For Release: September 9, 2013
Contact: Derik Hertel, (603) 650-1211 or Derik.Hertel@Dartmouth.edu
Dartmouth Medical Researchers Receive 5-Year NIH Fogarty Grant Establishing First HIV-TB Research Institute in East Africa
Hanover, NH—Researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth have been awarded a five-year, $1.4 million grant from the Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create a first-of-its-kind, HIV-TB-specific research institute in East Africa.
The funding award helps continue Dartmouth's successful DarDar programs which have built research and educational partnerships for more than a decade with the Muhimibili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. As part of the new Fogarty grant, Geisel faculty will partner with Boston University and Tanzanian colleagues to provide the training and infrastructure to build an HIV-TB clinical and operational research institute: the Tuberculosis Research Institute at MUHAS, the first such institute in East Africa.
Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death among persons with HIV infection in Tanzania. Clinical and operational research to improve prevention and treatment of both adult and pediatric HIV-TB is a defined national priority in Tanzania but there is no specifically designated and staffed institute to plan, coordinate and conduct such research.
"The new Tuberculosis Research Institute at MUHAS (TRIM-TB) will expand our collaboration on HIV-TB training and research programs in Tanzania and help build the human, scientific and administrative capacity within Tanzania so that at the end of the five years, this research institute can apply for funding, conduct and manage their HIV-TB research activities," said C. Fordham (Ford) von Reyn, MD, professor of medicine at Geisel and director of the medical school's programs in Tanzania.
Other NIH-funded Dartmouth research has helped produce impressive results related to TB and HIV. In 2008, after 15 years of research and testing, von Reyn and his team successfully created DAR-901, the first new TB vaccine in 85 years shown to be effective against the disease. The existing TB vaccine, known as BCG, was developed in 1928 is effective only for the first 15 years of life; DAR-901 has been shown to reduce the rate of TB in 39 percent of patients who have HIV.
The Fogarty Center also awarded a three-year, $302,100 grant to Richard Waddell, DSc, research assistant professor of medicine at Geisel, to help strengthen and expand the capacity of MUHAS to better manage their portfolio of existing and future research grants. Tanzanian researchers and administrators will receive training within the sponsored research offices at Dartmouth and UCSF, and through distance education.
The TRIM-TB Institute in Tanzania will bring together the expertise of past Fogarty trainees from Tanzania - many of whom have received their MPH and PhD degrees from Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine - with a faculty core and new trainees who will complete MPH degrees from Dartmouth and MUHAS, and masters and doctoral degrees in pharmacology, public health and epidemiology from Boston University.
In addition, training in ethics, good clinical practice and HIV-TB research methods will be provided for investigators. Advanced TB microbiology and TB immunology training will be provided for research microbiologists who will staff the Institute's new TB core laboratory. Pilot grant funding will be available for HIV-TB research projects and investigators.
"This groundbreaking research and the capacity-building work of our Geisel faculty members, along with their Tanzanian colleagues, continues to improve and save lives in Tanzania," said Wiley "Chip" Souba, MD, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. "Our research and educational partnership with Tanzania is a model for what global health collaboration is all about. It creates a rich and diverse learning experience for Dartmouth and MUHAS students, and it pushes the frontiers of medicine in order to improve lives."
Along with von Reyn and Waddell, several other Geisel faculty are involved with the Tanzania Fogarty initiatives, including Jay Buckey, MD; Lisa Adams, MD; Tim Lahey MD; Kristy Hendricks, DSc; Richard Zuckerman, MD, MPH; Ruth Connor, PhD; Paul Palumbo, MD; Lisa Purvis, MBA, MPH; Prudence Merton, PhD; and Karen Tombs, EdD.
The Fogarty International Center advances the mission of the National Institutes of Health by supporting and facilitating global health research conducted by U.S. and international investigators, building partnerships between health research institutions in the U.S. and abroad, and training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs.
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, founded in 1797, strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The nation's fourth-oldest medical school, the Geisel School of Medicine has been home to many firsts in medical education, research and practice, including the discovery of the mechanism for how light resets biological clocks, creating the first multispecialty intensive care unit, the first comprehensive examination of U.S. health care variations (The Dartmouth Atlas), and helping establish the first Center for Health Care Delivery Science, which launched in 2010. As one of America's top medical schools, Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse health care leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in health care.
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