Enric Jané is a second-year Gates Fellow and program officer who focuses on the treatment of pneumonia and enteric and diarrheal diseases in children and improving community health worker systems. A native of Barcelona, Spain, and the son of two physicians, he is a medical doctor with a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Barcelona and an M.Sc. in biomedical engineering from Columbia University. Before coming to the foundation, Enric worked for leading global health research institutes based in Spain and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Before coming here, I worked with a research center in a village in rural Mozambique. I worked closely with people from the community, learning how to do high-quality research in a rural setting.
In developing countries, the issues around treating sick children are complex. Parents first need to recognize signs and symptoms. If that occurs, they take the child to someone who is usually not an M.D. but a community health worker with very basic skills. Our job is to work with these providers on improving their skills and tools, and making sure they have the proper commodities like drugs and diagnostics.
The people who succeed in solving complex problems like these understand how things work together. Someone successfully advances the foundation’s goals not just by putting in time on developing a tool but by understanding the environment in which it’s going to be used and how the solution can be adopted by users.
The foundation probably has more people with diverse experiences and interests than most organizations. By collaborating and connecting different fields and ideas, I feel that I can bring more value to society. When dealing with complex problems, you need to ask the right questions and be willing to work with others. It’s not collaboration for collaboration’s sake at the foundation. We collaborate to come to solutions.