Awardees to Bridge the Gap Between Lab and Population Sciences

19 February 2009

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is pleased to announce that Emory University, the University of California-Los Angeles, and the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center have received the inaugural Institutional Program Unifying Population and Laboratory Based Sciences (PUP) award.

The PUP award is a five-year institutional training grant that provides $500,000 a year to bridge the gap between the population and computational sciences and the laboratory-based biological sciences. The award supports the training of researchers between existing concentrations of research strength in population approaches to human health and in basic biological sciences. The goal is to establish training programs by partnering researchers working in schools of medicine and schools (or academic divisions) of public health.

Emory's program, housed within the Emory University Graduate School, will create a new doctoral pathway called Human Health: Molecules to Mankind (M2M), with the theme of "Understanding human health: integrating biology, behaviors, environments and populations." Each doctoral student will train within two existing PhD programs, one in a laboratory science and one in a population science.  Students will enroll in the Emory Graduate School and will align with existing Ph.D. programs or with a new proposed Ph.D. program in predictive health in Emory School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health.

UCLA's next generation of scientists will be trained in multiple disciplines to fight diabetes through the newly established Burroughs Wellcome Fund Inter-school Training Program in Metabolic Disease (BWF-ITP-MD).  The BWF-ITP-MD, a Ph.D. education and research training program devoted entirely to the understanding of metabolic diseases, will bring together researchers and educators from the UCLA School of Public Health, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and other UCLA entities.  The BWF-ITP-MD is the first-ever Ph.D. program to combine multiple disciplines in its approach to the study of metabolic diseases.

A consortium led by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, which also includes The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine, plans to recruit five to six students a year who will have the opportunity to pursue a doctorate program of their choice at participating institutions, so long as their research is in the broad area of gene-environment interaction. Students opting for the health science center program can receive a doctoral degree from the GSBS, The University of Texas School of Public Health or The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston. They will work in the laboratories of faculty members at those schools, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, or the IMM.

Links to news releases:

Emory University

University of California-Los Angeles

University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center

For more information:
Russ Campbell, Communications Officer
Telephone: (919) 991-5119
E-mail: news@bwfund.org