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Summer Program Trains Students in International Research


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Posted: 6/8/2009

This summer, four students from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) will participate in research training abroad through the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) program.  With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the MHIRT program provides learning opportunities for top-notch students from populations that experience health disparities, economic disadvantage, or under representation in health research career fields.

“It’s wonderful to see Hopkins faculty, foreign faculty, administrators, and students from across the country working together to move global research forward,” says Dr. Fannie Gaston-Johansson, professor and Elsie M. Lawler Endowed Chair in Research at the School of Nursing.  Gaston-Johansson is the principal investigator for the Global Health Promotion Research Program funded through the MHIRT award.  “This is the MHIRT program’s 10th year, and its success is due to our outstanding international team.”

Ten students from universities such as Hopkins, Brown, Winston Salem, and North Carolina A&T were chosen for the 2009 program. This year’s selected students from JHUSON are:
Sarah Allgood ’09, who will study in Australia the immunological effects of neonatal exposure to stress.  Her JHUSON faculty mentor is Gayle Page, DNSc, RN, FAAN, Professor and Director of the Center for Nursing Research.
Marjohn Rasooly ’10 and Dedra Sally ’10, who will work together in Durban, South Africa, studying the progression of HIV in South African pregnant women under the mentorship of Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Public Health.
Heather Lavender ’10, who will conduct research in Pain Assessment & Management while in Sweden.  She will be working closely with MHIRT program director Gaston-Johansson.

Each student will be a member of a research team consisting of the student, a faculty member from JHUSON, and a faculty member from an international collaborating institution.  The students spend three months abroad, receiving training and hands-on experience in literature review, data collection, research methodologies, writing results, and attending and presenting at research conferences. 

Since 2000, 77 undergraduate student trainees, 22 graduate student trainees, seven U.S. faculty members, and 16 foreign faculty members have participated in the program.  International research training activities have been conducted at Tel Aviv University, Israel; University of Manchester, England; University of Newcastle, Australia; Gothenburg University, Sweden; Medical Research Council, Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle Unit, S. Africa; Medical Research Council, Gender & Health Unit, S. Africa; University of KwaZulu Natal School of Nursing, S. Africa; and the Korean Institute for Health & Social Affairs, S. Korea.