CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Release: Aug. 9, 2002
International scholars to participate in UI public health training program
The University of Iowa Center for International and Rural Environmental
Health (CIREH) is hosting five international scholars for a fall semester
training program in environmental, occupational and public health issues.
The group is participating in CIREH's International Training and Research
in Environmental and Occupational Health program, which has been funded by
the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health since
The scholars will register as full-time students and take a variety of courses
offered by the UI College of Public Health and other departments. The students'
coursework will be used for professional improvement and, in some cases, to
further a degree program.
The scholars are assigned to faculty mentors who will involve them in ongoing
research and help develop new collaborative projects. Scholars and mentors
also will plan a program for a two- to three-day workshop on a topic of mutual
"This program has proven to be of great value to both the international
scholars and University of Iowa faculty," said Thomas Cook, Ph.D., director
of CIREH and professor of occupational and environmental health. "The
scholars enhance their professional knowledge and skills in solving important
problems back home while faculty mentors enrich their teaching and research
activities by the insights they gain into public health problems in other
countries and cultures."
Once the scholars return to their home countries, the continuity of the
training program is maintained through the workshops and collaborative research
projects. Mentors travel to the scholars' home countries to team-teach the
workshops with the scholar. This activity provides current research data and
techniques to a wider range of international professionals and establishes
networking potential among all participants.
The 2002 Fogarty Scholars are listed below.
Alina Buczynska of Lodz, Poland, has earned an M.S. degree in environmental
engineering, with a specialization in information and management in ecology.
She is currently a research assistant in the Department of Environmental Health
Hazards at Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine. Her research areas include
the impact of waste dumping sites on humans and the environment, identification
and assessment of health hazards associated with hazardous waste sites in
Poland, assessment of the occupational exposure of selected municipal service
workers, and development of guidelines to limit the harmful health effects
associated with occupational exposure of municipal workers in Lodz, Poland.
Buczynska's UI faculty mentor is Patrick O'Shaughnessy, Ph.D., assistant professor
of occupational and environmental health.
Iveta Carikova of Bratislava, Slovakia, has an M.S. degree in chemical
technology with a specialization in chemistry and analysis of food. She is
a research assistant with the Department of Bioactive Substances, Institute
of Preventive and Clinical Medicine. Carikova's research interests include
atomic absorption spectrometry and the determination of toxic and essential
elements in biological materials and food. She also has been working on making
contributions to the specification of connections between prenatal and postnatal
human exposure to selected toxic and essential elements. Her UI faculty mentor
is Jerald Schnoor, Ph.D., professor of civil and environmental engineering.
Florin Oprescu of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, earned his M.D. degree from
the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca in 2001. He currently
works as a medical doctor at Cluj Napoca Adult Hospital, serves as the management
information systems coordinator for World Vision, and is a student in information
technology. His research centers on the development of efficient use of computer
programs for medical data management and family medicine, data entry and analysis
of health status of children. Oprescu's UI faculty mentor is James Merchant,
Dr.P.H., M.D., professor of occupational and environmental health and dean
of the UI College of Public Health.
Ildiko Fulop of Debrecen, Hungary, holds M.S. and M.D. degrees and
is an assistant professor in the School of Public Health, Medical Health Sciences
Center. Her research interests include the application of geographic information
methods and systems in public health and studying the relationship between
mortality and major determinants of health (environmental influences). Fulop's
UI faculty member is Gerard Rushton, Ph.D., professor of geography.
Jan Mavri of Nova Gorica, Slovenia, has a B.Sc. degree in microbiology
and is currently a doctoral student in the School for Environmental Sciences,
Nova Gorica, Polytechnic. His research is the development of biosensors for
detection of heavy metals based on metallothioneins as biorecognitionmolecues,
metallothionein spectral properties and the application of metallothioneins
in an electrochemical type biosensor. Mavri's UI faculty member is Mark Arnold,
Ph.D., professor of chemistry.