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In May, Daniel Peng ’12 received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant. He’s one of about 1,800 recipients nationwide who will have the chance to travel abroad for a unique hands-on learning opportunity in their chosen field. Starting in September, he will be stationed at a clinic in Hangzhou a city of about 6 million in the eastern portion of China.
His research grant proposal targets Type 2 diabetes, which is far more prevalent, but less understood than Type 1 diabetes. Together, the two forms of the disease affect about 29 million Americans. During his time in Hangzhou, he’ll be interacting with patients and clinicians to affect change.
“In terms of the research I’m conducting, this is not hard science,” he said. “It’s more of a public health project.”
Simple changes, Peng noted, can reduce the rates of diabetes. People can often create and maintain better health by eating more fruits and vegetables, and fewer high-fat foods and simple carbohydrates like white rice and potatoes. Another important factor, Peng said, is getting patients to understand and care about dietary restrictions.
Educating others comprises about half of his duties in China. He’s also going to be working to create a patient database that will help doctors understand the long-term affects of treatment.
Prior to his current job, Peng spent time working with diabetics of all ages at the Stanford University School of Medicine and at the Pacific Free Clinic in San Jose.