. The huge burden of communicable diseases on the African continent is largely made up of HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The trio of diseases alone is creating societal and economic instability in most African countries across all age groups, and particularly in children. Most recent UNAIDS estimates of the global burden of HIV are that 36.9 million people are currently living with HIV-1 infection and 25.8 million of them reside in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The implementation of anti- retroviral therapy of HIV-1 infected people, which are necessary short-term solutions, comes with complications of costs and iatrogenic effects of drugs, and is not a long-term solution to stop the epidemic in SSA. HIV prevention remains critical to turn the tide of HIV infections and an effective vaccine against HIV-1 is desperately needed. The ability of HIV-1 to escape immune responses represents a complex and challenging hurdle that needs to be resolved so that a protective vaccine regimen can be developed. Similarly, continuous efforts are required to develop vaccines that would mitigate HIV-1 co-morbidities of TB and malaria. In 2015, the Office of AIDS Research announced priority areas of investigations into reducing the incidence of HIV, including the development of safe and effective HIV vaccines and research training of the workforce (NOT-OD-15-137; http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-137.html). In this application, we propose to train young scientists in Africa to fill the gap in ongoing efforts to build scientific literacy on the continent and to enhance the ability to perform immunology research. As the NIH is sponsoring several basic research projects as well as clinical vaccine trials in Africa, we believe that the proposed Infectious Disease in Africa symposia will lead to increased scientific knowledge and will help build future scientific leaders on the Continent. On the back of two rounds of 3-year funding (and 6 IDA symposia), we now propose a further set of symposia, where the overarching aims are: 1) to provide cutting-edge knowledge in the fields of HIV vaccine development and related aspects of malaria and TB; and 2) to foster scientific leadership on the African Continent. We are proposing a set of three IDA symposia that will take place in Cape Town, South Africa and we will focus on specific topics for each meeting. In the first IDA symposium, we will focus on mechanisms of HIV escape from the immune system and how this represents a major challenge for vaccine development. With our prior experience, we have developed a unique approach of student:teacher mentorship which involves a blend of on-line learning and contact time focused on round-table discussions.
. HIV prevention remains critical to turn the tide of HIV infections and an effective vaccine against HIV-1 is desperately needed. The ability of HIV-1 to escape immune responses represents a sophisticated hurdle that has to be resolved to develop a protective vaccine regimen. Similarly, continuous effort is required to develop vaccines that will impact HIV-1 co-morbidities represented by TB and malaria These initiatives will be based on the effort provided by young African scientists. The proposed IDA symposia will fill a gap in the ongoing effort of building scientific literacy on the continent and enhancing the acumen of performing immunology research by providing focused scientific training to the young African scientists. We believe that the proposed symposia will lead to increased scientific knowledge and will help build future scientific leaders on the Continent that will support the NIH effort (among many agencies) to perform clinical vaccine trials in Africa. In this grant, we now propose a further set of symposia, where the overarching aims of the IDA symposia are: 1) to continue to provide cutting-edge knowledge in the fields of HIV vaccine development and related aspects of malaria and TB; and 2) to foster scientific leadership on the African Continent.
|Nemes, Elisa; Burgers, Wendy A; Riou, Catherine et al. (2016) Teaching advanced flow cytometry in Africa: 10 years of lessons learned. Cytometry A 89:971-974|
|Vinikoor, Michael J; Cope, Anna; Gay, Cynthia L et al. (2013) Antiretroviral therapy initiated during acute HIV infection fails to prevent persistent T-cell activation. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 62:505-8|