Strengthening Non-Communicable Disease Research Capacity in Thailand: Leveraging PhD Nurses and other Health Professionals

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Kathleen Potempa
Philip B. Furspan
Benjaporn Rajataramya
Debra Barton
Naruemol Singha-Dong


            The mounting burden of non-communicable disease in lower-to-middle income countries was recognized two decades ago by the World Health Organization who reported that in 2012, that non-communicable diseases were responsible for 71% of total deaths in Thailand. Thus, the goal of our ongoing NIH D43 training grant is to increase the quantity and quality of non-communicable diseases research in Thailand by producing nurse scientists with the capacity to design, implement, guide, and evaluate cutting-edge research projects. The three components of the program are 1) a long-term component to train 10 Thai postdoctoral scholars that includes one year of intensive mentored research training in the US and one year implementing a research project back in Thailand; 2) a short-term component that provides an opportunity for Thai scientists, teachers, administrators and policy makers to take classes in areas relevant to non-communicable diseases; 3) a yearly two-day workshop to be held in different regions of Thailand.
               To date, 8 long-term trainees have completed various stages of their training. Eleven short-term trainees have taken courses at the University of Michigan. Two non-communicable diseases workshops have been held so far under the auspices of the grant with a third planned for 2018. The ability to participate in the in-depth activities provided by the grant have not only expanded knowledge around non-communicable diseases, but also has enabled US and Thai investigators to grow in the area of culturally informed research.

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Potempa K, Furspan PB, Rajataramya B, Barton D, Singha-Dong N. Strengthening Non-Communicable Disease Research Capacity in Thailand: Leveraging PhD Nurses and other Health Professionals. PRIJNR [Internet]. 2018Jun.7 [cited 2020Jul.11];22(3):178-86. Available from:
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