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Wine, Women & Shoes

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Eckerle-2-Formatted.jpgDr. Judith K. Eckerle, Director of the University of Minnesota International Adoption Clinic, walked the runway with Mena to raise awareness of the IAC at Wine, Women & Shoes, a fundraiser for the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.  You can make a gift to support clinical medicine, research, and advocacy right now and help change the lives of children who join their family through adoption and those who remain in institutional care by clicking here.

Both Ends Burning Conference

Every child NEEDS a family!  Thank you Dr. Dana Johnson and Dr. Judith K. Eckerle for being part of the Both Ends Burning Global Permanency Symposium, representing the University of Minnesota International Adoption Clinic, and working to change the world!

International Adoption Clinic at State Fair

In August 2014 the International Adoption Clinic participated in the Minnesota State Fair.  Watch for us in 2015 in the University of Minnesota Health Building!

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Adamowicz Presents at 2014 Research Recognition Day

Thumbnail image for Adamowicz.pngGraduate Research Assistant Elizabeth Adamowicz presented at the 2014 Research Recognition Day for the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs.  Her poster was titled "Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum from western Kenya highland areas prone to malaria epidemics".  The conference, held on May 22, involved all biomedical graduate programs at the University of Minnesota and included a poster session, a 3-minute thesis competition, and keynote speakers.

Shabani Awarded Silver Medal at PRESS

Shabani.jpgGraduate Research Assistant Estela Shabani participated in the Pediatric Research, Education, and Scholarship Symposium (PRESS).  She gave a 3-minute speed talk (3 slides) and presented a poster titled "High levels of erythropoietin are not associated with neuroprotection in Ugandan children with cerebral malaria".  She was awarded the Silver Medal in the Graduate Student Category.  Congratulations to Estela on this outstanding achievement!

Free Nutrition eLecture Resources By Dana Johnson

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Dana Johnson
has recorded two information-packed eLecture resources for the non-profit Adoption Learning Partners. Dr. Johnson's eLectures, "The First Doctor's Visit" and "Why Internationally Adopted Children are At Risk for Malnutrition", are part of a 3-part series of "Bite-sized Tips", and include downloadable PDF resources as well as the lecture recordings.

You can get all three eLectures free with registration at the Adoption Learning Partners website.

Cusick Serves On Tropical and Travel Medicine Panel

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L to R: Drs. Dominic Travis, Claudia Munoz-Zanzi, Sarah Cusick, and Amy Kircher

Panelists Global Pediatrics core faculty, Sarah Cusick, Ph.D., was a presenter and panelist for the Department of Internal Medicine Global Health program's Tropical and Travel Medicine Seminar. The focus of the panel was "The Power of One Health", and the theme of the event was surrounding One Health success stories. Panelists presented examples from non- communicable disease, nutrition and zoonosis. 

Dr. Cusick presented her research focused on iron deficiency and malaria in Uganda.

You can subscribe to the podcast for the monthly Tropical and Travel Medicine Seminar series via iTunes University or download them from this Global Health Medicine webpage.

Dana Johnson Appears In Early Childhood Intervention Video



An interview with Dana Johnson appears this month in an Open Society Foundations video. He and other child development experts discuss the importance of family in a child's survival. Check out the accompanying article here.

From their website, "The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens." 

Bartholomew Ondigo On His PhD Defense

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Bartholomew Ondigo, Ph.D.

Dr. Bartholomew Ondigo has been mentored through his immunology Ph.D. program at Maseno University in Kenya by Dr. Chandy John (U of M) and Dr. Ayub Ofulla (Maseno University).

Dr. Ondigo has been supported through Dr. John's D43 training grant and was also a 2012-13 Fogarty Global Health Fellow. He is now working as a researcher on Dr. John's malaria research studies in Kisumu, Kenya. We congratulate him on his hard work and fine scientific achievements. 

The following piece, "Reflections On My Ph.D. Defense Day" was written by Dr. Ondigo:

"Its over. The time of the dreaded PhD thesis defense has passed." These are the words that passed through my mind after I had just defended.

On 8 August 2013, I had to summarize my four-year research studies to a panel of 12 - 15 faculty members. This panel would determine whether I got the Ph.D. or not (failed).  

After 40 minutes of PowerPoint presentation and 3 hours of questioning by the faculty (making a total of 220 minutes), I achieved my goal.

I was tense, though I had prepared as advised by my supervisors. My thesis was entitled "Validation of a cytometric multiplex assay and examination of antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum antigens in the highlands of western Kenya during a period of low malaria transmission".

All of my supervisors had insisted that for me to pass the defense, I had to read and master the contents of my thesis adequately ("inside out"). I had to prepare myself not to be over-confident and, at the same time, not to show the examiners that I don't "own" the thesis. I was a little bit optimistic that all would go well in the defense since we Ph.D. students all review each other's academic work. 

I gathered the following pointers when preparing to thesis defense, which I am happy to share with fellow students:

  1. Take time to respond to questions asked by faculty members.
  2. As a student often before responding to the question start with the phrase, " Good question."
  3. Before the D-day of thesis defense, plan for a mock presentation among your fellow colleagues in the laboratory. 
  4. On the D-day, defend your work and interpretation - you are the expert.
I am happy to say that the four years spent in the laboratory performing experiments will shape my future global health research endeavors.

Good luck!

Eckerle Presents At MOFAS Conference

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Judy Eckerle, M.D.

IAC staff physician, Judith Eckerle, along with University of Minnesota researchers, Jeffery Wozniak, & Anita Fuglestad, presented a session, "The Role of Nutrition in FASD: Implications for Treatment" on November 14, 2013, as part of the 2013 Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome annual conference.