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Fogarty International Center Grants at YSPH

Classroom of professionals in China
Workshop on Cancer Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Urumqi, Xingjiang Autonomous Region, China

The NIH's John Fogarty International Center sponsors research training grants that provide funding to train researchers, building sustainable expertise in low-and middle-income countries. Over the life of these grants, over 200 public health professionals and researchers have received mentorship and training from Yale’s world class faculty. 

Project Title

Principal Investigator

Country (City)

Primary Collaborating Institution

1. Tsetse Transmitted African Trypanosomiasis

Aksoy, Serap

Kenya  (Kikuyu)
September 2005 - January 2018
Trypanosomiasis Research Center

2. Evidence Based Control Strategies of Sleeping Sickness Vectors

Aksoy, Serap

Kenya  (Kikuyu)
July 2010 - June 2014  

Trypanosomiasis Research Center


3. Training and Research in HIV Prevention in Russia

Heimer, Robert

Russia  (St. Petersburg)
September 1998 - April 2017 
Biomedical Center and St. Petersburg State University.
Regional Non-Governmental Organization of Social Projects in the Sphere of Population’s Wellbeing (STELLIT)

4. Global Health Equity Scholars Program at Yale University

Ko, Albert    

Yale Sites: Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Russia, Uganda, Ukraine
Affiliated Sites: Bangladesh, China,
India,Kenya, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe
April 2012-February 2017

5. The Innate Immune Response as a Therapeutic Target for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

Tschudi, Christian

Colombia  (Cali)
September 2003 - December 2018
Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas

6. Research Ethics Training and Curriculum Development Program with China Khoshnood, Kaveh China (Changsha)
July 2011 - May 2017 
Central South University, Xiangya School of Medicine
7. Pulmonary Complications of AIDS Research Training (PART) Program (D43TW009607)     Davis, Luke Uganda ( Kampala) 
August 2013 - January 2018
Makerere College of Health Sciences
8. Sustainable Capacity in Liberia for Informing Surveillance and Response Through Modeling, Biostatistics and Computational Tools Galvani, Alison Liberia
September 2016 - August 2017
9. Ethical Issues in HIV/AIDS-related Research in China: A Scholarly Workshop Khoshnood, Kaveh China (Changsa)
June 2015-May 2017
Central South University, Xiangya School of Medicine

1. Aksoy, Serap
Tsetse Transmitted African Trypanosomiasis  

Tsetse transmitted Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) has re-emerged and poses a major public health crises in Sub Sahara. There are no vaccines and efficacious drugs for control of parasite infections in the mammalian host. In contrast, control of the vector insect tsetse populations can effectively break the disease cycle. Extensive resources have been generated in the developed country laboratories with respect to tsetse genomics/genetics that can immediately improve the existing vector control tools, while promising the development of future strategies. The ability of products resulting from high-tech research to reach field implementation stages requires the presence of endemic country scientists who are. well-informed in the full potential of the developed technologies, who can evaluate the pros and cons of these solutions, and who can present these perspectives to the general public and to the involved government agencies. In this training program, Yale University scientists are working with the Trypanosomiasis Research Center (TRC) in Kenya to strengthen the biomedical capacity and to acquire and implement the recent advances in applied vector genomics, genetics and bioinformatics to enhance the existing Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) control/management tools. TRC has been identified by a World Health Organization competitive initiative as the lead organization in Africa to coordinate the continent-wide capacity strengthening activities for HAT. A regional network (Eastern African Network of Trypanosomiasis, EANETT) consisting of the lead institutions with governmental mandates to work on HAT in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Malawi has already made considerable progress in building south-south initiatives. The specific objectives of this program are to: 1) Develop expertise at TRC and their associates to address mechanisms of parasite transmission biology, genetics of vector competence, population biology, and bioinformatics. 2) Strengthen collaborations with the laboratories in the endemic countries in Africa to enable transfer of new technologies and tools relevant for HAT control and promote their integration into the on-going disease control programs. 3) Develop training modules (seminars, workshops and mentored research activities) to increase research capacity for HAT in Africa with a specific focus on vector biology. 

