Focus: HIV and TB
Affiliation: Edendale Hospital
Site and Background: South Africa (Pietermaritzburg): This site will provide training opportunity in HIV and TB. The training site will be based at Edendale Hospital, a large (>900 bed) public facility in Pietermaritzburg, the capital city of the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where the burden of tuberculosis and HIV is highest in South Africa. The training site will operate under joint supervision of Dr. Douglas Wilson, the Head of Internal Medicine at Edendale Hospital and Dr. Ted Cohen, associate professor at Yale School of Public Health. Wilson and Cohen have been colleagues for over 10 years and have conducted research together on tuberculosis and HIV-associated tuberculosis with continuous NIH grant support since 2009. Dr. Wilson, with expertise in clinical medicine and infectious diseases and more than 20 years of experience caring for individuals with TB and HIV, and Dr. Cohen, with more than 15 years of experience conducting epidemiological studies on TB and HIV-associated TB, can provide research mentorship on projects relating to both clinical and epidemiological facets of TB and HIV. Together Dr. Wilson and Cohen have successfully conducted prospective cohort studies, postmortem studies, and interventional studies within Edendale Hospital and the surrounding community. Ethical oversight of studies conducted in this setting has been provided by the human subjects committees at University of KwaZulu-Natal and the South African Medical Association. All studies are also reviewed by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.
Given the tremendous local burden of both tuberculosis and HIV, there remains a wealth of clinical and operational research questions relating to better treatment of these diseases (and associated conditions) and better control of disease in the community. They are currently co-supervising the work of Dr. Patrick Cudahy, an ID trained fellow who is conducting research on a cohort of individuals undergoing treatment for multidrug resistant tuberculosis. Dr. Wilson is also the site-PI for a current Wellcome-funded study of tuberculosis diagnostics among HIV-infected individuals and is supervising a second clinical fellow as part of this study. There is tremendous opportunity for development Edendale into a robust site for research training of local clinical researchers. Dr. Wilson has established a local NGO, Umkhuseli Innovation and Research Management, which has served as the primary recipient organization for NIH and Wellcome awards and provides a unique local infrastructure for supporting research on TB and HIV in the region. Dr. Wilson also interacts with all of the medical interns and residents that rotate through the Pietermaritzburg Hospitals Complex (about 110 interns and 8 residents ) and thus will be able to identify promising local young researchers who would benefit from support through Fogarty in pursuit of additional research training.