UW Today

October 4, 2011

Dentistry wins grant to expand oral health training in Thailand

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Fogarty International Center

Related news: 2011 Dental Research Day

The Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health has awarded the UW School of Dentistry a $1,137,106, five-year grant to expand oral health training programs in Thailand, Fogarty officials have announced.

The funding was among $14.4 million awarded to 14 U.S. research institutions to ameliorate the ongoing global epidemic of non-communicable diseases in developing countries.

For five years, the UW has helped train Thai universities dental faculty members in clinical research. With the new grant, the UW will expand the programs scope to encompass clinical, public health and behavioral oral health research training not only for Thailand, but also for other countries in Southeast Asia.

Dentistry's Dr. Tim DeRouen will lead an expanded UW oral health training effort in Southeast Asia.

“Were pleased that the Fogarty International Center recognized the progress made in the first five years of this grant as being meritorious enough to award an even larger grant for an additional five years,” said Tim DeRouen, Dentistry interim dean. He directed the initial program in his earlier role as the schools executive associate dean for research and academic affairs.

The UW will continue to work with Thailands Khon Kaen University and Thammasat University to conduct the training, which will have three main components:

  • Five-day workshops in Thailand to provide an overview and introduce topics.
  • Attendance by visiting faculty members at the School of Dentistrys six-week Summer Institute in Clinical Dental Research Methods.
  • Visiting scholars from Thailand will spend one year at the UW studying methodology and other coursework not available in Thailand, and then a second year in full-time PhD dissertation research in Thailand.

Training topics will include biostatistics, clinical epidemiology and study design, behavioral research methods, data analysis, clinical trials, grantsmanship, research ethics, and development of research proposals. The trainings overall goal, DeRouen said, is to make the two Thai universities regional resources for Southeast Asia.

The  Chronic, Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan (NCD-Lifespan) grants awarded by Fogarty will help to build the ranks of experienced clinicians and researchers by establishing research training programs in more than a dozen low- and middle-income countries.

“Chronic diseases and disorders are now the leading cause of death worldwide, and are hitting low-resource populations the hardest,” said Roger I. Glass, Fogarty director. “These grants will go a long way toward building public health infrastructure and human capacity in countries that are struggling to combat a lack of formally trained personnel who can deal with these conditions.”

Along with the UW-Thailand training program, the NCD-Lifespan grants will help fund projects such as:

  • A cancer epidemiology certificate program for Moroccan health workers
  • Cardiovascular-related education in both health service and patient-oriented research in Ghana
  • Biostatistics and mentoring curricula in Nigeria

Fogarty initiated the NCD-Lifespan program to target some of the leading causes of mortality in populations around the world, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. The program also will address mental illness and depression, neurological disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, developmental disorders and other conditions.

Other NIH components helping to fund the awards include the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

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