The John E. Fogarty International Center and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded a $900,000 grant to University of Washington global health professor Joseph Zunt. The grant will strengthen the Northern Pacific Global Health Research Training Consortium Program, which trains doctoral and post-doctoral fellows in the health profession. 

Currently, the program provides 12-month training fellowships to doctoral students and post-doctoral trainees at partner institutions in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Cameron, Peru, India, and Thailand, with Nepal and Liberia soon to join.

The grant will allow fellows to design, conduct and analyze research across a wide spectrum of health themes, including infectious diseases (HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, herpesviruses, HPV), key non-communicable and chronic health problems (stroke, mental health, pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, women’s health, child development, cancer, nutrition) One Health, environmental health (including climate change, built environment, slum upgrading), and veterinary medicine, as well as injury and trauma prevention and care. 

Members of the training consortium contribute essential components for strengthening students’  global health research training. The consortium offers a variety of research training expertise and extensive mentoring.  

Zunt has been involved in the program for over a decade and seen its impact firsthand.

“I started as a mentor for the original Fogarty-Ellison Overseas Fellowship in Global Health and Clinical Research in 2004,” Zunt said. “This program supported medical students to travel to a low to middle-income country following the third year of medical school to learn how to develop and implement research in an international setting.  Over the following 15 years, the program has opened up to include post-doctoral trainees and doctoral students from multiple disciplines, with the core principle of strengthening research capacity and stimulating research careers in US and international trainees persists.”

The specific goals of the program are to deliver a unique global health curriculum, enhance interdisciplinary mentoring for research training, and facilitate entry of Global Health Fellows to independent careers, something that Zunt takes pride in. The program has an outstanding track record of trainees becoming successful in the global health field.

“It is an absolute delight to see a prior trainee become a successful academician while continuing to follow a passion to make the world a better and healthier place.” 

Zunt also works as a professor of neurology, as well as an adjunct professor of epidemiology and medicine. Since 2004, he has mentored 65 medical students in the United States and Peru, and supported the training of 131 doctoral students through the Northern Pacific Global Health Consortium. Within the Department of Global Health, Dr. Zunt is also affiliated with the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and the Program in Education and Research in Latin America