IHI is always looking for student volunteers!

The initiative gives students the opportunity to study global health in our own backyard while providing a valuable public health service to a vulnerable sector of the population. If you are interested in learning more about joining, contact Dr. Graciela Ostera, the Program Director.

The Immigrant Health Initiative (IHI) is a network of clinicians, scientists and students working to identify chronic parasitic conditions present in foreign-born individuals living in the United States. Immigrants from developing countries can potentially carry parasitic diseases, which are endemic in vast regions of the world but are very rare in the U.S. Some conditions are virtually asymptomatic and individuals may ignore that they are infected until the progression of the disease is fairly advanced. Determining the true prevalence of these “imported” parasitic diseases in the U.S. could substantially contribute to the design and implementation of appropriate health policies.


Based out of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University, IHI has partnerships with research institutions and primary care clinics working primarily with immigrant populations in the United States.

National School of Tropical Medicine

IHI is collaborating with the National School of Tropical Medicine (NSTM) at Baylor College of Medicine. NSTM is dedicated to the research of tropical diseases and global health activities through interdisciplinary efforts to enhance our understanding of Neglected Tropical Diseases and Neglected Infections of Poverty through R&D, and policy & advocacy.

Mary's Center

Mary's Center

IHI is currently partnering with the Mary’s Center to investigate the prevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis in immigrant populations.

Founded in 1988, Mary's Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Washington DC that provides health care, family literacy and social services to individuals whose needs too often go unmet by the public and private systems. Mary’s Center uses a holistic, multipronged approach to help each participant access individualized services that set them on the path toward good health, stable families, and economic independence. The Center offers high-quality, professional care in a safe and trusting environment to residents from the entire DC metropolitan region, including individuals from over 110 countries.