Rafael Ruiz De Castañeda

Institute of Global Health - Faculty of Medicine


Dr. Rafael Ruiz de Castañeda (RRdC hereafter) co-leads the One Health Unit at the Institute of Global Health of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva (Switzerland). He has an interdisciplinary and international background at the interface of wild animal ecology and veterinary microbiology. He has an important field and lab experience working with wild avian populations and potentially pathogenic and zoonotic bacteria (e.g. Enterobacteria) and parasites (e.g. avian malaria), and using these pathogens as indicators of population health status and conservation. His current interest has extended into the so called One Health / Eco-Health approach and its application in the context of Global Health challenges (e.g. emerging infectious diseases) and opportunities (e.g. conservation of biodiversity and health promotion) at the human-animal-ecosystem interface. Among other fields of activity, RRdC currently researches on the impact of snakebite on both human and domestic animal populations in rural areas of Africa and Asia. He is also very much interested in local food markets of the world and their implications for the emergence of infectious diseases but also opportunities for health promotion and food security. In this context, RRdC is trying to apply innovative approaches and methods from Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing to address epidemiological and public health questions in collaboration with the Citizen Cyberlab ( of the University of Geneva. RRdC is actively involved in a range of teaching activities in Global Health at the Faculty of Medicine and Global Studies Institute (e.g. Tropical Medicine, Master in Global Health etc.). Besides extensive personal experiences in Africa since his childhood, RRdC has also worked over several years in the coordination, development and implementation of innovative health education projects based on ITCs in developing and emerging countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America (e.g. EU-funded Africa Build, RAFT Network). He is also very much involved in the production and development of MOOCs in Global Health at the University of Geneva.