Provost’s Global Challenge Grant Will Advance the Ethiopia-Michigan Platform

The Medical School is one of several University of Michigan (U-M) partners on a newly funded grant to create a transformative platform for collaboration in Ethiopia that will address some of the most pressing problems identified by country leadership. Supported by the Global Challenges for Third Century grant from the Office of the Provost, investigators of the EM-PACE (Ethiopia-Michigan Platform for Advancing Collaborative Engagement) also aim to develop and codify a U-M model for collaboration, which will position the University as a preferred institutional partner in future collaborative efforts.

Drs. Senait Fisseha (left) and Joseph Kolars (right) are shown with Dr. Zerihuen Abebe, Incoming Provost at St. Paul’s Millenium Medical School during their January 2013 visit to Ethiopia

Through the EM-PACE model, innovative structures, practices, and protocols for collaboration will be developed that also benefit U-M through three interdisciplinary workgroups focusing on health, the environment, and the provision of post-graduate science education.  

The project has three specific aims:

  1. Codify the elements of collaboration that set U-M apart with regard to working collectively on complex problems in low-resource settings (i.e. the 'Michigan Difference' in global collaboration). 
  2. Establish mechanisms for setting a common agenda among stakeholders in Ethiopia and U-M and identify priority areas and pilot projects that build on existing health-related initiatives to include those pertaining to the environment and science education.
  3. Develop a 5-year strategic plan for EM-PACE that strengthens collaborations, develops new interdisciplinary partnerships, and establishes the value proposition to Ethiopia and to U-M for a collaborative structure that sets a new standard by which the relevancy of universities in addressing pressing problems in society can be demonstrated.

The one-year Provost grant of nearly $300k was approved in November 2013 and is supplemented with an additional $250,000 in cost-shared funds supported by the home units of the primary U-M investigators.

Medical School co-investigators include:

  • Joseph C. Kolars, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives
  • Senait Fisseha, MD, Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Lori Isom, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology, Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology.

Other U-M investigators include:

  • Nancy Love, PhD, PE, BCEE, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Allen Burton, PhD, Professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Prashant Yadav, Senior Research Fellow & Director of Healthcare Research, William Davidson Institute
  • John Godfrey, PhD, Assistant Dean for International Education, Rackham School of Graduate Studies
  • Kathleen Sienko, PhD, SM, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering

An EM-PACE meeting in Ethiopia during January 2013 included meetings with the faculty of engineering from the College of Engineering at Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAIT).  Shown left to right are: Dr.Getachew Bekele, Head, Continuing and Distance Education of AAiT; Frehiwot Woldehanna, Head, Center for Biomedical Engineering; Professor Young Kim-Scientific Director; Dr. Senait Fisseha, UMMS; Dr. Daniel Kitaw Azene, Head of External Relations; Dr. Cheryl Moyer, Global REACH; Dr. Joseph Kolars, UMMS; Dr. Geremew Sahilu, Chair, Water & Environmental Engineering, Head of Post Graduate Programs; and Abdi Zeynu (U-M Engineering PhD Student)