Meet Our Residents & Fellows

A Program in Partnership With Duke Global Health Institute

Lauren Franz, MBChB, MPH

Global Health Pathway Graduate

Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship Alumni

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Dr Lauren Franz is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who graduated from the Global Health Psychiatry Pathway in 2014. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health at Duke. Dr Franz completed a seven year integrated training program at Duke that included general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and global health. She received her medical degree from Stellenbosch University, in South Africa in 2002.

Dr Franz’s interest in early identification and prevention led her to complete a Master in Public Health degree at Emory University in 2005, where she conducted research on the effects of stigma on treatment delay in patients experiencing their first psychotic episode. In 2010 she was awarded an American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Pilot Research Award and conducted a study on cortisol reactivity in children diagnosed with an anxiety disorder as preschoolers. In 2011 she was accepted into the ZERO to THREE Leaders of the 21st Century Fellowship Program, which provided additional mentoring and training in early childhood mental health from world leaders in the field. 



In 2013 Dr Franz was awarded a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship. With the support of this fellowship she worked on the KwaZulu-Natal Autism Study. This study aimed to adapt and pilot ‘gold standard’ autism spectrum disorder diagnostic tools for the Zulu community in South Africa. In 2015 Dr Franz was awarded an Early Career Development Award (K01 MH104370) from the National Institutes of Health. Under the mentorship of Dr Geraldine Dawson, Dr Franz will implement a parent-delivered early intervention for children with autism and their families in South Africa. This work will be done in collaboration with the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town.

Representative publications:

Franz L, Chambers N, von Isenburg M, de Vries PJ. Autism Spectrum Disorder in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Comprehensive Scoping Review. Autism Research. 2017; 10(5): 723-749. PMID: 28266791. PMID: 28266791.

Dawson G, Sun JM, Davlantis KS, Murias M, Franz L, Troy J, Simmons R, Sabatos-DeVito M, Durham R, Kurtzberg J. Autologous cord blood infusions are safe and feasible in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results of a single center Phase I Open Label Trial. Stem Cell Translational Medicine. Published online April 5 2017. PMID: 28378499.

Guler J, de Vries PJ, Seris N, Shabalala N, Franz L. The importance of context in early autism intervention: A qualitative South African study.  Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice. In Press. 

Bergner E, Leiner AS, Carter T, Franz L, Thompson N, Compton MT. The period of untreated psychosis before treatment initiation: A qualitative study of family members' perspectives. Comprehensive Psychiatry 2008; 49:530-536.

Compton MT, Carter T, Bergner E, Franz L, Stewart T, Trotman H. Defining, operationalizing, and measuring the duration of untreated psychosis: Advances, limitations, and future directions. Early Intervention in Psychiatry 2007; 1: 236-250.