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Over 900 Students from 94 Countries Attend the ISGlobal Summer School in Global Health 2023

The virtual Summer School attracted a significant majority of students from low- and middle-income countries


The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) recently concluded its third edition of the International Summer School in Global Health, which took place virtually from 4-8 September. Like its previous editions, the Summer School attracted a diverse group of international students, reflected in the following noteworthy highlights.

Students from all walks of global health

Out of the 934 participants, an overwhelming 78 percent of the students hailed from low- and middle-income countries. Moreover, 45 percent of the students were women. This diversity in representation, experiences, and backgrounds enriched the discussions, providing a truly global perspective to the Summer School.

Not just for the students, the Summer School is also a valuable learning experience for the lecturers who get a platform to interact with a diverse audience of students and global health professionals. For Paula Petrone, who taught one of the modules, the best part of teaching this course is “receiving feedback from students who shared their experiences from around the world.”

State of the art in global health

The six modules of the Summer School tackled a variety of aspects of global health, including epigenome-wide association studies, biomedical data science and machine learning, health impact assessment, physical activity in research, the impact of endemic and pandemic infectious diseases in society, and the effects of circadian disruption on human health.

“The favourable responses we received on the newly introduced module on epigenome-wide association studies, which relies heavily on practical exercises and R programming, has encouraged us to broaden the curriculum and offer additional specialised, technical courses,” shares Giulia Pollarollo, coordinator of the ISGlobal Summer School.

In addition to the lectures that were offered as part of the six modules delivered by ISGlobal researchers, the Summer School participants also had the opportunity to benefit from two keynote lectures titled ‘10 years of omics research to better understand early life environmental influences of health’ by Lea Maitre, Assistant Research Professor at ISGlobal and coordinator of the Exposome Hub and ‘Building blocks for NCD prevention in Africa using diabetes mellitus as an entry point’ by Andre Kengne, Director of NCDs Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. 

Returning participants

Nearly 29 percent of the students were returning participants, who had participated in previous Spring and Summer Schools by ISGlobal. This is a testament to the programme’s enduring impact on the students and a lasting network of learning and exchange.

“The 2023 Summer School has once again demonstrated the strong demand for education and training in global health and has showcased how these opportunities can help forge valuable connections among global health professionals worldwide,” says Núria Casamitjana, director at ISGlobal’s Education & Training department.

Free of charge

With the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Spanish State Research Agency through the Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence 2019-2023, ISGlobal was able to offer this Summer School completely free of charge to every student