Mark O’Connor ’06 has joined the global fight against HIV/AIDS, traveling all the way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to complete a public health research project funded by a Fulbright scholarship.
Malaysia, a growing economic power on the Pacific Rim, has a population of 26 million, with an estimated 70,600 cases of HIV/AIDS in 2006.
Pictured at left with Keith Ellenbogen of the Parsons School of Design (center, a fellow Fulbrighter) and General Raghaven of the Indian Army, O’Connor is performing research toward identifying inadequacies in Malaysia’s HIV/AIDS structure.
Research findings will be used to develop a long-term course of action that will address the prevention of communicable diseases.
He also has been commissioned to assist in a national surveillance project to, he explains, “quantify the HIV prevalence, calculate the socioeconomic impact of the disease and develop a realistic national budget to minimize its burden upon development.”
The Fulbright Program is the preeminent federal international educational exchange program. Each year 800 scholars and professionals are awarded grants to perform international study.
The final stages of O’Connor’s research will be completed in May, which finds him planning a move to Bangkok for a research internship with the United Nations office in Thailand.