Press Releases

2004 Releases

Government of Cyprus Commits to Establish International Initiative for the Environment and Public Health in Association with the Harvard School of Public Health

For immediate release: June 02, 2004 

Boston, MA—The Government of the Republic of Cyprus will establish an international research, education and training effort for the environment and public health in association with the Harvard School of Public Health. To launch the initiative, the Government of Cyprus is contributing funds for both endowment and research grants to HSPH, as well as establishing a new Cypriot government-sponsored international research institute in Cyprus.

The International Initiative will bring together researchers, educators and practitioners from Harvard, Cyprus, Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean region to confront environmental issues affecting the health of populations in that region. Education and training will take place on two continents: at the new Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health (CII) in Cyprus, and at the HSPH-Cyprus Program (HCP) at the School’s Boston campus.

“The global environment does not have geographic borders,” said HSPH Dean Barry R. Bloom. “This new effort has the potential to improve the health of the people of Cyprus and many nations in the region.”

Cyprus agreement“We care about public health; we care about the environment because it touches upon the life of each and every individual in Cyprus, and not only our present generation but generations to come,” said President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos who was in Boston to address a seminar at HSPH announcing the initiative. He expressed to the assembled HSPH faculty the hope that Cyprus, historically at the crossroads of European and Asian cultures, might become “a regional center for research and excellence with the assistance of your institution.” President Papadopoulos also spoke at the Kennedy School of Government on “Cyprus at the Crossroads: The Way Forward.”

Joint research projects and the development of local scientific expertise in Cyprus and the region will be two of the major objectives of the initiative. In addition, training through short courses and a one-year program in environmental health will be offered through the Cyprus International Institute. HSPH will continue to offer Masters and doctoral degrees and post-doctoral research training at its Boston campus to highly qualified students from Cyprus and the region. Over the next decade, each year a minimum of five students from that region who have been admitted through HSPH’s regular processes will receive fellowships to HSPH, returning to their countries with new environmental knowledge and skills to practice and train others.

The program at HSPH will be directed by Petros Koutrakis, Professor of Environmental Sciences in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH. Koutrakis is head of the Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk Program at HSPH and Director of the EPA/Harvard University Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects. In Cyprus, efforts will be directed initially by Philip Demokritou, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH, who is taking a leave of absence from the faculty to get the new initiative underway.

See on-demand video of presentation on Cyprus:
Featured speakers: HSPH Dean Barry R. Bloom, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, Cyprus Minister of Commerce Yiorgos Lillikas, HSPH Professor Joseph Brain, HSPH Professor Petros Koutrakis

For further information contact:
Robin Herman
Director of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health