2. Aksoy, Serap
Evidence Based Control Strategies of Sleeping Sickness Vectors  

This Fogarty International Research Collaboration award (FIRCA) proposal is on tsetse fly population genetics in order to support the ongoing Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) control activities in East Africa. The parent grant (NIAID R01Al068932, 01/01/2008 to 12/31/2012) addresses the molecular and ecological aspects of the two HAT disease belts (gambiense and rhodesiense) in Uganda with a focus on population and evolutionary genetics of tsetse flies and their parasites and endosymbionts. The co- investigator of this FIRCA, Dr. Johnson Ouma, is an experienced tsetse population geneticist who is now the head of tsetse genomic research and Deputy Director of the national Trypanosomiasis Research Center (TRC) in Kenya. Kenya is at risk of HAT outbreaks due to ongoing epidemics in neighboring Uganda and increased movement of people and cattle (known reservoirs for Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense). Earlier tsetse control efforts in the Lake Victoria basin and in the southern Rift Valley were unsustainable and these regions rapidly became repopulated. It is unknown if the extant G. pallidipes vector populations in Lambwe originated through reinvasion from neighboring populations, or through incomplete elimination of local populations that existed below thresholds of detection. Efforts are underway once again to eliminate G. pallidipes from Lambwe valley and surrounding areas. This project has three aims to: 1) estimate rates of gene flow and degrees of genetic differentiation among G. pallidipes populations around the Lake Victoria basin and in southern Rift Valley, 2) estimate local levels of temporal genetic differentiation and dynamics of G. pallidipes populations from the Lambwe and Nguruman valleys and 3) understand the circulating trypanosome parasite diversity isolated from flies/humans and known reservoir animals in the Lambwe valley. Results will help understand the breeding pattern of G. pallidipes populations in East Africa, and thus identify populations that can serve as potential sources of immigrants into Nguruman and Lambwe. This knowledge is important to the ongoing and planned tsetse control programs and can help develop methods for inclusion or exclusion of adjacent populations to the target population during vector suppression efforts. Knowledge on parasite strains in circulation will also help better understand disease risk and epidemiology.

3. Heimer, Robert
Training and Research in HIV Prevention in Russia

During the past decade we have concentrated our efforts in St. Petersburg, Russia  training young behavioral and medical scientists to participate in  interdisciplinary HIV epidemiological, behavioral, and prevention research. Our most successful trainees - those who have made significant contributions to past and ongoing research collaborations - have been university-affiliated junior faculty members who conduct their research in either non-governmental  organizations, research institutes, or branches of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Building on these successes, we will continue to provide  interdisciplinary mentored research training to build cadres of research competence at these institutions and simultaneously develop the necessary  interdisciplinary collaborations to succeed in building research teams to conduct epidemiological, behavioral, and prevention research in St. Petersburg and more broadly in the Russian Federation. We have identified five focus areas for research training: primary prevention for high-risk populations, secondary HIV prevention for HIV positives, health services research, nursing research, and translational research. Our program is allowing United States scientists to build partnerships with their counterparts in St. Petersburg to train young and emerging scientists to conduct meaningful research in primar and secondary HIV  prevention, nursing research and health services and translational research. Our trainees are well-trained, motivated, and successful researchers who possess the interdisciplinary competencies to succeed as research scientists and make productive contributions in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in  Russia, which remains one of the fastest growing in the world. 

4. Ko, Albert
Global Health Equity Scholars Program at Yale University (Program Website)

The GHES Program is an initiative between Yale University, University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford and Florida International Universities, to support one year research training of post and predoctoral fellows  at 12 partnering international institutions. The overall goal of the program, sponsored by the Fogarty International Center and affiliated NIH institutes (R25 TW009338), is to generate a new and young cadre of global health researchers, educators, and professionals who will be prepared to address the new challenges in global health.

