Downs Fellows. While faculty and researchers from the School of Medicine were busy this summer with initiatives to improve the health of the world's populations, the school's students were also tackling health-related projects around the globe. This summer, 17 students completed health-related research in developing nations around the world as participants in the Downs International Health Student Travel Program.
The annual program is open to students in medicine, epidemiology and public health, nursing and biomedical studies, who develop proposals for scientific research with the help of their faculty mentors. These projects, which range in duration from three months to a year, are evaluated by the Committee on International Health, chaired by Professor Curtis Patton. The Downs Fellows pursue their research in the context of their host country's culture, health problems and resources, and under the guidance of a local mentor. The students present the results of their research in posters and oral presentations at a fall program held on campus.
This year's participants, their degree program and year of graduation, and the countries in which they pursued their projects were: Nabila Alibhai, M.P.H. 2005 (Tanzania); Jessica Beard, M.D. 2007 (Kakuma, Kenya); Anna M. Beitin, M.P.H. 2005 (Zambia); Roderick Corro Deaño, M.P.H. 2005 (Philippines); Heather Marie Gainer, M.S.N. 2005 (Haiti); Farnoosh Hashemian M.P.H. 2005 (Iran); Hassana A. Ibrahim, M.D. 2007 (Nigeria); Aida E Kuri, M.D. 2007 (Chile); Marina MacNamara, M.P.H. 2005 (India); Kudakwashe K. Mutyambizi, M.D. 2007 (Soweto, South Africa); Maile C. Ray, M.P.H. 2005 (León, Nicaragua); Kimberly Reich, M.P.H. 2005 (Sao Paolo, Brazil); Margo D. Simon, M.D. 2005 (Tugela Ferry, South Africa); Misae Ueha, M.S.N. 2005 (Guatemala); Catherine E.Virostko, M.S.N. and C.N.M. 2005 (Kenya); Elizabeth R. Wahl, M.D. 2007 (Burkin Faso); and Christina T. Yuan, M.P.H. 2005 (China).
Eye care. In August, senior-year resident Catherine Meyerle in the Department of Ophthalmology began a six-week rotation at Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau, the Bahamas, in a program that is directed by associate professor Brian DeBroff. The department holds four such rotations each year, one for each senior resident.
The residents provide eye care to the local population, working with Bahamian attending physician Dr. Salvador Tinio, and a Yale ophthalmologist who travels there for one week during the rotation. In addition to providing training and medical intervention for eye trauma, glaucoma and cataract surgery to the Bahamian residents, the program provides $10,000-$15,000 worth of materials that are donated by eye-care companies. These include medicine (steroids, antibiotics, glaucoma medication), surgical devices (intraocular lenses for cataract surgery in varying sizes and powers) and surgical instruments (blades).