Dr. Emily Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine/Surgery at Duke University and an Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Duke Global Health Institute. Her research interests include pediatric global surgery, health economics, health systems strengthening in low-income countries, capacity building and surgical service scale-up modeling. Currently, her research takes place in Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Somaliland and Latin America. Prior to Duke, her work at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) involved utilizing epidemiological methods, mathematical modeling techniques and cost-effectiveness research to determine effectiveness of various testing strategies among HIV exposed infants in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Smith received her PhD in epidemiology from the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC-CH and an MSPH from the University of South Carolina.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she started a Facebook page called Friendly Neighbor Epidemiologist, which grew to over 110,000 followers during 2020-2022. She has led workshops for pastors and lay persons with Facebook and national religious leaders during the pandemic, including Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregants her work was featured in Christianity Today, NPR, the Washington Post, and TIME Magazine as well as at the national conferences of National Religion Association and the Christian Medical and Dental Association and with Christians and the Vaccine. Dr. Smith’s upcoming book, The Science of the Good Samaritan: Thinking Bigger about Loving our Neighbors, was released in 2023 (Zondervan, Harper Collins).