One Health Innovation Fellowships for Zoonotic Disease Research In Mongolia
Responding to the Framework Programs for Global Health Innovation, this proposal builds upon an established US-Mongolia multidisciplinary partnership to address zoonotic disease burdens in Mongolia. In recent decades, Mongolia has experienced major economic and environmental changes, and suffered many large epidemics of zoonotic diseases. The long term goal of this submission is to develop a global health training program that elicits innovative, multidisciplinary team problem-solving solutions to develop products, alter disease processes, and guide policies in controlling zoonotic diseases in low- or middle- income countries. In this effort, we will employ One Health cross-disciplinary training and foster collaborations in public, veterinary, and environmental health sectors for one American and two Mongolian postdoctoral trainees per year (2-yr training period). These professionals will comprise a 3-person 'One Health' team that represents each of the three health sectors. Over the 5-yr period, 4 such teams (12 postdoctoral fellows) will be engaged in zoonotic disease problem solving. In Phase I of the 2-yr period, teams will convene at Duke University (DU) for 2 months of training. They will receive 9 credit hours of One Health didactic training (Certificate in One Health) as well as training in ethical conduct of human and animal research. While in North Carolina, the postdoctoral teams will meet each week with a seven-member Internal Advisory Committee (IAC, 4 US and 3 Mongolian members) who will pose zoonotic disease problems and guide them in engaging diverse expert groups at DU in developing a pilot research project and budget. While in North Carolina, the postdoctoral team will pitch their zoonotic disease problems and their ideas for projects to various professional groups at DU (e.g. animal science, food safety, environmental engineers, ecologists, geographers, as well as emerging disease, public health, and veterinary health professionals) with a goal of identifying innovative solutions to the problem and identifying DU and later Mongolian research mentors. During the last week of Phase I training, the postdoctoral team will present their project to the IAC for final approval and research funding release. The postdoctoral team will then travel to Mongolia and set up a research headquarters in the most appropriate Mongolian government collaborating institution, and move forward with pilot study execution. While the postdoctoral team will have at least biweekly contact with their mentors and monthly contact with the IAC, this program will emphasize independent team problem solving by the postdoctoral fellows.
Project Policy Impact Description
* One Health training will help Mongolia respond to zoonotic disease threats
* One Health research may help Mongolia alter public health policy