Tuberculosis (TB) has emerged as an enormous public health problem in the independent and democratic country of Georgia, a former Soviet republic. High rates of multidrug resistant (MDR)-TB have been demonstrated in Georgia in large part through investigations carried out by Fogarty trainees supported by the Emory-Georgia TB Research Training Program (EGTB-RTP). TB control efforts are further challenged by the emergence of extensive drug resistant (XDR)-TB in Georgia. Considerable progress has been made in establishing a solid foundation to support TB research in Georgia over the past four years. This renewal application for the EGTB-RTP is submitted to obtain additional funding to build upon the achievements made in the first grant cycle and further expand the in-country TB research and public health infrastructure and capacity which will allow Georgian investigators to carry out internationally relevant TB-related research and translate research findings into practice and public policy in Georgia.
Specific aims of this application include: 1) To continue to build human resource capacity and enhance the research infrastructure for high quality TB-related research in Georgia by providing long, medium and short-term research training and research opportunities;this includes opportunities for research training in relevant laboratory, clinical, epidemiologic and social science TB-related research;2) To transition the focus of TB-related research training to in-country training in Georgia;3) To enhance and greatly expand the capacity to carry out TB-related translational research in Georgia (including Tl "bench to beside" research and T2 and T3 "bedside to community" research which includes Implementation Science research);4) To enhance in-country research ethics training in Georgia;and 5) To enhance opportunities for multidisciplinary TB-related research and collaboration among investigators and among several key institutions in Georgia including the National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Disease/National TB Program;the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health;the Infectious Diseases, AIDS, and Clinical Immunology Research Center;and Tbilisi State Medical University.
By building TB research capacity in Georgia, trainees will be able to enhance the public health infrastructure through translation of research into practice and public policy. In addition, they will be capable of conducting high quality internationally-recognized research including translational research and Implementation Science research. This will allow better targeting of funds from the Global Fund and other programs.
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