Syphilis has become the most commonly reported communicable disease in most major cities of South China, drawing attention to the resurgence of STDs all over the country. This unique region has massive rural-to- urban migration and poverty, yet also holds exceptional domestic resources for STD control. Drawing on a long history of collaborative US-China STD training and research, this training grant will formalize the UNC- South China STD Research Training Center. The Center will focus on classical STDs (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, human papillomavirus) as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. STD pathogenesis, clinical science, epidemiology, and social science will be included. Incorporating social and policy STD expertise within the Training Center faculty acknowledges the broader policy and development issues that must be part of successful US-China collaboration and positions the initiative within a larger health diplomacy framework. A rich history of UNC-trained physicians leading STD training in China and a growing pool of UNC-trained STD mentors create a strong foundation for UNC Project-China to build this Training Center. UNC and local South China consortia partners (Guangdong STD Control Center, Number Eight People's Hospital, and Sun Yat-sen University) will launch the first 10-day STD research training course in May 2012 with 30 selected junior Chinese investigators, 12 UNC training faculty, and 14 Chinese training faculty. This D43 grant will then support qualified junio Chinese investigators to take part in the following annually repeated sequence: 1) subsequent iterations of an intensive 10-day course short-term training course building research capacity and linking mentees with mentors;2) among six selected qualified trainees who complete short-term training, medium-term training (3-6 months) focused on preparing research protocols and obtaining ethical approval;3) among six selected qualified trainees who have completed medium-term training, long-term (1-2 years) training focused on undertaking mentored STD research and enhancing career development. Separate pathways for predoctoral trainees, postdoctoral trainees, and MD trainees acknowledge their distinct training needs and different career trajectories. Our Center unites STD medicine, public health, and implementation in order to improve multidisciplinary research capacity and increase the likelihood of junior Chinese investigators directly applying for Chinese and US grants. A substantial resource commitment from Guangzhou consortia partners increases the likelihood of success.
PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: China has a substantial burden of STDs that demand further research and training. This research training grant will nurture the development of the next generation of STD research leaders in South China.
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