Tulane University will again partner with a consortium of universities to train the next generation of global health researchers as part of the Global Health Fellows Program, funded by the Fogarty International Center. The consortium is led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and includes Tulane, Johns Hopkins University, and the Morehouse School of Medicine.
The fellows program provides pre- and post-doctoral candidates year-long mentored research training in more than a dozen global training sites. Dean Pierre Buekens serves as the director and principal investigator of the program for Tulane, with Dr. Richard Oberhelman as co-director.
Thanks to the renewal of this program, doctoral student Ted Miles will spend the next year studying parental attitudes about adolescent gender and sexualities and the effect of these attitudes on HPV vaccination acceptability in Peru.
Like many other low- and middle-income countries, Peru has a high rate of cervical cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in that country, according to the Pan-American Health Organization. Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV), and the HPV vaccine is a commonly used preventive measure for cervical cancer.
Miles will conduct this research under the mentorship of Dr. Valerie Paz Soldan, associate professor of global community health and behavioral sciences (GCHB), who lives in Peru and directs Tulane’s Health Office for Latin America (HOLA).
“It’s a fabulous program,” says Paz Soldan, pointing out that the Global Health Fellows program goes beyond just having a student conduct research with a mentor. “You embed yourself in a whole community of research.”
There are about ten Tulane students and graduates already working on various projects in the HOLA office, as well as contributors throughout the region. In addition to his own research, Miles will get to meet and network with other researchers, contribute to analyzing and publishing data that the office has access to, and see what directions his career could take.
This will be Miles’ first experience in Peru, but he is no stranger to South America where he lived for two years while his wife pursued an MBA in Argentina. The fellowship fits well with his doctoral studies in GCHB, which focus on adolescent sexual and reproductive health. In particular, Miles has been studying gender as a construct, and in Peru he will consider how parental perception of adolescent sex and gender impact HPV vaccination.
A total of 18 fellowships were funded for the 2017-2018 cohort, drawn from more than forty competitive applications.
Applications for the 2018-2019 class will open soon, with a deadline of November 1, 2017.