The Vanderbilt-Zambia Network for Innovation in Global Health Technologies (VZNIGHT) will identify and nurture 12 American and Zambian research trainees (4 cohorts of 3) in an integrated training environment to develop and deploy new low-resource diagnostic technologies to enable Zambia to advance its malaria control campaign. Each trainee team will develop and implement its own unique innovative solution for malaria detection in a multidisciplinary environment that includes the basic sciences, engineering sciences, and global health and clinical sciences at Vanderbilt University and multiple Zambia partner institutions, including the Malaria Institute at Macha, the University of Zambia, the National Malaria Control Centre, and the Tropical Diseases Research Centre. Annual tripartite cohorts of US and Zambian postdoctoral researchers - one trainee each from the basic sciences, engineering sciences, and clinical or public health sciences - will be integrated into Vanderbilt's existing low-resource technology development team for a year, during which they will function as the multidisciplinary core of the project team, each contributin and reflecting on the others'perspectives. To effect the translation of research findings into realized products, the cohorts will then validate their technologies in field tests for six months n Zambia, where they will evaluate the effectiveness of the new technologies across the three strata of parasite prevalence - high, medium, and low. Trainees will have myriad formal and informal learning opportunities, including Vanderbilt's Foundational Skills in Global Health course, a special VZNIGHT seminar series, audits of a wide selection of courses to complement their formal training or broaden their multidisciplinary perspective, monthly journal club and research review, and the VU Engineering Management Program's Innovation Strategy Capstone course. We will also conduct short-term trainings in Zambia and the US, including early- and end-of-program training workshops in Zambia for a broad range of scientists on implementation and use of innovative technologies, ethics in research, grant writing, and manuscript writing. We will also bring selected Zambian mentors to Vanderbilt for workshops of 2-4-weeks'duration on topics such as innovative technologies, engineering management, biomedical informatics, and intellectual property. VZNIGHT will establish a network for innovation that develops an ongoing pipeline of technologies and products that improve diagnostic capabilities and assist the Zambian health system to realize its goal of a malaria-free Zambia. By integrating program alumni into multiple Zambia-based institutions (university, rural health systems, Ministry of Health), the expertise developed by VZNIGHT will have a nationwide scope, and linkages to Vanderbilt scientists and future trainees will continue to develop and implement new technologies. Assets including intellectual property rights and licenses will secure long-term benefits to Zambia.

Public Health Relevance

The Vanderbilt-Zambia Network for Innovation in Global Health Technologies (VZNIGHT) will identify and nurture 12 American and Zambian research trainees (4 cohorts of 3) in an integrated training environment to develop and deploy new low-resource diagnostic technologies to enable Zambia to advance its malaria control campaign. Annual tripartite cohorts of US and Zambian postdoctoral researchers - one trainee each from the basic sciences, engineering sciences, and clinical or public health sciences - will develop and implement its own unique innovative solution for malaria detection in a multidisciplinary environment that includes the basic sciences, engineering sciences, and global health and clinical sciences at Vanderbilt University and multiple Zambia partner institutions. VZNIGHT will establish a network for innovation that develops an ongoing pipeline of technologies and products that improve diagnostic capabilities and assist the Zambian health system to realize its goal of a malaria-free Zambia.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Type
International Research Training Grants (D43)
Project #
5D43TW009348-02
Application #
8531372
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-X (50))
Program Officer
Katz, Flora N
Project Start
2012-08-07
Project End
2017-07-31
Budget Start
2013-08-07
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$331,259
Indirect Cost
$23,881
Name
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Department
Pediatrics
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
004413456
City
Nashville
State
TN
Country
United States
Zip Code
37212
Davis, K M; Gibson, L E; Haselton, F R et al. (2014) Simple sample processing enhances malaria rapid diagnostic test performance. Analyst 139:3026-31