The american thoracic society methods in epidemiologic, clinical, and operations research program a research capacity-building program in low- and middle-income countries

A. Sonia Buist, Vivienne Parry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Respiratory diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The greatest impact of many of these diseases is felt in low- and middle-income countries, but their control and management is hampered by lack of accurate estimates of their prevalence, risk factors, and distribution, and knowledge of the social and cultural setting in which they occur. Providing enough information for cost-effective response to respiratory diseases requires research by trained investigators and public health personnel. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical, and Operations Research (MECOR) Program was launched in 1994 to provide a sustainable means of increasing local and national research capacity aimed at addressing this need. As of March 2013, approximately 1,015 students have completed at least one level of the training program. Post-MECOR, 64% of participants have published a medical paper, 79% have presented at a scientific or academic meeting, 51% have submitted a research protocol for funding, and 42% have had one funded. Onequarter have been awarded an academic or clinical fellowship, and 78% reported that MECOR had made a significant or extremely important contribution to their professional life and accomplishments. Future challenges include funding, recruitment of local faculty, helping to build the research infrastructure in MECOR countries, and providing ongoing mentoring for research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013



  • Capacity development
  • Developing countries
  • Education
  • Research
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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