This is a competitive renewal application from the University of Maryland and the University of Bamako, Mali for continued support for a successful Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Program (GIDRTP), Malaria Research Training in Mali. The overall goal of the program is to build sustainable research capacity at the Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC) at the University of Bamako, Mali. This will be accomplished by continuing to provide malaria research training to junior and now mid-career scientists at the MRTC, filling identified gaps in expertise and capacity at the MRTC, and strengthening the sustainability of malaria research in Mali by developing the ability of MRTC scientists to compete for external research funding. The ultimate result of this training will be to benefit the public health of Mali by strengthening the country's capacity to conduct relevant biomedical research and translate the results of this research into public health tools and policies. The University of Maryland and the University of Bamako have worked in close partnership for 15 years on studies of malaria drug resistance, pathogenesis, immunity, epidemiology, genetics and clinical trials of vaccines and drugs. Since 2005, the scientific core of this collaboration has been provided by an International Collaborations in Infectious Disease Research (ICIDR) grant from NIAID to the University of Maryland and University of Bamako. This successful research partnership has helped create a rich environment for training Malian malaria researchers. The GIDRTP has provided opportunities for dozens of MRTC scientists, including short-term training in the U.S., Europe and Mali, and long-term degree training based both in Mali and in the U.S. The most senior and accomplished of the original Malaria Training Grant trainees has assumed the role of Major Foreign Collaborator on the ICIDR and Mali Program Director on this completing renewal application, providing direct evidence of the training grant's effectiveness. We propose to maintain and extend this successful training program, strengthening a bioinformatics component emphasizing applied human and parasite genomics, genomic epidemiology and evolutionary genetics research. To meet the needs of the MRTC to develop in-house expertise in these fields, including the ability to manage and analyze genomic-scale datasets, one MRTC researcher will undertake PhD training in evolutionary genetics at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Genetics and one in the University of Maryland's Molecular Epidemiology Track in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.
STATEMENT The overall goal of our research training program is to build sustainable malaria research capacity at the Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC) at the University of Bamako, Mali. This will be accomplished by continuing to provide training in malaria research to junior and mid-career scientists at the MRTC, filling identified gaps in expertise and capacity at the MRTC, and strengthening the sustainability of malaria research in Mali by developing the ability of MRTC scientists to compete for external research funding. The ultimate result of this training will be to benefit the public health of Mali by strengthening the country's capacity to conduct relevant biomedical research and translate the results of this research into public health tools and policies.
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