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Published On: Thu, Mar 1st, 2018

University of Richmond professors Jory Brinkerhoff and Manuella Meyer received Fulbright awards

University of Richmond biology professor Jory Brinkerhoff and history professor Manuella Meyer have received Fulbright awards to support their research projects.

Jory Brinkerhoff, a disease ecologist who studies parasites, will collaborate with colleagues at Nihon University in Japan to study Bartonella, a genus of disease-causing bacterial species that can spill over from animals to humans, often by way of lice, fleas and flies. His Fulbright award will support a six-month trip to Japan for a project to assess risk to humans by analyzing Bartonella parasites found in Japanese macaques, a type of monkey.

“So far we know very little about how common this disease is in these monkeys, how it is transmitted and if there is a risk to human health,” Brinkerhoff said. “Tourists can get quite close to these animals, so there are public health motivations for this project. There also are basic science questions about relationships among different bacterial species and groups in macaque parasites collected from different sites.”

Manuella Meyer is a historian who examines the socio-political and medical terrain of mental illness in Rio de Janeiro. Her research includes areas related to public health, the history of welfare, gender and race discourse. Her Fulbright award will support a trip to Rio de Janeiro for her second book project, “Making Brazilian Children: Child Welfare and the Psychiatry of Childhood, 1922-1954.”

“This research focuses on how mental health professionals viewed children as the means through which to create ideal citizens and a strong nation-state,” Meyer said. “It also examines narratives of madness and concepts of mental illness articulated by psychiatrists during a time of rapid cultural transformation.”

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The Fulbright program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S and people of other countries, is overseen by the U.S. Department of State. Grants are made possible by funds appropriated annually by Congress along with contributions from partner countries and the private sector.

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