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HHMI renews grant for Rice's global health program
Date:5/20/2010

HOUSTON -- (May 20, 2010) -- The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today awarded a $1.2 million, four-year grant to continue Rice University's successful undergraduate global health program Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB).

BTB, which began with a $2.2 million HHMI grant in 2006, challenges students to come up with practical solutions to real-world problems in the developing world. The program has captured the imagination of Rice's students; more than 10 percent of the university's undergraduates have taken a BTB class since 2006, and several dozen students have traveled to developing nations to test their designs in local clinics.

"Our program aims to open students' eyes to the challenges of global health and to help them use the tools of science and engineering to design solutions that are affordable, effective and culturally appropriate," said BTB creator Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering. "HHMI's continued support will allow us to expand our undergraduate and K-12 initiatives."

The technologies BTB students have created include:

  • A low-cost fluorescence microscope that makes malaria and tuberculosis diagnosis easier.
  • A "lab-in-a-backpack" full of diagnostic tools including a microscope, centrifuge and rapid tests that nurses in the developing world can use to accurately determine what is making a patient sick.
  • A tiny clip that pharmacists can attach to a syringe to help parents and other caregivers deliver the proper dose of medicine to children.

BTB students take global health courses and work in teams to solve challenging health problems. In their first BTB class, students get an introduction to biomedical engineering and design a simple solution to a real-world global health problem. From there, they can enroll for a global health minor which includes four additional BTB classes and two related electives and tackle progressively more
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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

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HHMI renews grant for Rice's global health program
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