This proposal represents a renewal of a current ITGH D43 collaborative training partnership between researchers at the University of Georgia, the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-FIOCRUZ in Rio de Janeiro, the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and the Centro de Pesquisas Rene Rachou (CPqRR) - FIOCRUZ in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The CPqRR currently has 14 laboratories and 5 funded NIH research awards. The goal of this training proposal is to establish a sustainable core infrastructure at the CPqRR in the areas of bioinformatics, epidemiology and molecular evolution that will complement existing NIH-funded research and facilitate research conducted in other laboratories. The focus of research at the CPqRR Is tropical parasites, their vectors and their hosts. These organisms include: Plasmodium sp., Trypanosoma cruzi. Toxoplasma gondii, Schistosoma mansoni. Anopheles, Blomphalaria and Humans. This proposal is designed to meet the needs ofthe CPqRR by continuing a very productive training program that involves pre-and post-doctoral students from many of the 14 laboratories at the CPqRR for an additional 5 years. Advanced training will be conducted via workshops, courses, short- and long-term training both within Brazil and abroad. Training will involve collaborative research projects originating from the needs of the CPqRR and focusing on several aspects of schistosomiasis. The unifying project for this training will be the continued maintenance and extension (to include population diversity and other "omics" data) of a Schistosoma genome database created and housed the CPqRR during the first phase of the training award. Molecular evolution training will focus on the Schistosome vector, Blomphalaria and epidemiological/biostatistlcal data will be derived and analyzed from existing funded projects. The technology and knowledge acquired from this training and implementation exercise will be directly applicable to research on other parasitic organisms. We will proactively seek out well qualified candidates for training that have a strong desire to return and contribute their newly acquired expertise to the continuation of a newly founded Center of Bioinformatics.
The need for new drug and vaccine targets for parasitic diseases is tremendous. Advances in technology have provided us with new data that cover many aspects of the biology of the parasites. But, the new data are complex and require sophisticated computational analyses and databases. This proposal is designed to train a new generation of researchers in endemic areas to use this new data to help cure disease.
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