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Tulane to Provide Research Training in Gene-Environment Interaction in China

The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine has been awarded a Fogarty International Research Training Grant worth over one million dollars from the National Institutes of Health.

Jiang He Global HealthThe new research training program aims to build capacity for future genomic, epidemiological, and clinical research and training in chronic diseases in China. The grant will also strengthen partnerships between US and Chinese investigators by training the next generation of scientists in research that focuses on the interaction between genetic predisposition and environmental exposure in chronic, non-communicable diseases.

The grant was jointly awarded to Tulane’s Jiang He, Joseph S. Copes Chair and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and Dongfeng Gu, vice president of the Cardiovascular Institute and Fu Wai Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College and vice director of the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases of China.

This multidisciplinary training program builds on the longstanding collaboration in chronic disease research between the U.S. and Chinese participating institutes. “This research training program is very unique,” says He. “We will train geneticists in epidemiology and clinical research and train epidemiologists and clinical researchers in genetic and genomic research. There is a great need for scientists who have knowledge in both genomic and epidemiological research.”

This research training program will support the graduate students pursuing their doctoral degrees at the Peking Union Medical College in China. After the first year of course work in China, the trainees will take advanced courses and gain experience in research during their second year at Tulane University.

The training program will also provide postdoctoral research training in gene-environment interaction for junior researchers, who will advance their genomic and epidemiologic research skills at Tulane during a 6-month period. Other researchers will be exposed to the gene-environmental interaction research training through a summer institute in China and a special session at the China Heart Congress.

The first cohort of students is expected to begin study in the fall of 2012.

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