Areas of Expertise
MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1987
MPA, Princeton University, 1986
Research Description: Global health, with emphasis on globalization and health equity; technology access, with focus on the ownership of knowledge and how it is harnessed for the poor and excluded; tobacco control
Dr. Anthony So joined Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy in 2004 as director of a new Program on Global Health and Technology Access. The program focuses on issues of globalization and health, particularly innovation and access to essential medicines for those in developing countries. The program works as the Strategic Policy Unit for ReAct, a global coalition dedicated to combating antibiotic resistance.
Dr. So's research on the ownership of knowledge and how it is best harnessed to improve the public’s health spans from conceptualizing a technology trust and patent pools to reengineering the value chain from R&D to delivery of health technologies for developing countries. He also directs the Global Health Fellows Program that places graduate students in Geneva for policy experiences in global health.
Previously Dr. So had served as associate director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Health Equity program. While there, his grantmaking shaped the foundation’s work on access to medicines policy in developing countries, particularly for HIV/AIDS; co-founded a cross-thematic program on charting a fairer course for intellectual property rights; and launched “Trading Tobacco for Health,” an initiative focused on enabling developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, to respond on their own terms and for the long term to the challenge of tobacco use.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. So directed the activities of the Liaison Office for Quality (1997-98) as senior advisor to the administrator at the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). In that capacity, he supported Secretary Donna Shalala in her role as Co-Chair of a Presidential Advisory Commission focused on improving the quality of health care for all Americans. From 1995-96, he had served as Secretary Shalala’s White House Fellow, when he launched the Department’s first electronic public service announcement (E-PSA) featuring the Smoke-Free Kids and Soccer campaign.
In a six-year, combined program at the University of Michigan, he received his BA in philosophy and biomedical sciences and his MD. He earned his MPA from Princeton University as a Woodrow Wilson Scholar. Dr. So completed his residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of California, San Francisco/ Stanford.
In the past, he has served on a variety of national, nonprofit boards from Echoing Green, which supports new entrepreneurs working for social change, to the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum, as well as in various advisory capacities from the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central Advisory Committee to the Advisory Council of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Currently, he is a member of the advisory board for TropIKA, a new web-based research and policy portal from the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR); sits on the board of directors for Community Catalyst, an advocacy organization working to ensure quality affordable health care for all; and is a member of the advisory board for Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, an organization of student groups exploring access to medicines issues, particularly at the university level.