Lauren Franz, MBChB, MPH

Fellow, Child Psychiatry/Global Health, Duke University

Fellowship Site: University KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Research Interests: The KwaZulu-Natal Autism Study

Dr. Franz will spend her fellowship year at University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, under the mentorship of Helen Egger, MD. Her research, titled The KwaZulu-Natal Autism Study, will focus on the largely Zulu but multicultural community in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The primary purpose of the KwaZulu-Natal Autism Study is to explore how best to identify Zulu children who have an autism spectrum disorder. The long-term goal of this study is to lay the groundwork for a cross-cultural multicountry study on the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders in which questions regarding incidence, prevalence, and causation can be addressed.

Dr. Franz’s research interests are in global early childhood cognitive and social-emotional development. She received her medical degree from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and completed a one-year internship in Namibia and a year of community service in rural South Africa. She has an MPH from Emory, and is currently at Duk,e where she is enrolled in a training program that includes general psychiatry, child psychiatry, developmental epidemiology, and global health. In 2012, Dr. Franz was selected as a Zero to Three Leaders of the 21st Century Fellow.

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