National School of Tropical Medicine

Tropical Medicine Summer Institute


The National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine is the only school of tropical medicine in the United States solely committed to addressing the world's most pressing tropical diseases that disproportionately afflict "the bottom billion," the world's poorest people who live below the World Bank poverty level.

NSTM has created an introductory course designed to help undergraduates determine if tropical medicine is right for them. This intensive two-week course, held on NSTM's campus in Houston at the heart of the Texas Medical Center introduces students to tropical medicine through explorations of global health, epidemiology, public health, infectious diseases, parasitic diseases, and neglected tropical diseases. Over the course, students participate in seminars with leading experts in these fields, gain hands-on laboratory experience, and visit research centers and facilities.

Note: The Summer Institute is not open to the public at this time.

For Baylor University Students: Students may apply through the Office of Prehealth Studies at Baylor University.




The faculty of NSTM, Baylor College of Medicine and affiliated institutions within the Texas Medical Center possess a wealth of knowledge and experience. The Tropical Medicine Summer Institute program has been structured to give students a broad overview of tropical medicine, touching on all crucial topics including:

  • Infectious Diseases: diarrheal diseases, water and food borne diseases, airborne diseases (TB, Influenza, SARS), blood borne and STDs (Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, HPV)
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Parasitic Diseases
  • Nutritional Diseases
  • Cancer and Tropical Infections
  • Immunity and Vaccines
  • Public/Environmental Health: epidemiology, global health policy, community health promotion, waste management
  • Cast Studies
  • Parasitology Laboratory
  • Field Trips (e.g., water treatment plant, Houston Zoo)
  • Career Counseling



Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Recognize the role of epidemiology in identifying the distribution, patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations, and informing public health policy.
  • Describe the role of health education, water and sanitation management in the control of tropical diseases.
  • Describe the link between neglected tropical diseases and poverty.
  • Appreciate the relationship between health policy and control programs.
  • Identify the basics of biotechnology/biopharmaceutical development (i.e. vaccines, drugs and diagnostics).
  • Describe the basic pathogenesis of tropical and infectious diseases.
  • Describe the role of vector biology and animal health involved in the transmission of certain pathogens.
  • Perform basic diagnostic procedures and identify the organisms that cause illnesses.
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