LMI Young Scientist Public Health & Bio-informatics
July 1, 2019 - July 26, 2019 / Vientiane, Lao PDR
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Through the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), the United States and the LMI countries promote equitable, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth through education, science, and the environment. The LMI Young Scientist program supports the region’s young scientists as they develop solutions to transboundary challenges along the Mekong River. Launched in 2018 by implementing partner Arizona State University (ASU), the objective of the LMI Young Scientist Program is to create a research community of practice annually targeting up to 34 young researchers across Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, to develop capacity for joint research projects through workshops, networking events, and an annual scientific symposium to encourage the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences, including authorship of peer reviewed research papers.
The theme for the 2019 program (year 2 of 3) is Public Health and Bioinformatics. The 4-week summer placement program takes place during July 1 – 26, 2019 and is hosted at, and in collaboration with, the Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Laos (NUOL) in Vientiane. The program recruited 33 current students or recent graduates from master’s or Ph.D. programs in statistics/biostatistics, informatics/bioinformatics, epidemiology, public health, data/information science, mathematics, etc. The summer program includes classroom activities and workshops led by subject matter experts, field trips and site visits to expose participants to
real-world health issues.
One of the expected outcomes of this summer program is the formation of multidisciplinary and transnational teams to work on applied projects. These projects will focus on proposing innovative solutions to current public health issues in the five countries of the Lower Mekong region. The participants will be required to develop a prototype to showcase their solutions using physical or computational models during a poster session on the last day of the program. These projects can lay the ground work for larger national strategies and can be submitted to the LMI Young Scientist Seed Grant Program. This annual competition will provide up to $15,000 USD to a team of program participants to further develop their projects and help them advance to the next level, where additional funds could be secured through larger grants.