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A new three-year graduate research scholarship based in the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health has been launched, thanks to a generous donation by the Bahceci Health Group.


The Bahceci Scholarship will form part of the Cyprus Women's Health Research (COHERE) Initiative, which is led by Dr Nilufer Rahmioglu, Senior Research Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics.

COHERE was set up in 2017 to provide the first systematically collected population health data for women in Northern Cyprus, and is enabling researchers to better understand health and illness patterns, as well as the personal, social and economic burden of disease, in this relatively isolated region.

The initiative is supported by two main local collaborators, Cyprus Bahceci IVF Hospital and Eastern Mediterranean University, through local field work. With the potential to promote evidence-based reproductive medicine in the region, the COHERE Initiative will not only benefit the local population, but will also help to establish an Eastern Mediterranean women's health resource, facilitating further investigation into the influence of Mediterranean lifestyle and genetic factors on female health in Northern Cyprus.

The scholarship, which will cover all course fees and living expenses for the duration of the course, is open to graduate students demonstrating exceptional academic merit and/or potential who are accepted for a DPhil (PhD) in the department starting in the academic year 2019/20.

Professor Mustafa Bahceci, founder and CEO of the Bahceci Health Group, who generously supported the COHERE project with a personal gift in 2017, says: 'Collaborating with the University of Oxford on the COHERE Initiative has been a unique opportunity for us. The project, which started last year, is expected to be the largest women’s health data collection project in the region.

'The outcome of the project will not only provide very important epidemiological data on the health status of Eastern Mediterranean women, but will also help us to open new avenues to find novel diagnosis and treatment approaches for infertility-related prominent diseases such as endometriosis.'

Dr Rahmioglu says: 'We are grateful for the generous continued support of the Bahceci Health Group towards the COHERE Initiative project. Since we initiated the study in January 2018, 3,500 women have been recruited into the study. With the Bahceci Scholarship, we are very excited to able to recruit a fully funded DPhil student who will take part in the last phase of collection in Northern Cyprus. The scholar will devise various hypotheses she/he would like to investigate from the wealth of data being collected from a cross section of women between the ages of 18 and 55 from the Eastern Mediterranean population.

'I would like to also take the opportunity to thank all of the project supporters and collaborators including Eastern Mediterranean University for providing a team and supporting recruitment to the study, Bahceci IVF Hospital, Gunes Dogum Klinigi and Jinomer for providing free clinical follow-ups for the COHERE Initiative study participants.'


Learn more about the COHERE Initiative Project here.


This story first appeared on the Oxford Thinking Campaign website here.

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