.
  • Developed multiple global and national networks with peer institutions and assist and advise international health responses in locations such as Japan, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and China.

“Already a resource to the nation, the Global Center for Health Security is poised to become the go-to entity on health security emergencies, near and far,” said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD. “We’re pleased to have Dr. Lowe at the helm and look forward to more great things from the team.”

Learn more about the center’s vast training programs and collaborations


  1. Mike Wadman says:

    Congratulations John!

  2. Stacie Hamel says:

    Congratulations to Dr. Lowe and the entire leadership team on their extraordinary work.

  3. Heidi Kaschke says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Lowe!

  4. D.J. Thayer says:

    Congrats, John!!!

  5. Louriann Nieman says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Lowe!

  6. Heather Shepard says:

    Proud of you, John!

  7. Paula Turpen says:

    Congratulations, John!

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