The first round of Student Global Scholarly Activity Grants from the Center for Globalization at Baylor College of Medicine have been awarded to BCM students in support of international research and patient care initiatives.

The grants are open to M.D., Ph.D. and allied health students interested in pursuing activities such as fieldwork for the International Health Track or the National School of Tropical Medicine Diploma of Tropical Medicine, as well as other international activities.

Five students received grants this round, with another round expected in the fall. Up to 15 grants will be awarded each year.

"The grants are a great way to support students who are mentored and learn from both BCM and international faculty," said Dr. Bobby Kapur, director of the Center for Globalization, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at BCM and associate chief of emergency medicine at Ben Taub General Hospital.

The grants provide funding for travel, immunizations and medications needed for international stays, allowing the students to focus on their scholarly project.


Lauren Kara Barnes will travel to Stellenbosch University's Tygerberg Hospital for Emergency Medicine and Groote Schuur Hospital with the University of Cape Town. Since the area has a high rate of sexual assault and HIV diagnosis, she will evaluate the medical care process for women who have been assaulted. She will share the information gathered with other students and the community in hopes of increasing the quality of care of women who have been sexually assaulted, and she will compare these interventions with processes in Houston hospitals.

Peter Blais will travel to Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences in Guangzhou, China, to work with the faculty there to outline and create a new elective within the BCM International Health Track. His goal is to help implement a program where BCM students will be able to study and work at Sun Yat-sen University, laying the groundwork for future collaborations among researchers and students. He will also be studying comparative medical ethics between China and the United States.

Rachel Finn will be working with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) Clinical Center of Excellence in Constanta, Romania. Her goal is to improve understanding of tuberculosis as an infectious disease among the HIV-positive population, identifying risk factors, infection and transmission causes, and prevention and treatment measures. Her work will train health care workers and patients at each clinic visit.

Dana Lynn Sanders will also work with BIPAI Center for Excellence, but in Maseru, Lesotho. She will provide medical care for patients, revise the curriculum and develop a new post-teen club support program for the Teen Club. This program helps transition young people who have outgrown pediatric care. The club helps participants with transportation, food, counseling, HIV education and life-skills-building.

Jennifer Wu will work with the International Family AIDS Program, Clínica de Familia La Romana in the Dominican Republic. There, she plans to create new hour-long nutrition programs along with written curriculum for three distinct outreach programs. This curriculum will be taught and modified by future volunteers at IFAP. She will also work to make the new curriculum applicable to Houston's specific nutritional problems and submit it for incorporation into the CHANCES program at Madison High School, a health/medicine/healthy living after school program for at-risk teenage girls. The program is associated with the Women's Health Pathway of the LACE program and is taught by BCM students in their third year of medical school.

Funding for these grants comes from a gift to the Center for Globalization from Wallace Wilson, a member of the BCM Board of Trustees.