Residents and Fellows


Cape Town, South Africa

Red Cross Children’s Hospital

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.

During her Global Health Pathway training, 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 implemented a parent-delivered early intervention for children with autism and their families in South Africa. This work was done in collaboration with the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town.

GHP Project Related Publications:

  • Franz, L., K. Adewumi, N. Chambers, M. Viljoen, J.N. Baumgartner, and P.J. de Vries, Providing early detection and early intervention for autism spectrum disorder in South Africa: stakeholder perspectives from the Western Cape province. J Child Adolesc Ment Health, 2018. 30(3): p. 149-165.
  • Franz, L., N. Chambers, M. von Isenburg, and P.J. de Vries, Autism spectrum disorder in sub-saharan africa: A comprehensive scoping review. Autism Res, 2017. 10(5): p. 723-749.
  • Franz, L. and G. Dawson, Implementing early intervention for autism spectrum disorder: a global perspective. Pediatr Med, 2019. 2.
  • Guler, J., P.J. de Vries, N. Seris, N. Shabalala, and L. Franz, The importance of context in early autism intervention: A qualitative South African study. Autism, 2018. 22(8): p. 1005-1017.
  • Makombe, C.B.T., N. Shabalala, M. Viljoen, N. Seris, P.J. de Vries, and L. Franz, Sustainable implementation of early intervention for autism spectrum disorder through caregiver coaching: South African perspectives on barriers and facilitators. Pediatr Med, 2019. 2.