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U. starts initiative to work with Southeast Asia

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012 3:04 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah's Asia Center is starting an initiative to build and sustain working relationships among researchers in the United States and Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong subregion.

The center received a $450,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to fund a four-year project run by its Mekong Region Development Research Group.

The Greater Mekong subregion includes five nations along the Mekong River Basin — Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as China's Yunnan Province. The researchers are interested in understanding how flows of trade, population, and cultural and social exchange produce new development and interdependence across the region.

The project aims to strengthen ties to other universities in the U.S. and in Southeast Asia, including the University of Washington; Tulane University; the University of California, San Francisco; Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand; the Royal Phnom Penh University in Cambodia; and the Southern Institute of Sustainable Development in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The first workshop is scheduled for May at the University of Utah. The two-day gathering will address approaches to measuring health outcomes over people's lifetimes using survey-based and biometric approaches.

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