October 9, 2009

Global Health Institute gains new status

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Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D.

Global Health Institute gains new status

The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) has been formally named a University-wide institute, bringing it into closer communications with every school in the Vanderbilt system.

VIGH Director Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., said the Institute remains, as before, a part of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, but this step represents formal administrative sponsorship from all 10 deans at Vanderbilt.

“Global health is inherently interdisciplinary, with elements of education, community mobilization, management and logistics, ethics and human rights, and every manner of methodological application to health,” Vermund said.

“Keeping every faculty member in every school informed of global health activities and opportunities will nurture new collaborations and synergies across the University and Tennessee.”

Since its inception in 2005, VIGH has worked to bring sustainable health care and research to resource-limited areas throughout the world to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. These multidisciplinary initiatives are undertaken in parts of Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

“I am delighted that the Institute for Global Health has expanded its impact locally by becoming a University-wide center,” said Richard McCarty, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost for VU.

“Students and faculty in University Central have benefited greatly from collaborations with professor Vermund and his colleagues in the institute, and this change in status confirms what has been occurring unofficially for several years."

“We hope this can improve our competitiveness for global health grant support, providing partnerships with many more faculty experts around campus based on better communication and awareness of one another's expertise and activities,” Vermund said.

In becoming a university-wide insitute, VIGH joins the ranks of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, the Vanderbilt Institute for Imaging Sciences, Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and the Center for Structural Biology, among others.