Queen's University

Training program expands research relationship with Brazilian university

[Anne Croy]Anne Croy, a professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, is the Queen's lead on a joint PhD training program with the University of Campinas in Brazil.

A new training program strengthens the connection between reproductive researchers at Queen’s University and the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil.

“The training program is designed to create the next generation of scientific leaders in this field and to give PhD students an important global perspective,” says Anne Croy, a professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and Canada Research Chair in Reproduction, Development and Sexual Function.

Over the next two years, up to 20 PhD student exchange visits will occur between Queen’s and UNICAMP. Using rodent models, the students will develop and test novel therapies for mothers before or during pregnancy to promote lifelong health prospects for children after birth. The students will also develop ways for improving the translation of new information between scientists, clinicians and patients, assessing outcomes in these communities.

The training program aligns with the United Nations millennium goals of improving maternal health and reducing child mortality.

“Delivering appropriate obstetric care is a global issue that is not going to be resolved within one country. A major part of this program is getting students to see the big picture,” says Dr. Croy, who is also the director of the Queen’s Research Group for Studies on Reproductive and Developmental Origins of Health, Disability and Disease.

Dr. Croy met Aureo Yamada, the UNICAMP lead on the training program, at a conference in 1999. Since then they have collaborated on research projects and published a dozen papers together. As well, four trainees from Dr. Yamada’s laboratory undertook short term training in Dr. Croy’s laboratory.

Dr. Croy and Dr. Yamada have expanded their collaboration through the training program to include researchers and students from several disciplines. The Queen’s members include Charles Graham and Chandrakant Tayade in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Graeme Smith in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who is also a physician at Kingston General Hospital, and Myra Hird in the Department of Sociology. At UNICAMP, support comes from the Cellular and Structural Biology, Gynecology and Obstetrics, and Sociology graduate programs.

“The training program reflects the importance of our global engagement in collaborative and multidisciplinary research initiatives. We are delighted in the success and growth of the collaboration between Queen’s and the University of Campinas. We applaud the excellent leadership of Drs. Croy and Yamada in expanding their original research relationship to a new level and the global impact it will have,” says Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss.

The training program additionally supports a supervisory visit of Dr. Croy to Brazil this winter when she will also serve as a PhD examiner and a supervisory visit of Dr. Yamada to Queen’s next summer when he will participate in the Human Placenta Summer Workshop.

The training program received funding from the Canada-Brazil Awards—Joint Research Projects initiative, which was established by the Canadian and Brazilian governments last year. The research findings from the training program will be published in book form by Academic Press.

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Last updated at 3:57 pm EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
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