Title and Department
Associate Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Professional bio
Rebecca Berhanu, MD, is an infectious diseases physician and clinical researcher and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, she completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and her medical degree at the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Berhanu did her clinical training in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and her fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina.

Her research is focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in high-burden countries. She has lived and worked in South Africa for many years, and has collaborated extensively with research groups at the University of Witwatersrand, including the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Unit; the South African National Health Laboratory Service; and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit. Dr. Berhanu’s work has been focused on linkage to care in drug-resistant tuberculosis, treatment outcomes and toxicity, and the clinical impact of new molecular diagnostics. She is currently supported by an NIH K08 award to study the social networks and molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant tuberculosis transmission in two South African communities.

Dr. Berhanu has extensive clinical experience in the management of tuberculosis, HIV and HIV-associated opportunistic infections. She joined VUMC as faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases in 2022, and continues to consult on the infectious diseases service at Helen Joseph Hospital, a public academic teaching hospital in Johannesburg.