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University of Iowa News Release

 

April 7, 2009

UI receives international training grant for underrepresented students

The University of Iowa has been awarded a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities to continue its international training program for students from health disparities populations who are pursuing research careers in the health sciences.

Students eligible for the UI's Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research and Training program come from underrepresented minority groups, as well as from medically underserved areas, including the 11 rural counties in Iowa classified as medically underserved.

"Because of the significant differences in the health status of various segments of the U.S. population, there is a national need to increase the number of well-trained scientists from underrepresented populations in the fields of biomedical, clinical, behavioral and health services research," said Thomas Cook, UI professor of occupational and environmental health and director of the training program.

"We see the training opportunities provided by this grant as an important component of a comprehensive program for nurturing and developing individuals from underrepresented populations to become productive biomedical and behavioral health researchers," Cook added.

Offered through the combined resources of the Iowa Biosciences Advantage program and the UI College of Public Health's Center for International Rural and Environmental Health, the program provides opportunities for 10 students each year to broaden their training in international health issues and learn about innovative approaches to closing health disparities gaps.

The students complete 10- to 12-week-long international research training opportunities during the summer at a variety of foreign institutions where the UI has collaborative research relationships. Past participants have researched malaria control, HIV/AIDS, indoor air quality, women's health and malnutrition, among many other topics. In summer 2009, students will train in Brazil, China, The Gambia, Honduras, Romania, Switzerland and Qatar.

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647, debra-venzke@uiowa.edu