In support of the Fogarty International Center, Dr. Doug Heimburger, VIGH Associate Director, co-authored a perspective piece published in this week’s edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. For 50 years, Fogarty has supported global health research conducted by U.S. and international scientists. By building relationships with international partners, they seek to advance science while training the next generation of scientists equipped to address global health needs.
Global health scientists from around the world who attended the 2017 annual meeting of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health display wristbands to show solidarity in support of [or show gratitude for support from] the NIH Fogarty International Center. Since 2012, the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) has directed one of five Fogarty Global Health Fellows training consortia, and from 2007 to 2012, VIGH administered the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows Program worldwide.
To help the countries most affected by the recent Ebola epidemic, Fogarty has launched a new program to strengthen research training in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In the first round of funding, four U.S. institutions received grants to partner with academic centers in two of the West African countries. The support will enable them to design training programs to increase expertise in Ebola, Lassa fever and other emerging viral diseases.
Twelve years ago, my husband and I packed up all of our belongings and moved to Trivandrum — a steamy, tropical town at the southern tip of India in Kerala. At the time, I was a medical student interested in studying stroke. For the next six months I dressed in a sari and walked to work on jungle roads. At the hospital, I immediately began seeing a steady stream of young patients affected by strokes, many of whom were so severely disabled that they were unable to work.
A Framework grant awarded to Drs. David W. Wright, Frederik Haselton and Douglas Heimburger at Vanderbilt University is enabling a dozen American and Zambian research trainees to develop and deploy novel solutions for this critical issue. A new inexpensive test would improve the likelihood of detecting infection and also reduce drug resistance in the parasite by treating only those who harbor it instead of blanket-treating anyone with a fever, which commonly occurs in malaria endemic countries.
Dr. Sten Vermund, VIGH Director, began involvement in Zambia after attending a research needs assessment conference in 1998. Dr. Vermund co-chaired the HIV Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Working Group with Dr. Chewe Luo and in 2000 he co-founded the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) located in Lusaka.