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Gillian Ice, PhD, MPH

Gillian Ice
Professor, Social Medicine; Director, Global Health; Interim Associate Provost of Global Affairs
Heritage Hall 367K, Athens Campus
Biomedical Sciences
Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute
Medical Education Office
Social Medicine


  • Epidemiology (MPH), University of Minnesota, 2002
  • Anthropology (PhD), The Ohio State University, 1998
  • Anthropology (MA), City University of New York,1992
  • Anthropology (AB), Washington University in St. Louis, 1990


  • Aging
  • Anthropology
  • Epidemiology
  • Global Health
  • Population Health
  • Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Africa

Summary of Work:

Gillian Ice’s research explores aging with a focus on grandparent caregiving in sub-Saharan Africa. She teaches research methods and evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, geriatrics, cultural competence and global health.

Dr. Ice’s research focuses on the relationship between environment, stress and wellbeing of older adults. Her early work examined biomarkers of stress. She conducted a ten-year longitudinal study, examining the impact of caregiving on Kenyan grandparents. Currently, she is examining the role of grandmothers in preserving cooking traditions and the impact family nutrition. She edited (with Gary James) “Measuring Stress in Humans: A Practical Guide for the Field.” She is author (with Darna Dufour and Nancy Stevens) of “Disasters in Field Research”.

As the director of Global Health for the Heritage College from 2002 to 2012, she directed study abroad programs for medical students. In 2013, she founded the Global Health Initiative (GHI), a collaboration between the Heritage College and the College of Health Sciences and Professions. GHI offers study abroad programs that promote an understanding of global health issues, increase multicultural awareness and involve students, faculty and staff in research, education and outreach activities abroad and in immigrant communities in the U.S. Dr. Ice worked with GHI faculty and staff to develop courses, undergraduate and graduate certificate program and a master's of global health. She works with colleagues on health systems strengthening projects in sub-Saharan Africa, including curriculum development in Botswana and research training programs in Botswana, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.

Dr. Ice currently serves as special assistant to the president for public health operations. In this role, she managed COVID prevention, case management, contact tracing and policy for the university, in collaboration with the Athens City County Health Department. She is CO-PI on a grant to study COVID levels in wastewater. She also is directing on several initiatives to improve student mental health