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Gopal Sankaran, MD, DrPH, MNAMS, CHES

Gopal SankaranElected Member

Dr. Gopal Sankaran is a tenured, full professor in health at West Chester University (WCU) of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Sankaran received his medical training in India, followed by a residency in Community Medicine. He is board-certified in Integrated Maternal and Child Health Care and is an inducted member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India). In the United States, Dr. Sankaran obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees in public health (maternal and child health and family planning; minors: epidemiology and biostatistics) from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Dr. Sankaran’s education, training and experience span three interrelated health professions—medicine, public health, and health promotion. He has consulted with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the National Smallpox Eradication Programme and the Global Programme on AIDS. He has worked with PLAN International and Childreach on international HIV/AIDS prevention and control, child survival, and reproductive health projects in program design, implementation, and evaluation. He has trained family practice residents from Pennsylvania and Delaware in Community Oriented Primary Care. He served as a guest faculty in epidemiology for medical students and continues as a guest faculty for physician assistant students at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).

Dr. Sankaran has received grants to research knowledge, attitudes, and practices of high school students, college students, and university faculty about HIV/AIDS. He has published several articles in professional, peer-reviewed journals, and made over 130 presentations at international, national, state, and local professional conferences on a variety of medical, public health, health promotion and higher education issues. He co-edited HIV/AIDS in Sport: Impact, Issues, and Challenges (Human Kinetics, Inc.) and co-authored a book, Sexual Harassment in Sport (Meyer & Meyer Sport, Germany).

Dr. Sankaran recently served as the Co-Chair, Publications Board of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and previously as the Chair, Editorial Board of the American Journal of Public Health. He is an invited reviewer for American Journal of Health Behavior, American Journal of Public Health, Health Behavior and Policy Review, Health Promotion Practice, and Pedagogy for Health Promotion. Earlier, he served as an Associate Editor for BMC Public Health.

Dr. Sankaran served as a Governing Councilor of the APHA representing International Health (IH) Section for eight years. He chaired the Awards Committee of the IH Section for five years and was the founding Chair of the Global Health Connections Working Group. Dr. Sankaran served earlier as a Member, Board of Governors for the National Council for International Health (later known as the Global Health Council), Trustee for the Pennsylvania Society for Public Health Education and as President, West Chester University Faculty Senate. His current service is on the Board of Cerebral Palsy Association of Chester County; as Advisor, Health & Research for Haselfre Foundation, India; and as an Emeritus Member, Community Advisory Board of WHYY, a PBS affiliate.

At WCU, Dr. Sankaran’s administrative experiences include interim appointments as the Assistant Vice President for International Programs, Associate Vice President for Sponsored Research, and Dean of Graduate Studies and Extended Education. He was an American Council on Education Fellow, the nation’s premier higher education leadership program. In addition, he served as the Presidential Fellow for Planning, Special Assistant to the Provost on Distance Learning, Coordinator of Graduate Programs, and Faculty Associate for Planning in the College of Health Sciences. He is the recipient of the WCU Civility Award and WCU Faculty Merit Award for Service. He was recognized by the International Health Section of APHA with the Mid-Career Award, the Distinguished Section Service Award, and the Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.