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Bogota, Colombia

Site Institution: Universidad de los Andes
U.S. Institution: Stanford University
Research Areas: Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Depression, Physical Activity, Urban Health

Site Description:
Dr. King and colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine have been collaborating with Dr. Sarmiento and colleagues on educational and research activities in the area of chronic disease prevention and control beginning in 2011, including undertaking cutting-edge collaborative research in the area of citizen science in the promotion of physical activity at the community and population levels. These collaborations have led to scientific presentations, publications, and funding, on the first round, of an NIH P20 grant application to develop a collaborative Regional Center of Excellence for chronic disease prevention and control in Bogotá, Colombia (Drs. King and Sarmiento are dual PIs on this grant.) This “Collaboratory” will focus on primary and secondary prevention of the major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) facing Colombia and the Latin American region, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression. The Collaboratory will emphasize a multisectoral and transdisciplinary approach to develop, test, and disseminate impactful NCD prevention programs in Colombia, as well as from Colombia to the Latin American region. As part of this project and our continuing collaboration, young investigator educational and training activities and exchanges are planned between the Stanford and UniAndes groups.

For the past two years, Drs. Sarmiento and Finck and their junior colleagues have been part of Dr. King’s Our Voice Global Citizen Science Research Network, a worldwide network of population health researchers working to expand the applications and evaluation of citizen science intervention strategies to promote healthy environments in under-resourced communities around the world. Dr. Sarmiento and colleagues are playing a leading role in this Global Network, and have developed the first inter-sectoral citizen science strategy for promoting regular physical activity.

Other features of the site include:
  • Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes) was founded in 1948. It has nine schools: Medicine, Business Administration, Architecture and Design, Arts and Humanities, Science, Social Sciences, Law, Economics, and Engineering. It also has the Center for Research and Training in Education (Cife), and the Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies (Cider), for postgraduate programs. In addition, the University includes the first private school for public affairs-the Alberto Lleras Camargo Government School.
  • There are 644 full-time professors in Uniandes as of 2020. This number has increased by 60% from 2002. 70% of the faculty hold doctoral degrees. This percentage is the highest in the country (national average in 2014 was 14%) and has increased significantly in the past few years (it was 39% in 2002).
  • There are approximately 18,000 students enrolled at the university - 26% are enrolled in graduate and professional degree programs, 30% come from outside Bogota and 87% of the undergraduate students come from the top 5% of high school students in the country. Universidad de los Andes is the only Colombian university within the top 450 universities of the world, according to the QS 2020 (World University Ranking). According to the QS Ranking for Latin America, Universidad de los Andes was the fourth best university of this region in 2019.
Current research projects include:
SALURBAL (Urban Health in Latin America): In this project we are using Our Voice model to assess the health potential impact of a new cable system in the poorest area of the city.