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International AIDS training and research program awarded $3.6 million from NIH

PROVIDENCE, RI The Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year, $3.6 million grant to an international AIDS training and research program based at The Miriam Hospital to continue training foreign researchers in countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The program operated jointly by The Miriam Hospital, Brown University and Tufts University since 1993 is part of the Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP). As the international training arm of NIH's HIV research effort, AITRP trains and mentors scientists in developing countries to address the AIDS epidemic primarily through prevention research, combining biomedical and behavioral interventions. There are 29 active AITRP sites nationwide.

The award to the Miriam/Brown/Tufts AITRP supports established research training programs in India, Cambodia, the Philippines and Kenya. A new pilot training program is also being planned in Ghana, according to principal investigator Kenneth H. Mayer, MD, an infectious diseases physician at The Miriam Hospital and director of the Brown University AIDS Program.

"The goal of our program is to provide foreign scientists with the knowledge, skills and information needed to become independent and productive researchers who can address some of the critical HIV/AIDS issues in their home countries," says Mayer, who is also a physician with University Medicine, a professor of medicine and community health at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and medical research director at Fenway Health in Boston.

In this new cycle, the Miriam/Brown/Tufts AITRP will focus on long-term, intensive training tracks to help researchers obtain advanced degrees at Brown and Tufts Universities. Post-doctoral mentored research training courses will also be available in a number of areas, including molecular virology, HIV prevention research and pharmacology. Short-term training tracks are offered in laboratory procedures and specific research techniques.

"Throughout much of the developing world a severe shortage of formally trained public health workers and HIV researchers still exists," says Fogarty director Roger I. Glass, MD, PhD. "This grant will build research training capacity and help reduce the transmission of a disease that is still a serious threat to the lives of millions of people, both here in the U.S. and overseas."

Over the past 17 years, the Miriam/Brown/Tufts AITRP has trained more than 100 clinical, laboratory, behavioral science and public health investigators interested in AIDS research. Collectively, their work has resulted in at least 100 peer-reviewed publications over the past five years. Miriam/Brown/Tufts AITRP trainees have also assumed national leadership positions in some of their countries and several play significant roles in international clinical research networks.


Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes

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