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UVU Professor Receives Prestigious Fulbright Scholar Grant To Bangladesh

2 August 2011 No Comment

August 1, 2011
For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807

Ruhul Kuddus, an associate professor of biology at Utah Valley University, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and conduct research at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh while also assisting non-governmental health agencies with molecular diagnoses, beginning Aug. 2.

Kuddus, a native of Bangladesh and a faculty member with UVU since 2003, will teach molecular biotechnology, immunology and cancer awareness courses at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh’s capital. The public health education component of his project will address drug resistance among bacterial and protozoan pathogens in the country. Kuddus will promote the use of molecular diagnostic tools and drug-sensitivity tests before treating patients suffering bacterial and protozoal infections. Kuddus will interact with the medical leadership of the country and train its budding molecular pathologists.

“Dr. Kuddus’s research and teaching will strengthen the international public health community and will lead to greater understanding by scholars and public health officials of how to respond to these diseases and improve peoples’ lives,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland. “His efforts through the Fulbright Scholar Program to make a difference in Bangladesh are emblematic of UVU’s commitment to high level engaged learning and research.”

Kuddus is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2011-2012. The Fulbright Program is America’s flagship international education program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. It is one of the most prestigious global awards programs in academia and present in more than 155 countries.

Because Bangladesh is situated in a low-lying, flood plain area of south central Asia, a common public health concern is water-borne gastrointestinal diseases and various forms of tuberculosis. Kuddus’s objective is to help health care professionals and the public understand how to best attack the diseases and to avoid drug resistance issues currently cropping in the country.

“Doctors are giving out medication blindly and it is breeding a new problem. The organisms will become immune to medications and patients will have to live with it,” Kuddus said. “Some patients skip going to the doctor and go straight to a pharmacy where they buy five pills instead of taking the necessary dosage of 20 or more. That’s the major cause of drug resistance.”

Kuddus will be writing a public health education booklet about proper ways to treat gastrointestinal diseases that will be offered free to residents as well as authoring similar articles with other scholars in some of Bangladesh’s most popular magazines. He also plans to make several public TV service announcements about treating diseases and preventing drug resistance.

“Dr. Kuddus is one of UVU’s premier academics. His acceptance as a Fulbright Scholar is not surprising to me as he climbs his career path,” said Sam Rushforth, dean of the College of Science & Health. “We are most fortunate to have Ruhul Kuddus at Utah Valley University, and I look forward with deep interest to watching him bring recognition and cutting-edge science to our University.”

Kuddus will document his research and public health education efforts so that his project can be expanded and duplicated by other scholars and medical professionals in countries similarly affected around the world. He hopes to share that knowledge and experience with UVU biology and nursing faculty and students who can also benefit from his studies and participate in similar public health education service work in Bangladesh and around the globe.

“My goal is to tell the public that though they may not be able to completely eradicate all forms of common diseases in developing countries, circumstances could be much more improved through better diagnostic practices and public health education,” he said.

Kuddus is UVU’s third Fulbright Scholar grant recipient. Paul Dishman, an associate professor of marketing in the Woodbury School of Business, consulted in 2010 with scholars, students and government officials in Montenegro on maximizing marketing efforts in a free economy. Jonathan Westover, an assistant professor of business management with the Woodbury School of Business, will be journeying to Belarus next summer to teach MBA students at Belarussian State University and consult business and civic groups on human resource development and performance management.

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About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to nearly 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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