Associate professor of epidemiology Dr. Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson recently won an award from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) and the Fulbright Commission in Finland. Dr. Bertone-Johnson will teach and conduct research at the University of Eastern Finland’s Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition during academic year 2015-16.
Her project, titled “Cardiovascular disease in Finnish women: The intersection of gynecologic conditions and vitamin D for predicting long-term cardiovascular health,” will be funded through a grant of €25,000 and a $1,800 travel stipend. A particular focus of the project will be evaluating how the timing of menopause and early onset of menopause are associated with cardiovascular disease and whether vitamin D can affect them.
“The ability to identify women at high risk for cardiovascular disease prior to menopause would give women additional options for treatment and prevention, and may have substantial public health impact in Finland, the U.S., and worldwide,” notes Dr. Bertone-Johnson.
“I feel honored that I’ve been awarded the Fulbright, and very excited to spend five months in Finland conducting research and teaching, building new collaborations, and incorporating other cultures and perspectives into my work,” she adds.
The Fulbright awards are a highly competitive program that funds teaching and research “for exchanges in all areas of endeavor, including the sciences, business, academia, public service, government, and the arts,” to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”
“I’m also excited for my family and me to learn more about Finnish culture and language,” says Dr. Bertone-Johnson. “I feel so fortunate that we have this unique opportunity to live abroad and appreciate being part of a wider world.”