The Franciscan Institute for World Health (FIWH) has three aims:



Provide real-world research opportunities for undergraduates with hands-on training in the use of cutting edge scientific laboratory techniques and equipment, in state of the art facilities, and with experienced, professional scientists


Strive to instill a collaborative work mindset and a career-long passion for outreach for the poor and most underserved of the world by forming teams of undergraduates from multiple universities to work in unified efforts to find the best solutions to major health problems


Collaborate with academic, professional, and industrial leaders and organizations to ensure that the work and the efforts of our undergraduate teams are on the world’s critical path to finding real healthcare solutions to improve global health.


FIWH and FISH, an institute of FUS, a not for profit organization, seeks to provide excellent, hands-on, and multi-disciplinary educational training for the next generation of scientists.


FIWH provides and coordinates global health-focused educational trainings and experiences for committed and dedicated undergraduates with a secondary goal of fostering lifelong compassion and career connection to serve the unmet health needs of the neglected people of the world. By collaborating with pharmaceutical companies, major research universities, and their professional collaborators like the World Health Organization (WHO) and major Product Development Partnerships, undergraduates are able to achieve the third goal of FIWH: to have an impact on improving global health.  Within these collaborations, undergraduates are inserted into a critical step in the drug discovery process, pre-clinical research, where they work in real-time and with real impact to on the preparation of new and improved drug therapies for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Since the summer of 2011, FIWH has coordinated an annual, unique, collaborative, NTD Research Program through an innovative partnership with AbbVie, Inc.  During the summer months, this program ramps up in Chicago, Illinois, and Steubenville, Ohio, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Through this program, Franciscan undergraduates learn to work shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Rohde, FIWH Summer 2013 AbbVie undergraduates from other universities, AbbVie scientists, and not for profit, NTD partner organizations of AbbVie, like Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).  Additionally, throughout the summer and the rest of the year, undergraduate leadership is encouraged and opportunities provided for assisting in the educational process with new classes and new research, practicing public speaking for community service and education, and training in scientific writing, preparation of slides, presenting, and publishing.



Dr. Jeffrey J. Rohde

Professor and Chair, Chemistry and Physics Department
Administrative Coordinator, Engineering Dual Degree Program
Director, FIWH and Co-Director, FISH

View Dr. Rohde’s profile page

As a Harvard graduate and medicinal chemist for nearly 13 years, Dr. Jeffrey Rohde came to Franciscan to teach Organic Chemistry in 2009. From the start, he had plans and the idea to also accomplish something else: he wanted to pass on his passion for basic research to his students. Dr. Rohde successfully launched the Franciscan Institute for World Health (FIWH) in 2010 to do just that.  In the summer of 2011, the first Neglected Tropical Disease Research Program was successfully run in Chicago with 3 Franciscan undergraduate interns.  Fast forward to today, FIWH programming continues to grow and to thrive with ever-increasing initiative, drive, and leadership from Franciscan undergraduates.  Dr. Rohde and Franciscan seize upon the momentum, the model,  and the opportunity to expand the scope and to broaden the support to all of the sciences and the Engineering Dual Degree Program with the founding of FISH. This is exciting; this is the future, and it’s starting today!

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