Tashkent Pediatric Medical Institute (TPMI)
Remarks of Ambassador Pamela L. Spratlen
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, assalomu aleykum.
Thank you Rector Daminov for inviting us here today. I am so pleased to be here among distinguished company, including Rector Daminov and the Vice Rectors, and our good colleague and Fulbright alumnus Ambassador Alisher Fayzullaev.
I am also pleased to present the distinguished Fulbright Scholar Beth Leonberg. Ms. Leonberg is in Uzbekistan to teach at the Tashkent Pediatric Medical Institute for the coming six months. This is a new partnership for us, and I am delighted to be here today to launch it formally.
The United States is committed to working with Uzbekistan to provide quality educational opportunities for the people of this country. More academic exchange will benefit both our countries for generations to come.
The United States sponsors many exchange programs for students and scholars. I would encourage any of you who are interested in these opportunities to talk to our Public Affairs team.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 370,000 participants – chosen for their academic merit – with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Of interest to the distinguished researchers and scientists gathered here today: just four months ago, another two Fulbright alumni won Nobel Prizes. These 2017 Nobel Laureates are the 58th and 59th alumni of the Fulbright Program to receive Nobel Prizes.
Fulbright Program alumnus Dr. Michael Rosbash shared the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, for discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. Fulbright Program alumnus Dr. Kip S. Thorne shared the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for the observation of gravitational waves—ripples in space and time. Both taught in France in the 1960s under the Fulbright program.
The number of Fulbright alumni among Nobel Laureates demonstrates the high caliber of scholars who embark on exchange under the Fulbright umbrella.
Ms. Leonberg has come to TPMI to work with all of you to advance the field of public health in Uzbekistan. Specifically, she is here to collaborate with you to improve pediatric nutrition.
Ms. Leonberg is a registered dietitian nutritionist who is board certified in pediatric nutrition. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a clinical dietitian, researcher, author, and instructor. Her area of expertise is nutrition for children from birth to three years of age.
Ms. Leonberg is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is the author of four books on infant and pediatric nutrition, as well as the author of more than 30 articles on the subject.
The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent provides other support to public health in Uzbekistan as well.
U.S. health programs in Uzbekistan provide technical expertise and financial support to halt the spread of infectious diseases and improve their treatment, primarily tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and extremely dangerous pathogens with pandemic potential.
Since 1999, the United States Agency for International Development in Uzbekistan has invested over $66 million to address health care problems in Uzbekistan.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, has supported the Government of Uzbekistan since 2003 in the areas of HIV sentinel surveillance, TB electronic surveillance, infection control, epidemiology and laboratory capacity building.
I am confident that the students, faculty, and administration of TPMI will reap huge benefits from Ms. Leonberg’s experience, just as I am sure she will come away a better scholar from her experience with you. Ultimately and most importantly, the children of Uzbekistan will be stronger and healthier thanks to the work you will do together.
In closing, thank you for once again for this opportunity to kick off this new partnership between the United States and Uzbekistan. Together, I have no doubt we will provide a future full of promise and potential for the young people of this great nation.
Thank you for your attention.