February 9, 2006
New federal funding to Tulane University will allow minority undergraduate and graduate students to get experience in international health research at seven sites around the world. Tulane University, in collaboration with Xavier University, received $852,000 for a four-year Minority International Research Training (MHIRT) grant from the National Institutes of Health for the program.
"Our hope is that this opportunity will stimulate students to see health disparity issues in the U.S. in a broader perspective as global problems, so they will be able to understand the common problems populations share and be able to apply lessons learned from one group to another one," says Richard Oberhelman, principal investigator.
Oberhelman, a clinical associate professor of tropical medicine at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, studies pediatric tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections in Peru. Although the majority of students will be undergraduates, some graduate students may apply.
Students can work on projects including Oberhelman's study in Peru; interventions to decrease the risk of delivery for pregnant mothers in Argentina; a study of Chagas disease in Mexico; clinical trials of a new antimalarial drug in Mali; a study of Lassa fever and other tropical diseases in Guinea; the epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases in China; and research on health services for migrants in Thailand.
The students will receive intensive training in research methodology, research ethics and biosafety before they travel. The project also includes pre-travel medical services and basic language training as needed. The MHIRT program is supported by the Fogarty International Center and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health.
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