AUA MPH Alumnus Receives Calouste Gulbenkian Global Excellence Scholarship for PhD Studies at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

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image002YEREVAN, Armenia – American University of Armenia School of Public Health alumnus, Vahe Khachadourian, MD, Master of Public Health (MPH), has been granted the Calouste Gulbenkian Global Excellence Scholarship to continue his studies at UCLA. Khachadourian has been studying towards a PhD in Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. His research interests include disaster epidemiology, particularly the long-term impact of disasters on survivors’ mental health.

The Gulbenkian Global Excellence Scholarship is a highly competitive scholarship, annually awarding up to four top Armenian students worldwide pursing PhD at an internationally recognized university. “The objectives of the programme are to foster high quality research and to build new collaborative linkages between Armenian researchers and global networks of innovation.”

UCLA has been consistently ranked among the top 20 universities by the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, and the U.S. News and World Report has ranked UCLA Fielding School of Public Health among the top 10 schools of public health.

Khachadourian received his Medical Doctor degree from the Yerevan State Medical University and earned his Master of Public Health degree from the American University of Armenia (AUA) in 2011, where he was awarded merit-based scholarships. His MPH Integrating Experience Project was a grant proposal for a follow-up study of the 1988 Spitak earthquake survivors. Upon graduation, his proposed research was funded by Turpanjian Family Educational Foundation, as one of the research projects of the Center for Health Services Research and Development in AUA’s School of Public Health. In 2011-2014, Khachadourian worked at the Center for Health Services Research and Development and was involved in several research projects, including Post-Earthquake Psychopathological Investigation, the Tuberculosis Innovative Care Project, a healthcare sector needs-assessment in the Kashatagh region of Artsakh, and a nation-wide environmental risk assessments of mining communities in Armenia. Khachadourian has also served as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the National Tuberculosis Center of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia. Khachadourian has published his work in peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at international scientific conferences.

With the support of the Gulbenkian scholarship, Khachadourian is planning to continue his research on the long-term health impact of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia. His PhD thesis will focus on investigating factors associated with post-earthquake recovery and resilience. Khachadourian hopes his research will contribute to a limited body of evidence and lead  to the development of more effective interventions in order to minimize long-term health adversities of earthquakes.

The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.