Dr. David Simmons is the Faculty Principal of the Galen Health Fellows Living and Learning Community and holds joint appointments in anthropology and health promotion, education and behavior.
David received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and completed a three-year National Science Foundation Postdoc at Harvard Medical School’s Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change in the Department of Social Medicine. Originally from Chicago, David has lived all around the world—Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and the Dominican Republic—and has lived in South Carolina for the past 13 years with his wife, Kimberly (also on faculty at USC), their three children, and a pet Chihuahua, Mocha.
David’s research interests focus on tropical medicine and infectious diseases (especially HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa – see his book Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe: HIV/AIDS and Traditional Healers) as health inequalities. He teaches in the areas of medical anthropology, global health, ethics, medicine and spirituality, and culture. David has the distinction of having had some of the tropical diseases he teaches and writes about, namely malaria, Chikungunya, dysentery, and a botfly larvae infestation (ask him about it sometime).
David is an avid tennis player (USTA 4.0) who is passionate about travel and adventure. In Zimbabwe, he once paddled down the Zambezi River, a crocodile and hippo-infested waterway, on a three-day canoe trip where he got up close and personal with lion, rhinoceroses, zebra, giraffes and wildebeests. David loves to mentor undergraduate students (he’s mentored many Magellan awardees) and was awarded the Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2009. He also loves broadening students’ understandings of health and helping them to be their best selves!