A. Oveta Fuller Earns Fullbright Scholar Grant

University of Michigan microbiologist A. Oveta Fuller was one of approximately 1,100 US faculty and professionals who received Fulbright US Scholar Program awards to do international work in 2012 and 2013.  Dr. Fuller’s research will take her to the Copperbelt region of Zambia where she and her team will assess local religious leaders’ ability to address HIV and AIDS in their communities. Her nine-month study begins in January 2013.

Dr. Fuller, a former pastor who has long focused on outreach and awareness programs on HIV and AIDS, has spent her medical career examining viruses like herpes simplex virus (HSV) and HIV/ AIDS under a microscope. The perspectives she brings to her research - from the laboratory, the ministry, and the community arenas - provide a balanced approach as she and her colleagues assess how biological insights can transform the perspectives of religious leaders and their communities about HIV and AIDS. In an effort to increase HIV/AIDS reframing and prevention, they will reach out to clergy members and provide them with in-depth science educational tools that they can use in serving members of their community more effectively.

“Trying to do an educational intervention like this without the help of a trusted network, like clergy leaders, can be very difficult,” according to Fuller. “We want to know if and how well the science training empowers these influential leaders to go into their communities to reduce stigma and reframe common perceptions about HIV and AIDS prevention and management.” She believes that her background as not only a scientist but as a ministry leader will help in conveying the project’s goals to clergy members in Zambia. “They appreciate that I understand both responsibilities – from theology and helping the community, to the science as well."

Read the UMHealthorg article on Dr. Fuller here.

Funded by the US State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the US Scholar Program is one of several Fulbright awards available to US and international students and professionals.  This particular Fulbright program is available to American scholars, artists, faculty, and professionals interested in lecturing or conducting research abroad. Read more here.