Photograph: Dr. Thomas Coates (Director, UCLA Center for World Health), Fedra Djourabchi (Director of External Relations, UCLA CWH), and Sam Miller meet at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for the initiation of the Brenda Lucille Miller UCLA-South Africa Education Fund.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The UCLA Center for World Health has announced the creation of the Brenda Lucille Miller UCLA-South African Education Fund. The Fund was created to honor the memory of Brenda Lucille Miller, a South African who lived with multiple sclerosis. Neurological illnesses tend to be underdiagnosed and undertreated in South Africa and take a tremendous toll on individuals and families.

The aim of the Fund is to build South Africa’s capacity in preventing, diagnosing, treating, and managing neurological diseases and movement disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. Such capacity will benefit not only South Africa, but also the entire continent, as South Africa serves as a regional medical hub.

The Fund will bring early career doctors to Los Angeles for two months to engage in postdoctoral studies. Working closely with UCLA faculty, participants will receive specialized neuroscience training in surgical, hospital, and outpatient settings, with the goal of applying this knowledge and skillset to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of neurologic diseases in South Africa.

The training program is merit-based and competitive, with awards granted based on applicants’ training, records of achievement, and potential to succeed. To be eligible for funding, applicants must be South African citizens, have completed medical school in the last two years, or be currently working as a registrar. An impartial panel of UCLA and South African scientists, physicians, and professionals will oversee the interview process to determine the awardees. The application period is currently open and will close on May 5, 2017. Awardees are expected to train at UCLA from October to November 2017 at the Movement Disorders Clinic, directed by Dr. Jeff Bronstein, Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine.

For further information, please contact Amber Dargenio at ADargenio@mednet.ucla.edu.

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