The overarching goal of this proposal is to develop novel architecture for training, wherein the breadth of expertise in Nutrition and Metabolism in HIV that exists at Tufts can be focused on solving current challenges identified in this area at the University of Namibia School of Medicine. We will accomplish this goal through the short and long term training of Faculty and fellows from the Schools of Health Science at UNAM (Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health). UNAM School of Medicine is a young, vibrant and idealistic institution and the timing of this program announcement is superb. Founding such a training program now will allow us to integrate the research training in Nutrition and Metabolism in HIV that it will provide into the fabric of the medical school at UNAM as it grows and develops. The focus of this training program was selected by the entire faculty of the UNAM School of Medicine and the training program proposal has been met with enthusiasm and optimism that support the need for and the desire to have this program in place at UNAM. We propose to recruit and train new investigators from UNAM in the area of Nutrition and Metabolism in HIV with the ability to participate in the translation of the results of the results of this Nutrition and Metabolism research to program development. We propose to develop a program that will build capacity to support a sustainable research training program in the future by training researchers who will be able to obtain independent funding. The proposed training program reflects the productive and vibrant ongoing partnership between Tufts and UNAM, with compelling and unifying interests in innovative means to improve the health of populations including the means to understand and improve nutritional and metabolic health in a country with a high prevalence of HIV and even higher rates of poverty.
The specific aims are:
Aim 1 : To implement short term (3-6 months) and long term (degree) training in Nutrition and Metabolism in HIV at Tufts for fellows from UNAM-SoM, and the Schools of Nursing and Public Health.
Aim 2 : To promote and implement translation of research results of trainees to development of program and policy in Nutrition and Metabolism in HIV.
Aim 3 : To enhance and build institutional capacity UNAM for sustainable training and research in Nutrition and Metabolism in HIV
Nutritional status has a significant impact on health outcomes in HIV infection. Few research training programs address the best means to study these nutrition issues in HIV and we propose a research training program that will provide this expertise at the University of Namibia (UNAM). Rates of HIV and poverty are both extremely high in Namibia so the training program has great potential to improve outcomes for HIV infected individuals.