Last summer, as they have for the last 13 years, students studying medicine, nursing and public health at Yale pursued health-related research projects around the globe as Wilbur G. Downs International Health Travel Fellows. The results of those research projects -- which ranged from studies of how orphans in Romania are coping to the incidence of viral hepatitis among South African farm workers -- will be discussed by this year's Downs Fellows at a symposium being held Wednesday, Oct. 14.
The event, sponsored by the Committee on International Health, will begin at 4 p.m. with brief oral presentations by six of the Downs Fellows in Winslow Auditorium in the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health (LEPH), 60 College St. This will be followed at 5 p.m. by a poster session in the first-floor lounge and corridors of LEPH. These sessions are free and open to the public.
The event will conclude with a dinner in the Presidents Room of Woolsey Hall, corner of Grove and Prospect streets. Reservations are required for the dinner and may be made by calling 785-2914 as soon as possible.
The Downs Fellowships were established in 1966 as a tribute to Dr. Wilbur G. Downs, a physician and expert on tropical and infectious diseases, who believed that students should "learn by doing." The grants support students who undertake research on medical and public health problems in developing countries. As part of the fellowship experience, the students experience the unique cultural characteristics of the country in which they live and work.
The six students who will discuss their research, the degrees they are pursuing, the country where they did their research and the title of their projects are: Renee D. Boynton (M.D. 2001), Puerto Rico: "Factors Affecting HIV Type I Transmission In Utero"; Frederick C. Cobey and Seth H. Goldbarg (both M.D. 2001), Ethiopia: "Cryptosporidiosis, Malaria and Recurrent Fever in Ghibe Valley"; Michelle W. Davis (M.S.N. 1999), Romania: "Coping Behavior and Development in Orphans"; Rajesh Gupta (M.P.H. 1999), Uganda: "HIV Counseling and Testing Methods"; and George Melikian (M.P.H., 1999), Armenia: "HIV Prevalence and Risk Behaviors Among Commercial Sex Workers and Intravenous Drug Users."
The other 1998 Downs Fellows whose work will be discussed on Oct. 14 are: Melissa E. Fuchs (M.D. 2001), Russia: "HIV Victims of Perestroika"; David V. LaBorde (M.D. 2001), Cameroon: "Pregnancy Outcomes and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Yaounde"; Aaron M. Milestone (M.D. 2000), Guatemala: "Mitochondrial DNA Variations in Chagas' Disease Vectors"; Timothy D. Myshrall (M.P.H. 1999), Malaysia: "Epizootiology of Hantavirus in Commensal and Indigenous Rodent Populations"; Damani A. Piggot (M.D., Ph.D. 2003), Mali: "Methylating Agents as Trypanocides"; Nicole C. Rabidou (M.D., M.P.H. 1999), South Africa: "Viral Hepatitis in Rural Farm Workers"; Andrew J. Redmond (M.D. 2002), St. Kitts-Nevis: "Viral Vectors for Gene Therapy in the Brain"; and M. Gregory Thomas (M.D., Ph.D. 2003), China: Immune Response to Ancylostoma Secreted Protein-1."