Health grant to send students abroad

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

About $400,000 in new grant money will fund travel awards and a revamped educational program for Brown students interested in global public health, the University announced Tuesday.

The grant, from the John E. Fogarty International Center – the global health arm of the National Institutes of Health – will provide $126,000 a year for each of the next three years.

Most of this money will go toward sending Brown undergraduates, medical students and Master’s in Public Health students around the world on public health projects, said Susan Cu-Uvin, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and one of the principal investigators of the project.

The project also includes plans for a new seminar this spring that would prepare students for such experiences, said Stephen McGarvey, professor of community health and the other principal investigator. It would be designed as a sequel to intermediate public health course PHP 1070: “The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries,” he said.

The public health initiative will most likely require some additional financial support from the University, Cu-Uvin said. She expects students will have the opportunity to apply for travel grants this spring – meaning the new money could support students abroad as early as next summer. The project will hopefully create a “one-stop shopping” option for those doing work in global public health, she added.

Many local officials were on hand at Maddock Alumni Center to celebrate the grant and the 40th anniversary of the Fogarty Center, which is named for the longtime Rhode Island congressman who died in 1967. Sen. Jack Reed, D.-R.I., Mayor David Cicilline ’83 and Lieutenant Gov. Elizabeth Roberts ’78 were joined by several members of the Fogarty family and Roger Glass, the director of the center.

The Fogarty Center, which has an annual budget of $68 million, has given $7 million to Brown researchers over the last 10 years.

– with additional reporting by George Miller