We have three new additions to the Fogarty Indo-US Training Program offered in the Department of Epidemiology, Drs. Mythili Hazarika, Hanjabam Shukhdeba Sharma, and Shankar Das. Dr. Shankar Das received his PhD in Applied Psychology from the University of Mumbai and will be a trainee at the University of Florida for two months. “Through research and development activities I am determined to make a positive impact in national and global mental health policies and programs”, he said about his long term career goals. Dr. Hanjabam Shukhdeba Sharma received his PhD from the Tata Institute of Social Science and wants to be an Academic Practitioner for Peace-building and Conflict Resolution. Dr. Hazarika received her PhD from Gauhati University and when asked what philosophy guides her education she said she likes to “build my own theories and apply in life.” Drs. Sharma and Hazarika will both be fellows here for six months.
The Fogarty Indo-US Training Program in Behavioral Health Across the Lifespan focuses on three locations in India; Assam, Sikkim, and Karnataka. The goals of this Fogarty Program are to reduce the training gap and increase research capacity, and concentrate on behavioral conditions that are often ignored, even though they are a growing factor in the burden of disease in India. Trainees have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research, write grants and manuscripts, and learn responsible conduct of research, principles of community engaged research, assessment development and data management and analysis. Program Director, Dr. Linda Cottler started the program at the University of Florida when she arrived in 2011, after a decade serving as director of a similar training program while at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to the current trainees, five trainees have completed their fellowships in the program and returned to India.