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Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Training in Global Health Through a Novel Joint Project for Trainees from Diverse Disciplines: Benefits, Risks, and Observations

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  • 1 Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • | 2 Office of Global Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • | 3 Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
  • | 4 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • | 5 Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology, Department of Cellular and Molecular Science, Faculty of Science, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
  • | 6 Instituto de Efectividad Clinica y Sanitaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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Postdoctoral training programs are usually highly individualized arrangements between trainees and a limited number of senior mentors in their field, an approach that contrasts with current trends in public health education that promote interdisciplinary training to spur innovation. Herein, we describe an alternative model for postdoctoral training for a group of fellows from distinct disciplines. Fellows work with mentors from diverse fields to create a joint research project or a group of complementary projects, with the goal of developing a new device, intervention, or innovation to address a global health problem. The perceived benefits, challenges, and limitations of this team approach to interdisciplinary postdoctoral training are presented.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Richard A. Oberhelman, Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301, New Orleans, LA 70112. E-mail: oberhel@tulane.edu

Financial support: The training program described here was supported by the “Framework Programs for Global Health Innovation” D43 training program (Grant no. 5D43TW009349), which is funded by the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (United States).

Authors' addresses: Richard A. Oberhelman, Valerie A. Paz-Soldan, and Laura Murphy, Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, E-mails: oberhel@tulane.edu, vpazsold@tulane.edu, and lmurphy2@tulane.edu. Cynthia Anticona Huaynate and Malena Correa, Office of Global Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, E-mails: cynthiaanticona@hotmail.com and malenacorrea1@gmail.com. Holger Mayta Malpartida, Office of Global Health, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, and Laboratorio de Investigación de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: hmayta@gmail.com. Monica Pajuelo, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, and Office of Global Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, E-mail: mjpajuelo@gmail.com. Robert H. Gilman, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and Bioinformatics Unit, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: gilmanbob@gmail.com. Mirko Zimic, Bioinformatics Unit, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: mirko.zimic@upch.pe. Jose Belizan, Instituto de Efectividad Clinica y Sanitaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina, E-mail: jbelizan@iecs.org.ar.

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