Mongolian Center for Environmental & Occupational Health
PI - Dr. Gregory Gray, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch

Our Mongolian Center for Environmental & Occupational Health will foster close collaborations between US and Mongolian environmental and occupational health professionals in solving Mongolian’s complex health problems. The goal of this Center is to develop independent, interdisciplinary, environmental and occupational health researchers. This U2R proposal outlines the training components of the Center. The twin U01 proposal outlines the research components of the Center. Regarding U2R training, through a national search and a competitive process, we will screen and select five well-qualified Mongolian candidates for fellowship training each year. Fellows must have appropriate previous training at the PhD or MS level, must be committed to careers in research, and must be available full-time for at least 15 months of financially supported training. The Administrative Oversight Committee will work with each Fellow in identifying a US and a Mongolian Program Faculty member with whom the Fellow will develop an interdisciplinary research project that is closely tied to the U01 research. The collective expertise of the interdisciplinary Program Faculty committed to this Center will provide unique and valuable professional training for the Fellows and also greatly advance science at participating Mongolian institutions. After preliminary online trainings are completed and visas are obtained, each Fellow will travel to their US Faculty mentor’s laboratory for three months of research training tailored for their project. After this training is complete, the Fellows will return to Mongolia and spend the next 12 months conducting their research project in Mongolia. In a capstone experience Fellows will present their research to the External Advisory Committee at the Annual Mongolian GEOHealth Hub Review. Afterwards, they will return to their former employment but continue to work with their Program Faculty mentors in publishing their work in international journals and in influencing Mongolian national health policy. During the 15-months of formal training, each Fellow will gain considerable training in conducting laboratory assays, the responsible conduct of research, research reproducibility, human and animal subjects research ethics, collecting field specimens, data analyses, and delivering oral and written presentations in English for public health professional audiences.

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