Who We Are
Mark G. Shrime, MD, MPH, PhD, FACS
Director, Center for Global Surgery Evaluation
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Global Health, and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Known for being a leader in global surgery research, Dr. Mark Shrime is a practicing otolaryngologist at Mass. Eye and Ear and an associate faculty member at Ariadne Labs. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in molecular biology before taking a year to teach organic chemistry in Singapore. He then received his medical degree from the University of Texas. He completed his residency training in otolaryngology at the joint Columbia/Cornell program in Manhattan, followed by fellowships in head and neck surgical oncology and microvascular reconstructive surgery at the University of Toronto. He was the first surgeon to identify a novel independent prognostic indicator in head and neck cancer.
To date, he has worked and taught in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Benin, Togo, Congo, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon, and Madagascar. In May 2011, he graduated with an MPH in global health from the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health, where he was a finalist for both the Albert Schweitzer award and the HSPH Student Recognition award. In May 2015, he received his PhD in health policy from Harvard University with a concentration in decision science. His research is currently supported by the Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation and Mercy Ships. He has previously received research support from the GE Foundation’s Safe Surgery 2020 project and the Steven C. and Carmella Kletjian Foundation.
His academic pursuits focus on surgical delivery in low- and middle-income countries, where he has a specific interest in the intersection of health and impoverishment. He aims to determine optimal policies and platforms for surgical delivery that maximize health benefits while simultaneously minimizing the risk of financial catastrophe faced by patients. In recognition of his commitment to practicing otolaryngology with compassionate, patient-centered care, Dr. Shrime is the recipient of the 2018 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Award for Humanism in Medicine, presented by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.
When not working, he is an avid photographer and rock climber, and has competed on Seasons 8 and 9 of American Ninja Warrior.
Blake C. Alkire, MD, MPH
Assistant Director, Center for Global Surgery Evaluation
Instructor in Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Blake Alkire is a general otolaryngologist at Mass. Eye and Ear and Research Associate for the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, along with a MPH from the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health. Following an internship in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Alkire completed his surgical training in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery in the Mass. Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School residency program.
Dr. Alkire’s research focuses on developing models to assess the economic cost and benefit of surgical interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Recently, he led modeling efforts to better understand inequities in global access to surgical care for the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery (LCoGS), which found that close to five billion people do not have access to surgery. Additional research for LCoGS included modeling the global economic burden of surgical disease, which concluded that LMICs could lose $12.3 trillion USD—up to 2 percent of their potential gross domestic product—due to surgically treatable conditions over the next 15 years. Notably, since this work, he has been actively publishing, including a recently published economic study regarding economic burden of neurosurgery.
On the policy side, Dr. Alkire has had multiple meetings with World Bank officials in DC regarding global surgery and was a panelist at a joint World Bank/WHO event in Tokyo in 2017. He also recently attended the World Health Organisation for the world health assembly meeting with governments and WHO officials regarding his research and global surgery.
He is also interested in advancing benefit-cost analysis in global surgery, most recently contributing a chapter to Disease Control Priorities, which found that access to cleft lip and palate repair and cesarean delivery not only alleviates significant morbidity and mortality, but also results in net economic gains.