With sub Saharan Africa's largest population (over 160 million) and 3.5 million infected with HIV, second in the world for HIV/AIDS, Nigeria is the country whose HIV response will make or break the achievement of UNAIDS Fast Track to end the AIDS Epidemic by 2030 goals of 90% diagnosed, 90% on treatment and 90% virally suppressed (90-90-90) by 2020. In the context of the UNAIDS Gap Report (Identifying Populations at Greatest Risk of HIV Infection - Geographic Hotspots and Key Populations) Nigeria's mixed epidemic - low prevalence general epidemic and concentrated high incidence key population epidemic - frames a research training agenda for the current proposal. Epidemiology Research Training for Public Health Impact in Nigeria (Epi-Nigeria) engages a singular focus: building research capacity of IHV-Nigeria a well-qualified LMIC research organization with a current $7.5M research and $66M programmatic budget to impact Nigeria's response. Building upon the 15 year track record of the UM-IHV AITRP that has been foundational to building IHV-Nigeria's International Research Center of Excellence (IRCE), Epi-Nigeria targets two overarching goals - 1) Building capacity of IRCE to rapidly engage in addressing barriers to Fast Track through a certified on line Master of Science in Health Science (MSHS); 2) Investing in the next generation of IHV-Nigeria scientific leaders for long-term scientific impact through targeted PhD training in advanced translational epidemiology. To achieve this goal Specific Aim 1 engages hybrid distance and in-person mentored research training to matriculate 7 MSHS degree candidates employing a Quality Matters certified asynchronous online course available through the University of Maryland Baltimore Graduate School.
Specific aim 2 matriculates 3 PhD candidates in the UMB Graduate School Epidemiology Program for advanced methodologic training.
Specific Aim 3 engages all trainees in focused research training projects linked to strengthening IHV-Nigeria's research capacity for immediate Fast Track impact (MSHS trainees) and PhD thesis research that advances the capacity of next generation leaders to engage cutting edge approaches to emerging challenges. Research training topic areas that trainees develop benefit from access to funded research and programmatic infrastructure. Epi-Nigeria leadership engages Multi-PD Man Charurat PhD and Alash'le Abimiku PhD. Dr. Charurat brings a stellar track record of NIH funded research and research training in Nigeria based at the University of Maryland to complement IHV-Nigeria- based Dr. Abimiku who is internationally recognized for her research and highly regarded leader as Executive Director of IHV-Nigeria's IRCE. The Mentor-to-Mentor paradigm engages international expert faculty to partner with Nigerian academic Adjunct Members of IHV-Nigeria as mentorship teams to guide trainee researchers and to form long-term collaborative partnerships for sustained impact and engagement of trainees on their path to independent scientific productivity.

Public Health Relevance

The current project provides HIV research training to develop the capacity of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHV-Nigeria) to position it as a research leader in achieving global health goals for preventing a resurgence of the epidemic by increasing efficiency of treatment and prevention services.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-H (57)R)
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Bansal, Geetha Parthasarathy
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University of Maryland Baltimore
Internal Medicine/Medicine
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United States
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