The GHES Program aims to train fellows in innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to addressing health needs and promoting social equity. A major focus of the program is the health challenges which have emerged due to the rapid growth of slum settlements in both urban and rural settings of low and middle-income countries. Factors associated with chronic, non-communicable, as well as infectious diseases, environmental health hazards, risks specific to women and children, intentional and unintentional injuries, and mental disorders are potential areas of research that will be supported under this program. Furthermore, the program supports implementation research focused on providing accessible and high quality health care services at all levels in resource-limited settings.

5. Tschudi, Christian, PI; Mayur Desai and Nancy Saravia, co-PIs 
The Innate Immune Response as a Therapeutic Target for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

The central goal of antimicrobial therapies is pathogen elimination. This is based on the assumption that the pathogen is the triggering and driving force of pathology. Clinical manifestations of dermal leishmaniasis are the result of parasite-elicited inflammatory responses that progress to immunopathogenically driven disease. The relationship between parasite burden at the lesion site and pathology is not a linear one; with the exception of diffuse dermal leishmaniasis, severe manifestations such as chronic non-healing cutaneous lesions and mucosal disease are characterized by low parasite burden, indicating that pathology can be maintained and potentially exacerbated by the inflammatory response independently of the parasite load. Although clinical resolution of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is accompanied by a reduction in parasite burden, Leishmania persistence has been amply documented following therapeutically achieved cure or self-resolving disease. This results in risk of reactivation if the immune homeostasis is perturbed either by immunosuppression or provocation of an inflammatory response.

Innate immune cells orchestrate inflammation and the immune response against invading pathogens. Recent findings from our group and others have highlighted the central role of macrophage functions and controlled inflammatory responses in therapeutic resolution of CL. Our preliminary results document participation of innate immune responses (neutrophils, macrophages and eosinophils) and potentially a TH17-mediated regulation, in determining the outcome of treatment of CL. In this project we will challenge the dogma that parasite elimination is the central determinant of successful antileishmanial therapy. Our overall goal is to identify host innate immune functions, and their related biomarkers, that contribute to cure or failure during antileishmanial drug therapy. We hypothesize that the magnitude, dynamics and regulation of innate inflammatory responses are leading factors of therapeutically promoted cure of CL. Understanding the role of innate immunity in the outcome of treatment will enable identification of host-specific predictive and prognostic signatures of therapeutic responsiveness, and the rational selection of host-targeted therapeutics that redirect inflammation and revert pathogenicity.

6. Khoshnood, Kaveh
Research Ethics Training and Curriculum Development Program with China

We propose a comprehensive multi-disciplinary Research Ethics Training and Curriculum Development Program that builds on the success of our extensive collaborations with Central South University, Xiangya School of Medicine, a leading academic institution in China. We have assembled a team of seasoned investigators from the United States and China with extensive experience in curriculum development, conduct and evaluation of international research projects as well as in training programs, mentoring international scholars and have carefully designed a program that is responsive to the short-term and long-term needs of the host country institution. The training program will develop and disseminate graduate level curricula in research ethics; provide long-term (18 months) and medium-term (10 months) training to 11 Chinese researchers and health professionals in multi-disciplinary research methodologies, bioethics and ethical review of research; offer intensive short–courses and workshops on research methods, grant and manuscript writing and selected research ethics topics; enhance human subjects protection and strengthen the capacity of Institutional Review Boards at Xiangya School of Medicine and Yale University to review research protocols. We believe the Chinese scholars trained through this program will influence research ethics policy and practice throughout China in the years to come. 

