Dr. Benzekri is an Infectious Diseases Physician-Scientist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. She conducts research, practices medicine, and teaches at the University of Washington. She has more than 20 years of experience collaborating with communities on clinical and public health research throughout sub-Saharan Africa. She has worked with the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, UNHCR, PATH, academic and non-profit organizations. She attended UCLA medical school and completed Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Diseases fellowship at the University of Washington. She has a DTM&H from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She received training in Applied Epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control, and Advanced Qualitative Research Methods at the University of Oxford.
Dr. Benzekri is Co-Investigator on the NIH/NIAID Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID) grant, the “United World for Antiviral Research Network” (UWARN), (MPI: Van Voorhis, Gale, Rabinowitz, Wasserheit), with the goal of establishing a network of global clinical and laboratory sites to rapidly respond to emerging viral diseases. She is also a Co-Investigator on “Discovery and Exploration of Emerging Pathogens – Viral Zoonoses” (DEEP VZN), with the goal of detecting and characterizing unknown viruses with zoonotic and epidemic/pandemic potential around the globe.
In collaboration with the non-profit organization Development in Gardening (DIG), she is Principal Investigator of R21, “Leveraging Agriculture and Uniting Communities to Improve HIV Outcomes in Senegal (LAUNCH)”, to determine the impact of a multisectoral agricultural intervention on food security, nutritional status, and HIV outcomes in the post-conflict Casamance Region of Senegal. She is Co-Investigator and Program Lead for the Food Insecurity Research Program and the Sociobehavioral Research Program for the U01, “International Epidemiologic Database to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) West Africa” (MPI: Jaquet, Ekouevi, Ofotokun). In collaboration with partners in West Africa and at the University of Bordeaux, this study uses mixed-methods to evaluate cohorts of HIV and HIV-TB co-infected individuals in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. She is also Co-Investigator on R01, “Drug Resistance Genotypic and Phenotypic Correlates of Efavirenz and Dolutegravir based Treatment Outcomes across Non-B HIV-1 subtypes” (MPI: Frenkel, Gottlieb, Drain) with cohorts in Senegal, South Africa, and Kenya and she is Co-Investigator on R01, “Improving Diagnosis, Treatment & Detection of Drug Resistance in HIV-2 Infection” (PI: Gottlieb) in Senegal.
She serves as Technical Lead for Impact Assessment for DIG (www.dig.org), where she uses mixed-methods to evaluate the impact of agricultural interventions on food security, nutrition, economic empowerment, and climate resilience in Senegal, Kenya, and Uganda. In collaboration with DIG, she is also lead investigator on a Conservation, Food, and Health grant to evaluate the intersection of food security, indigenous knowledge, and forest conservation in Western Uganda.
Dr. Benzekri is an Attending Physician on the Infectious Diseases Service at the University of Washington Medical Center and a member of the Ethics Committee at Harborview Medical Center.
She is Course Director for Qualitative Research Methods (HSERV 517) and Analytic Skills for Public Health II: Qualitative Research, Mixed-Methods, and Implementation Science (PHI 513) in the UW School of Public Health.
Dr. Benzekri is a member of the UW Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, The Center for One Health Research, the Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness, and the UW-Senegal Research Collaboration.
Education & Training
- MD University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles CA
- Residency University of Washington Seattle WA
- Fellowship The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Fellowship University of Washington Seattle WA
- DTM&H The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine London England
- PGCert The University of Oxford Oxford England
Zoonotic viruses, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, food insecurity, One Health and the human-animal-environment interface, partnerships with traditional healers in West Africa, sociobehavioral research, implementation, and mixed methods research
HIV, tropical medicine, zoonoses, fever of unknown origin, parasitology, Hansen's Disease, refugee health, and ethics
Benzekri NA, Sambou JF, Ndong S, Diallo MB, Tamba IT, Faye D, Sall I, Diatta JP, Faye K, Cisse O, Sall F, Guèye NF, Ndour CT, Sow PS, Malomar JJ, Hawes SE, Seydi M, and Gottlieb GS. The impact of food insecurity on HIV outcomes in Senegal, West Africa: A prospective longitudinal study. BMC Public Health (2021). 21(1):451. PMID 33676463.
Benzekri NA, Sambou JF, Ndong S, Diallo MB, Tamba IT, Faye D, Diatta JP, Faye K, Sall I, Sall F, Cisse O, Malomar JJ, Ndour CT, Sow PS, Hawes SE, Seydi M, and Gottlieb GS. Food insecurity predicts loss to follow-up among people living with HIV in Senegal. Aids Care (2021). PMID33682545
Benzekri NA, Sambou JF, Ndong S, Tamba IT, Faye D, Diallo MB, Diatta JP, Faye K, Sall I, Sall F, Malomar JJ, Hawes SE, Seydi M, Gottlieb GS. Traditional healers, HIV outcomes, and mortality among people living with HIV in Senegal, West Africa. AIDS. 2019 Jul 15;33(9):1521-1526. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002232.
Benzekri NA, Sambou JF, Tamba IT, Diatta JP, Sall I, Cisse O, Thiam M, Bassene G, Badji NM, Faye K, Sall F, Malomar JJ, Seydi M, Gottlieb GS. Nutrition support for HIV-TB co-infected adults in Senegal, West Africa: A randomized pilot implementation study. PLoS One. 2019 Jul 18;14(7):e0219118. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219118. eCollection 2019.
Benzekri NA, Sambou J, Diaw B, Sall el HI, Sall F, Niang A, Ba S, Ngom Guèye NF, Diallo MB, Hawes SE, Seydi M, Gottlieb GS. High prevalence of severe food insecurity and malnutrition among HIV-infected adults in Senegal, West Africa. PLoS One. 2015 Nov 3;10(11):e0141819. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141819. eCollection 2015.
Roess AA, Monroe BP, Kinzoni EA, Gallagher S, Ibata SR, Badinga N, Molouania TM, Mabola FS, Mombouli JV, Carroll DS, MacNeil A, Benzekri NA, Moses C, Damon IK, Reynolds MG. Assessing the effectiveness of a community intervention for monkeypox prevention in the Congo basin. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Oct;5(10):e1356. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001356. Epub 2011 Oct 18.