The research infrastructure in Uganda has expanded considerably in the last decade and Makerere University (MU) in Kampala has become one of the principal academic institutions worldwide for collaborative research on TB and emerging infectious diseases. Currently NIH, CDC, Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, British Medical Research Council and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership provide substantial support for TB and other infectious diseases research in Uganda, including evaluation of new diagnostics; drug treatment regimens; and vaccines and translational studies of pathogenesis and correlates of immunity. As such, most of the training is in clinical epidemiology and study design and none specifically targets the gap in laboratory-based research scientists that will become faculty members, competitive for extramurally funded research programs. Because of identified gaps in training in basic and translational research on TB and emerging infectious diseases, Boston Medical Center (BMC)/Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) sought out and secured funding from the Fogarty International Center to fund capacity building in this area. During this period, three Ugandan scientists received training under the program and are currently pursuing further graduate studies. The program established collaborative links and solidified a joint commitment to co-mentorship of Uganda trainees by BMC/BUSM and MU. Short courses funded under this program have become essential to the training regimen of masters and PhD students and have provided a conduit for discussion with faculty and further recruitment. Despite these strides, there is still a pressing need to continue to expand training opportunities in basic and translational research. For this renewal application, we will make two significant changes. First, we will target medical school graduates who intend to enroll in a PhD program at MU; trainees will be recruited to one or two areas designated as critical for development by the MU faculty and the Program Directors and Scientific Directors. Second, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) has been added as a second site of training. Its addition will provide expertise molecular mechanisms of drug resistance and basic and translational immunology. Above all, our main objective of the program will be to provide trainees with a strong background in basic research skills and knowledge through rigorous targeted coursework coupled with intensive laboratory training in a particular research area. Our training program is tailored to address the current and future TB and emerging infectious disease research needs of MU as well as Uganda as a whole.
Over the last two and a half decades, Makerere University (MU) in Kampala, Uganda has evolved into one of the principal academic institutions worldwide for collaborative research on TB and emerging infectious diseases. Although there is substantial support for clinical research/training and we made considerable strides over the first program period, there remain critical gaps in basic and translational research. This renewal application will help MU continue to develop into a fully self-sufficient partner and leader in diagnostics, treatments, vaccines and understanding the pathogenesis and correlates of protective immunity, and will strengthen research capacity across Uganda as a whole.
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