7. Davis, Luke 
Pulmonary Complications of AIDS Research Training (PART) Program (D43TW009607) – Kampala, Uganda

This training program builds on a nearly 25-year history of collaboration in providing HIV/AIDS-related research and training to junior investigators at Makerere College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) and affiliated non-governmental organizations in Kampala, Uganda. The current program seeks to enhance opportunities in translational research, identified by Ugandan and U.S. investigators as a critical under-represented need to enhance local research capacity. By offering customized didactic training and practical research experiences in a multi-disciplinary environment, the PART program helps prepare individuals from diverse educational backgrounds to contribute to translational research teams; this team-building represents an efficient and potentially transformative approach to advancing research in the important, under-studied, and inherently inter-disciplinary content area of TB and other pulmonary complications of HIV infection. Trainees enroll in Masters and Doctoral degree training programs at MakCHS, and these experiences are supplemented by intensive short courses and focused training experiences that often take place outside Uganda under the supervision of affiliated faculty. For example, PART faculty lead the annual Makerere University Implementation Science Symposium and Workshop, which benefits both PART trainees and the broader academic and public health community in Uganda. In addition to formal coursework, all trainees receive structured career and scientific mentoring to prepare them to compete for independent grant funding and/or provide unique contributions to multi-disciplinary research teams. They also participate in monthly works-in-progress sessions covering core research skills. All trainees also pursue longitudinal in-country research projects under supervision of the PART faculty. The training program aspires to meaningfully increase capacity for clinical-translational and implementation science research on the pulmonary complications of HIV in Uganda, to help generate high-quality research to more effectively combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Uganda and other high-burden countries.

8. Galvani, Alison
Sustainable Capacity in Liberia for Informing Surveillance and Response Through Modeling, Biostatistics and Computational Tools

The unprecedentedly devastating 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa brought international attention to the challenges faced by resource-constrained nations in curtailing outbreaks. As a relatively cost-effective methodology that informs efficient allocation of limited resources, predictive transmission modeling served as a tool for better understanding the potential epidemic trajectory and the relative contributions of different transmission routes to disease spread. With this information, decision makers on the ground could determine which intervention strategies—including approach, duration of implementation, and coverage level—would be most effective and feasible for curtailing the outbreak. The information gaps filled by modeling highlighted the importance of building capacity so Liberian scientists can do similar work independently and collaboratively to address diverse public health challenges in both epidemic and endemic settings. The proposed collaboration with the University of Liberia (UL), the country's flagship institution for tertiary and professional education, will strengthen the research training infrastructure in Liberia by harnessing heightened interest in public health research and practice in post-Ebola Liberia in order to reduce long-term dependence on outside support. Capacity building that would be accomplished from this training program has the potential to optimize public health strategies to alleviate mortality and suffering associated with epidemics of viral emerging disease in West Africa. Here we propose planning for a three-tiered research training program involving Yale-UL mentored research training, Master's-level public health degree training for advanced professionals with demonstrated interest in public health, as well as career development and sustainability training through workshop series and practice opportunities. The research training program planning process will involve essential assessment of the priorities of key policy makers, community-level change agents, and other stakeholders in Liberia's health sector. Specifically, the planning phase will consist of coordinated and synergistic activities to accomplish the following objectives for the envisioned research training program. 1. Develop a training program focused on scientific areas most pertinent to Liberia's public health priorities 2. Provide faculty and students with high quality research training opportunities in viral epidemic and other disease priorities in Liberia 3. Produce and implement a core public health curriculum for degree-seeking trainees using remote and onsite learning opportunities 4. Contribute to the development of sufficient scientific and administrative capacity in Liberia to support a sustainable and growing research framework While the research-related skills and methods necessary to carry out the scientific focus of the proposed research training program will be aligned with the expertise of Yale program administration and faculty, the planning phase will ensure that the research training opportunities meet the health priorities associated with emerging epidemic viral disease in the University of Liberia and the country.

9. Khoshnood, Kaveh
Ethical Issues in HIV/AIDS-related Research in China: A Scholarly Workshop

The goals of this workshop are to familiarize a selected group of experienced HIV/AIDS researchers in China with ethical issues associated with their work; to familiarize the leadership and members of the newly formed social and behavioral focused IRB at the School of Nursing of Central South University, in Changsha, China with particular ethical challenges of reviewing HIV/AIDS research protocols; and, to develop an ethics casebook comprised of cases focused on specific ethical challenges encountered by Chinese HIV/AIDS researchers. This award represents a supplement to the Fogarty R25 grant, "Research Ethics Training and Curriculum Development Program with China.”