Jordan Murray (right) interviews a village elder outside Hua Rin temple in rural Chiang Mai, Thailand as part of Cal State Fullerton's Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program..
Students Gain International Research Experience
Seeking Research Breakthroughs in Argentina, Thailand and the UK
July 10, 2012 :: No. 8
Graduate student Jordan Murray is delving into AIDS research this summer far from home in Thailand, examining the quality of life among Thai persons living with HIV and AIDS at Saraphi Community Hospital in Chiang Mai Province.
He is collecting data on more than 200 HIV-positive individuals, including their physical health, psychological well-being, level of independence, social relationships and personal beliefs.
Murray, who is pursuing a master of public health, is among seven Cal State Fullerton students and four scholars from other universities currently conducting research in Argentina, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Their work is part of the 10-week Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program (MHIRT), designed to establish a cadre of biomedical, behavioral and social science researchers working to reduce the disparate health burdens among underserved populations — and to ultimately eliminate those disparities. The scholars are conducting projects focusing on AIDS/HIV and antibiotic resistance.
Marcelo Tolmasky, professor of biological science, manages the international research-training program, funded this year with a $241,560 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Cal State Fullerton administers the national program for the Los Angeles area.
Over the last 17 years since the program began on campus, more than 180 scholars have conducted research abroad.
The program offers students the opportunity to work closely with scientists and other health experts from other countries, giving them a chance to experience the importance of collaborative research to address health disparities from a global perspective, said Tolmasky, the university’s 2009-10 Outstanding Professor recipient whose research efforts focus on strategies to extend the life of existing drugs to make them more resistant to bacteria.
Cal State Fullerton students in this summer’s MHIRT program, their research focus and host university are:
Katherina Chua of Riverside, a senior biochemistry major, “Dissemination of Antibiotic Resistance Genes,” Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina;
Ramin Farhad (left) discusses the results of a cloning experiment with faculty mentor Angeles Zorreguieta at Fundación Instituto Leloir Argentina.
Ramin Farhad of Irvine, a senior majoring in biological science, “In Search of Solutions to Antibiotic Resistance,” Fundación Instituto Leloir, Argentina;
Sirene Helwani of Pomona, a senior biological science major, “Structure and Function of Bacterial Membranes in Relation to Antimicrobial Drug Resistance,” Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, United Kingdom;
Michael Li of Long Beach (master of public health ’12), “Testing a Moderation Model of HIV-Related Stigma, Social Support and Treatment Adherence Among People Living With HIV in Chiang Mai, Thailand,” Department of Community Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand;
Jordan Murray of Garden Grove, graduate student in public health, “Health Related Quality of Life: Thai Persons Living With HIV/AIDS in Chiang Mai Providence, Thailand,” Department of Community Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand;
Danny Nguyen of Garden Grove, a senior biological science major, “Cellular and Molecular Biology of Plasmid Mediated Antibiotic Resistance,” University of Oxford, United Kingdom; and
Eric Ramos of La Mirada (B.S. health science ’12), “Community Hospital Based Chronic Care: Patient and Clinician Perspectives of the Chronic Care Model at Saraphi Community Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand,” Department of Community Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.
Other college scholars and the universities where they are conducting research are:
Nam Duong, CSU Long Beach, “Structure and Function of Proteins,” Department of Chemistry, University of York, United Kingdom;
Eileen Gonzalez, CSU Los Angeles, “Metabolic Control of Gene Expression in Heart Failure and in the Diabetic Heart,” Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom;
Kamiyah Smith, Spelman College in Atlanta, “AIDS/HIV Research,” Department of Community Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand, and;
Nathan Whye, USC, “Dissemination of Antibiotic Resistance Genes,” Department of Microbiology, School Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
For more information about the scholars and the program, visit the MHIRT website.
Marcelo Tolmasky, Biological Science, firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Cano Ramos, 657-278-4027 or email@example.com