UC Launches Systemwide Global Health Institute





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Correction Appended

A UC-wide institute aimed at keeping the university on the forefront of cutting edge global health research launched Nov. 9.

The UC Global Health Institute will begin admitting students and offering a masters degree program in 2011, organizers said.

Undergraduate and doctoral programs are also being discussed for integration into what some organizers hope will become the university's first systemwide school, designed to alleviate additional strain on scarce financial resources.

The institute will combine the efforts of each UC campus in three centers of expertise: Migration and Health; One Health: Water, Animals, Food and Society and Women's Health and Empowerment. UC professors said the institute will be unprecedented.

"The institute has a global health mission that is addressing the health disparities that exist around the world and doing that from multiple approaches and perspectives," said Marc Schenker, professor of public health at UC Davis and director of the Migration and Health Research Center.

Schenker said the institute will utilize an interdisciplinary structure incorporating social sciences, medicine and public health studies. He said this approach will assist in developing remedies for prevalent public health issues as diverse as H1N1, immigrant health care in the U.S. and water safety issues.

The institute will not receive funding from the university, instead relying upon external sources such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which contributed $4 million to the project last year. Other grants are currently being pursued, Schenker said.

Anil Deolalikar, associate dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at UC Riverside and co-director of the One Health: Water, Animals, Food and Society center, said academic programs cannot be implemented until further funding is secured.

But Schenker said priorities have already been set.

"The first effort is for a masters degree in global health that would have an emphasis in the specific areas of expertise," he said.

Schenker added that a challenge in creating the institute was deciding which areas of global health to investigate. An external review panel reviewed proposals for various centers before deciding on the current three centers.

Tags: UC GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE

Correction: Wednesday, November 18, 2009
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the UC Global Health Institute will become the university's first systemwide school. In fact, this is just a goal seen by some institute organizers, not by all.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Mihir Zaveri covers research and ideas. Contact him at [email protected]



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