India is facing epidemics of non-communicable diseases, particularly diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. The need for public health researchers is critical. Health research training has primarily been obtained abroad. The usual engines for health research, schools of public health, and a strong research culture in medical schools, have been absent in India. Our proposed training program evolves from a vigorous collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and SHARE India/MediCiti Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) located in Ghanpur Village on the northern outskirts of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. SHARE India/MIMS, a medical school, teaching hospital, and research institute, serves a rural, primarily agrarian population. SHARE India Research Institute has established a research infrastructure which includes census, household structure, and GPS location for a geographically defined population of 47,000 residents. This population is expected to be subjected to encroaching urbanism, and to progress toward high risk for non-communicable diseases during the next decade. Stroke is already a significant burden. Large cohort studies across the life-span are underway in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh. A number of MIMS established faculty clinicians and medical students are becoming engaged in population research but are hampered by lack of research skills. Our objectives are to build a sustainable research culture by a multi-layer training program based primarily in India, but employing the considerable expertise in training and mentoring in cohort and intervention studies at the University of Pittsburgh: 1. Short term training to support two senior administrative positions, Director of a newly established Office of Research (research administration), Chair of the Ethics Committee 2. Long term training leading to a PhD in Public Health to support a position of Director of Research to lead the research program and to lead the development of a teaching program in research methods 3. Long term training for one faculty leading to a post graduate diploma in biostatistics and data management to provide research collaboration and teaching capability 4. Long term training for four mid-level faculty, post-doctoral fellowships focused on epidemiology, biostatistics, and writing skills in order to be able to: design and conduct independent research; compete successfully for research funding;and to mentor medical students in conducting research 5. Short term training in epidemiology, biostatistics and data management for six research staff members. 6. Annual week-long short course in research methods to spur the growth of interest in research. The long term research goals of SHARE INDIA/MIMS are population-based implementation and intervention studies to prevent or reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.

Public Health Relevance

India is facing epidemics of non-communicable diseases, particularly diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. India has a shortage of public health researchers. This program will train clinicians in public health research methods with the goal of reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Michels, Kathleen M
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University of Pittsburgh
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Rekha, C; Whelan, R Margaret; Reddy, Purushotham et al. (2013) Evaluation of adjustment methods used to determine prevalence of low birth-weight babies at a rural hospital in Andhra Pradesh, India. Indian J Public Health 57:177-80