WRITER: SOK LIN LIM
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Cook named director of UI Center for International Rural and Environmental
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Thomas Cook, UI professor of preventive medicine
and environmental health and physical therapy, has been appointed as the
new director of the Center for International Rural and Environmental Health
As the director of CIREH, Cook will take over as the principal investigator
for the remaining three years of a five-year, $850,000 Fogarty grant that
focuses on training for rural and environmental health in Central and Eastern
Europe, in addition to other administrative responsibilities of CIREH.
"I am looking forward to expanding the activities of the program
with Dr. Cook," said Robin Ungar, CIREH associate director. "He
has new ideas, and we have the potential for creating new programs, being
more involved internationally and creating opportunities for students to
participate in international research and internships."
Cook holds advanced degrees in physical therapy, biomedical engineering
and industrial engineering. He also directs the biomechanics and ergonomics
facility on the Oakdale Research Campus.
Cook has written or collaborated on more than 70 scientific papers as
well as several chapters and books. He has also served as a consultant
to more than 50 companies, labor organizations and government agencies
in various countries.
His current field research activities are in the areas of musculoskeletal
disorders within the newspaper, construction, and meat-packing industries.
He is also involved in projects on work-related musculoskeletal disorders
in several former Soviet countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
CIREH was established in 1989 as a focal point for international health
issues. Its mission is to "foster interdisciplinary, rural and environmental
research into the causes, consequences, and prevention of communication,
chronic, environmental and occupational diseases in countries with substantial
Cook succeeds Burton Kross, the director of CIREH since 1992 who resigned
in fall 1998.
CIREH is part of International Programs, which consists of a number
of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects
and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International
Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and
community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.