Funded by a five-year $2 million grant from the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins will establish and conduct an international training program in genetics in conjunction with Peking Union Medical College and Peking University in Beijing, China.
One of six new programs nationwide, the collaboration, officially called the International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program, will bring students, researchers and clinicians from two of China's premier academic institutions to Hopkins for training in genetics, medical genetics and bioethics.
While training will largely take place in Baltimore, ensuing research projects will be focused on genetic components of health and disease in China, says Ethylin Jabs, principal investigator on the grant.
"The idea is to seed a developing country with expertise in genetics, and particularly in medical genetics, while providing them with a strong background in how to use genetics and genetic research responsibly," says Jabs, a professor in the McKusick-Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Trainees will come to Baltimore for instruction in genetic epidemiology and biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and travel to Bar Harbor, Maine, for the annual Short Course in Medical and Experimental Mammalian Genetics, co-sponsored for more than 40 years by Johns Hopkins and the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor.
Longer-term trainees will enter Hopkins' Master of Public Health or Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program or obtain a postdoctoral position in any one of a number of departments. Hopkins personnel will also travel to China to teach.
About 30 faculty from Hopkins and the Chinese institutions will be involved with the program through teaching or advising trainees. Kung Yee Liang, Terri Beaty and Gail Geller are co-principal investigators from Hopkins. Wilson Lo from Peking Union Medical College and Zhu Li of Peking University are the primary advisers for the program in China.
Funding for the Hopkins-China training program also comes from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Human Genome Research Institute. NIH's John E. Fogarty International Center promotes and supports scientific research and training internationally to reduce disparities in global health. The Fogarty Center will administer the six new grants on behalf of its funding partners at the NIH.