Case Western Reserve Researcher Receives NIH grant for HIV Research in Uganda

W. Henry Boom, MD, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Moses L. Joloba, MBChB, MS and PhD, dean of the School of Biomedical Sciences at Makerere University have received an HIV research training program grant from the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health.

The "Microbiology and Immunology Training for HIV and HIV-Related Research in Uganda" program will provide biomedical training in basic microbiology and immunology at the master's level in Uganda and at the PhD level in the US.

“The program has been designed to meet the most essential training needs identified by my colleagues in Uganda with a long-term goal of strengthening the biomedical research capacity of major universities and medical schools in our country,” said Joloba.

“Our focus will be on biomedical training in basic microbiology and immunology to be applied to HIV and HIV/AIDS-related diseases research,” said Boom.

The $1.5 million five-year grant builds on a 28-year training record of Case Western Reserve University with partners at Makerere University and the Joint Clinical Research Center in Uganda. It aims to strengthen Ugandan biomedical research capacity at the faculty level by supporting PhD level training in microbiology and immunology at CWRU of talented young Ugandan scientists who have completed master's level training at Makerere University.

It also aims to strengthen graduate education in biomedical sciences in Uganda by supporting master's level training in the School of Biomedical Sciences at Makerere University 's College of Health Sciences. Additionally, it will provide advanced facilities for immunology and microbiology research in Uganda for new and returning trainees.

“The program features comprehensive, basic science education that addresses the changing circumstances imposed by the HIV epidemic in Uganda,” said Boom. It will offer a course in Uganda on HIV and HIV/AIDS-related infections focused on the latest innovations in basic science and technology. This will serve as a core course for the master's program and will be team-taught by lecturers in Uganda and CWRU with expertise in basic and clinical virology, pathogenesis, and drug resistance of HIV; complications of HIV/AIDS, particularly HIV/TB; and basic and clinical immunology.

As the number of young biomedical scientists in Uganda grows, there will be a demand for Ugandan mentors. Therefore the program will organize mentor training by former Ugandan CWRU trainees.

The CWRU grant is one of fifteen grants in a dozen countries that will be funded. It comes through Fogarty's HIV Research Training Program, whose goal is to build research capacity in low- and middle-income countries. It’s the Center’s latest effort in nearly 30 years of support for HIV research training. To help developing countries address issues that are emerging as their HIV epidemics evolve, Fogarty and NIH partners are investing up to $13 million over five years to support new awards in HIV research training.

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Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine.

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