School of Public Health leads $4 million program to train slum health researchers

With support from a $4 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) award, researchers from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and three partner institutions are establishing a new program to train and educate researchers, educators and professionals who can tackle global health challenges specific to slum dwellings.

Joining UC Berkeley are researchers from Florida International University, Stanford University, and Yale University.

The UC Berkeley-led program is one of five consortia announced Wednesday, April 4, by the Fogarty International Center, the international arm of the NIH. Each consortium will receive $4 million over five years, for a total of $20 million awarded by the NIH to train a new generation of global health researchers.

“Assessing disease burden in slum communities is one of the major challenges facing global health today,” said principal investigator Lee Riley, chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology at the School of Public Health. “There are an estimated 1 billion people living in slum settlements around the world, but those populations are not reflected in official health statistics in most countries. There has been very little research into effective health interventions specific to these communities.”

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By Sarah Yang