Skip to Main Content


Yale - Samoa Ministry of Health Collaborative Research Center, Samoa


Chronic diseases and perinatal epidemiology

LMIC Affiliation

Yale - Samoa Ministry of Health Collaborative Research Center

Site Description

The Yale University/Samoa Ministry of Health Collaborative Research Center provides training opportunities in perinatal epidemiology and non-communicable diseases, in a population that has some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world. Training opportunities are offered by Dr. Satupaitea Viali of the National University of Samoa (NUS) and Dr. Nicola Hawley, Associate Professor at Yale University as well as other expert Ministry of Health and NUS faculty. Drs. Viali and Hawley have been colleagues since 2009, establishing their collaboration with a study of the genetic origins of adult non-communicable diseases. Since that initial work, they have extended their research program across the lifespan studying non-communicable and infectious disease in adulthood, adolescence, and childhood and exploring how obesity, diabetes, and hypertension impact maternal pregnancy health and later offspring health outcomes. The site is currently supported by three R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health that focus on the genetics of energy balance, cognitive resilience among older Samoans, and the ethical engagement of Pacific Islanders in genetic research. Together the mentors have provided training to more than 20 undergraduate, MPH and PhD students in the past 10 years, in both short- and long-term placements at the research center. Dr. Hawley herself began her postdoctoral career at this site under the mentorship of Professor Stephen McGarvey (Brown University) and Dr. Viali. She is now a productive faculty member at the Yale School of Public health with an international reputation for her work on non-communicable disease. An additional advantage of this site is the strong ethical review and oversight of research, provided by the Ministry of Health Research Committee.

Site Mentors

Nicola Hawley, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Disease), Yale School of Public Health

Satupaitea Viali, National University of Samoa