India is poised to join the list of countries suffering from a dual burden of both infectious and chronic non-communicable diseases, many of which have their roots in diet and nutritional status. While poor maternal and child health is marked by high rates of anemia, undernutrition, and infectious diseases, obesity and diabetes are also rising in incidence. The need for nutrition researchers in the country is great, but few options exist for graduate-level training.For the past four years, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Tufts University have been working to bridge that gap through the Bangalore Boston Nutrition Collaborative (BBNC), a program which includes educational exchanges, distance learning, and a two-week course in nutrition research methods. The most recent course was held January 21-February 1, 2013 at St. John’s Research Institute in Bangalore.The course, which is held annually, provides substantive knowledge and methodological skills in nutrition research, with topics including research ethics, nutritional epidemiology, biostatistics, survey design, proposal development, and body composition analysis. Junior faculty and students from dozens of institutions throughout India attended the most recent session, in addition to several attendees from Uganda, Nepal, and other countries.“The skills we teach help fill a gap in the students’ training,” said Christopher Duggan, associate professor in HSPH’s Department of Nutrition, who leads the program. “The vast majority of them have gone on to write a paper, submit a research grant, or otherwise advance in their academic home institution using what they’ve learned.” Read Full Story
Despite a disappointing 2009 season resulting in an Emerald Bowl appearance, the departure of Pete Carroll to the NFL, and an ongoing NCAA investigation regarding a possible “lack of institutional control,” USC hasn’t stopped reeling in high-end talent on the gridiron.In February, the Trojans, led by new head coach Lane Kiffin and highly regarded defensive coordinator Ed Orgeron, signed the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class of 2010, according to the popular recruiting service Rivals.com.Now, four months later, Kiffin is looking to bring in another highly rated 2011 class.Just last week, Centennial (Bakersfield, Calif.) quarterback Cody Kessler announced that he will attend USC, marking the seventh player in the class of 2011 to commit to play college ball for the Trojans — the most of any other Pac-10 school.Furthermore, Kessler also becomes the second quarterback commitment for the Trojans, joining Mater Dei’s Max Wittek, who made a similar announcement in April. Both players will compete with incoming freshman Jesse Scroggins to replace current signal caller Matt Barkley as the starter when he becomes eligible for the NFL draft following his junior season in 2011.But the competition doesn’t seem to be fazing either commit.“I love to compete. I have no problem with that,” Kessler told WeAreSC.com last week. “I know Max is a good quarterback and there’s a reason USC offered him. For me, I was making the best decision on what was best for my future and not worrying about any other players.”Similar sentiments can be seen elsewhere, as players are not shying away from joining the Trojans’ talent-rich program. In the month of May alone, the Trojans received verbal agreements from four-star prospects defensive end Jalen Grimble (Las Vegas), wide receiver Victor Blackwell (Santa Ana, Calif.) and linebacker Tre Madden (Mission Viejo, Calif.) — all ranked in the Rivals.com list of the top 250 prospects.Grimble is the cousin of class of 2010 signee Xavier Grimble, a tight end. Blackwell plays with Wittek for the Monarchs of Mater Dei.Such a mindset shouldn’t come as a surprise to Kiffin, as the 34 year-old head coach told the media in February that the difference in attitude between recruits who chose to come to USC instead of other schools, such as UCLA, was more than apparent.“I watched it over the weekend, just to see if it’s the same, and it’s really still the same,” Kiffin said in his signing day press conference. “I guess we waste time continuing to recruit them. We know within the first 10 minutes whether they’re the type of guys that want to play here or there.”Kiffin and his counterpart at UCLA, Rick Neuheisel, continue to compete for many of the same Los Angeles-based recruits.Thus far, the jewel of the 2011 class appears to be Crenshaw High School running back De’Anthony Thomas, who committed to the Trojans in May through a much-publicized Facebook wall post that read “i made my decision… im a trojan.”Thomas chose USC over a host of other schools, including UCLA. He is the highest rated running back and fifth-overall player in the class of 2011 according to Rivals.com. Though he might be a bit undersized at 5 feet 9 inches and 160 pounds, he makes up for his smaller build with speed and shiftiness. The Crenshaw High School product, who ran all over A-teams last season on his way to recording 902 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns and leading his team to a state title game, has been clocked running a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash — a time that is actually faster than departing tailback Joe McKnight’s.McKnight, a fourth-round selection of the NFL’s New York Jets in April, ran an official 4.47 at the Combine this offseason.Provided the NCAA does not severely punish USC when it releases the results of its four-year investigation, the Trojans could once again have another top-five recruiting class next February.