Our Global Reach

The University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry reaches far beyond the state limits of Michigan. Our research impacts and influences clinical care on a much larger scale, touching far corners of the globe. Here we highlight a few sample collaborations of work being done in Uganda, China, and beyond.


Collaborations in China

The Intern Health Study is a longitudinal cohort study that assesses stress and mood in medical interns at institutions around the country, enrolling over 3,000 new interns each year. The Intern Health Study is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the University of Michigan Depression Center and the Taubman Medical Institute. Dr. Srijan Sen, Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences with the Department of Psychiatry, leads this study.

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Improving treatment for children and elders with mental illnesses in rural Ghana

The University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry was awarded a Global REACH Partnership Development Grant in April 2017 to build workforce capacity and improve treatment for children and elders with mental illnesses in rural Ghana. Michelle Riba, M.D., professor of psychiatry, and Gregory Dalack, M.D., chair of the U-M Department of Psychiatry are leading this effort.

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Fighting the Cognitive Effects of HIV and Malaria in Uganda

Bruno Giordani, Ph.D., professor with the department, and his colleague Michael Boivin, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and adjunct professor in the U-M Department of Psychiatry, have been collaborating for over 25 years all over the world. They have worked in the U.S., Africa, in southeast Asia, and beyond. They have addressed topics such as the effect of lead exposure in children; the role that the environment, nutrition, home setting, and intestinal parasites play in the development of behavior and cognitive abilities; as well as how to effectively measure these factors in cross-cultural and low resource settings, including the use of newer approaches such as eye tracking and hand held, portable EEG systems.

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NIH Fogarty International Center: Substance Abuse in Ukraine

Over the past 10 years Dr. Bob Zucker and colleagues AT the University of Michigan Addiction Center (UMAC) have been involved in a program in Ukraine to enhance the country’s scientific knowledge about substance abuse, and assist in the development of early intervention techniques to identify and alleviate it. Ukraine is a country whose rate of alcohol use is fifth highest in the world, and where drug abuse is one of the country’s major public health burdens.

The program is funded by the NIH’s Fogarty International Center and receives additional support from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It hosts junior and mid-career psychiatrists for a year of mentored research in Ann Arbor and annual workshops about research methodology are also carried out in different cities in Ukraine. Research collaborations have been developed both within Ukraine and between Ukrainian investigators, UMAC faculty, and faculty from other areas of the psychiatry department. Despite Ukraine’s recent internal conflict, the program has been able to continue and deepen relationships and collaborations with Ukrainian investigators in Kiev, Kharkiv, and Vinnytsia.

New work, of considerable interest to the government, has been done to survey levels of substance use in youth as early as age eight. This has never been done before, but based on the very heavy pattern of use among adults, some use among children substantially earlier than age 16 would be anticipated. The survey has confirmed this hypothesis, and officials have been excited to see the findings and have begun to plan programming to address the significant patterns of early substance use. Two years ago, Dr. Maureen Walton joined the program as co-director and in addition to program planning, has played a major role in implementing the early intervention programming that will address this early use among the nation’s youth.