Colloquium showcases how GHI awards benefit Wisconsin and the world

Treating hypertension in low-resource settings, understanding the impact of agricultural production on family well-being and developing ways to foster resilience and disseminating health information through mobile phones are among the projects that will be discussed during the 2015 Global Health Institute Research Colloquium Monday, Feb. 9, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

UW-Madison faculty, staff and doctoral students, who received funding through the Global Health Institute’s (GHI) initial Seed Grants and Graduate Student Research Awards, will present short overviews of their work to address health challenges. The Colloquium is from noon to 2 p.m. in the Lake Mendota Room at Dejope Hall.

“The projects underscore the importance of working across disciplines to improve health for all,” says Tony Goldberg, GHI associate director of research. “We are excited to present these projects to the campus community as examples of the important global health work that’s happening at UW-Madison.”

The eight inaugural Seed Grants each provided a catalyst for researchers from a variety of disciplines to work together to delve into the interconnected determinants of human, animal and ecosystem health. While their work was often global, the recipient teams addressed a variety of public health issues that also impact Wisconsin communities. Their projects evaluated brucellosis in Ecuador, improved medication safety in Ethiopia, developed ways to foster resilience and protect teenage girls from pregnancy in Malawi, and more.

Graduate students’ projects also took them around the world, as they examined challenges from emerging infectious diseases connected to bats in Uganda to the influence of friend networks on early sexual activity in Malawi and more.

GHI is committed to recognizing and addressing health challenges that affect communities locally and across the world, a concept embodied by the Wisconsin Idea. “Global health begins right here at home in Wisconsin,” says GHI Acting Director Chris Olsen. “By sending our best and brightest scholars far and wide and bringing global scholars to Madison, we gather ideas and advance innovations that bring direct benefits to our state.”

GHI is currently reviewing proposals for its second round of awards and grants. Seed Grants will help launch new projects that will protect and improve health for all and attract sustained external funding. Graduate Student Research Awards will again support doctoral students whose work will enhance global health activities at UW-Madison and throughout Wisconsin. Visiting Scholar Awards will bring visitors to campus to collaborate with local faculty members on issues that span communities and countries. Faculty and Staff Travel Awards can be used for international travel related to research and educational activities.

Grant recipients will be announced in February.

The Colloquium Seed Grant presenters include:

  • Keith Poulson from the School of Veterinary Medicine with “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding and Controlling Brucellosis in the Imbabura and Pichincha Provinces in Ecuador;”
  • Jeremy Foltz from College of Agricultural and Life Sciences with “The Effects of Agricultural Productivity on Poverty and Household Food Security: The Sahel’s Silent Maize Revolution;”
  • Leonelo Bautista from the School of Medicine and Public Health with “Hypertension Awareness, Treatment, and Control in Latin America;”
  • Monica Grant from College of Letters and Science with “Mobile Phone-Disseminated Health Information;” and
  • Nancy Kendall from the School of Education with “Participatory Action Research and Planning to Improve Young Women’s Reproductive Health: A lever for change in reaching the Millennium Development Goals;

The Graduate Student Research Award presenters are:

  • Ephrem Aboneh from the School of Pharmacy with “Leveraging Evidenced Based System-Related Strategies to Improve Medication safety in Ethiopian Emergency Departments;”
  • Andrew Bennett from the School of Veterinary Medicine with “Risk of Environmental Exposure to Emerging Bat Viruses in Uganda;”
  • Yansung Hong from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with “Application of Feminist Intersectional Approach to Health Behavior Change Model: Interdisciplinary Theoretical Integration;”
  • Jinho Kim from the College of Letters & Science with “Effects of Friend Networks on Sexual Debut Among Secondary School Students in Malawi;” and
  • James Wegner from the School of Veterinary Medicine with “Characterization of Emerging Arboviruses in Santa Marta, Colombia.

The GHI Research Colloquium is free and open to all, but reservations are requested. A light lunch will be available. Please RSVP here.