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New $8.3M NIH contract to advance hormone-free birth control research at University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota researchers will investigate pharmaceutical alternatives to existing hormone-based birth control under a new $8.3 million contract from the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The primary goal of the five-year research contract is to develop new non-hormonal male and female birth control drug targets while expanding on existing targets.

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Two U of M researchers honored with prestigious NIH awards

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently recognized two University of Minnesota doctors for excellence in biomedical research. Demetris Yannopoulos, M.D., a Lillehei Heart Institute researcher and interventional cardiologist with University of Minnesota Physicians Heart at Fairview, received the Transformative Research award and Anna Tischler, Ph.D., a microbiologist within the University of Minnesota Medical School, was honored with the New Innovator award.

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The role of health care services in preventing teen pregnancy

Teen birth rates have hit a historic low nationwide. However, when comparing the United States’ teenage birth rates to that of other countries, it becomes clear that the U.S. has a long way to go.

According to the United Nations Demographic Yearbook, 34 out of every 1000 15 to 19 year old girls gave birth in the U.S. in 2010, while in other industrialized nations, that number ranged from only 5 to 17 per 1000.

Birth and pregnancy rates are especially high among black and Hispanic youth and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, according to the 2012 National Vital Statistics Reports.

Renee Sieving, Ph.D., R.N., F.S.A.H.M., an associate professor with the Center for Adolescent Nursing in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and adjunct associate professor in the University’s Department of Pediatrics, is investigating ways to lower U.S. teen pregnancy rates further.

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NIH awards $20M to train next generation of global health researchers; U of M among award recipients

To help foster the next generation of global health scientists, Fogarty International Center and its partners at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are building a network of U.S. academic institutions to provide early-career physicians, veterinarians, dentists and scientists with a significant mentored research experience in a developing country.

To support the effort, the NIH will award $20.3 million over the next five years. The money will send 400 early-career health scientists on nearly year-long research fellowships in 27 low- and middle-income countries. The Fogarty Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars will provide five consortia of academic institutions with about $4 million each, to support the training activities of a total of 20 partner institutions.

The University of Minnesota Medical School’s Division of Global Pediatrics was one of one of only two universities in the Midwest to receive a Fogarty award. The award builds on the University’s strong global health research programs in Uganda and Kenya.

“This award will allow the University of Minnesota to foster the next generation of global health researchers and confirms the U of M’s role as a leader in global health research and education,” said Dr. Chandy John, U of M’s principal investigator on the award and Director of the Division of Global Pediatrics.

Learn more about the Medical School’s Division of Global Pediatrics.

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