Dr Neo Tapela
Senior Research Fellow
Neo is a Senior Research Fellow in NDPH’s Translational Epidemiology Unit. Her research interests focus on reducing premature mortality in resource-limited sub-Saharan Africa through enhancing understanding of risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases (particularly cardiovascular disease and cancer), and developing scalable innovative healthcare service delivery interventions that address outcome disparities for these conditions. She has served as PI for multiple NIH-funded projects, including a district-wide cancer early diagnosis initiative in rural Botswana, and a research collaborative to assess needs and build NCD research capacity in Southern Africa.
Neo’s research is informed by her multidisciplinary, hands-on experience practicing as an internal medicine specialist in diverse settings, and managing health service delivery programs in non-profit and government sectors. She has served as Advisor to the Rwanda Ministry of Health, as Director of the NCDs Program with Partners In Health in Rwanda, and as Head of the National NCDs Program within the Ministry of Health and Wellness in her home country Botswana.
Neo completed her medical and public health training at Harvard University (MD with American Board of Internal Medicine certification, MPH, and post-graduate Fellowship in Global Health Equity). She maintains appointment as Research Associate at Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, and as Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA. Her work as a global health innovator has been recognized in her selection as a Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership Scientific Leadership Awardee, an Aspen New Voices Fellow, and an African Cancer Leaders Institute Awardee.