The goal of this 5-year Global Infectious Diseases (GID) training grant proposal is to establish a research and training program in India focused on the study of the interaction of infectious diseases (IDs) with non-communicable diseases (NCD). NCDs, such as diabetes and chronic respiratory illnesses, are rapidly increasing in prevalence in India as the middle class expands, the population ages, and modern medical care and technology become more accessible. However, IDs, including TB and acute respiratory infections, remain a substantial burden. India is also an important center for the development and spread of bacterial resistance. The high frequency of IDs combined with the substantial and growing burden of NCDs drives a need for Indian scientists with an expertise in NCD-associated infectious diseases (NCDAID). This program will be established at JSS University (JSSU), a medical teaching center in Mysore, Karnataka, India, that serves Mysore city and surrounding rural regions of South India. Collaborators include the Public Health Research Institute, India (PHRII), also located in Mysore, and the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) and San Francisco (UCSF). Key personnel at these institutions have ongoing projects and collaborations. This training program will expand the number of faculty and range of projects involved in these collaborations to include projects along two specific tracks: (1) field epidemiology and (2) molecular epidemiology. Projects will initially focus on infectious diseases associated with diabetes mellitus and chronic respiratory illnesses. Masters, medical, or doctoral candidate trainees in the field epidemiology track (1-2 per year) will train in the US for 6 months before returning to India to conduct their field work with support from PHRII and their JSSU mentors. Doctoral trainees will return to the US for up to 12 months to conduct advanced data analyses with their US mentors. We also propose to create a data surveillance and analysis/management system at JSSU that can serve as a long-term training site to study NCDAID in South India. The molecular epidemiology track will include the training of a junior faculty member in the US for 2 years, who will then return to establish a molecular epidemiology laboratory at JSSU. Then, each year a doctoral candidate will be trained for 12 months in the US who will then return to help establish and complete their research in the new JSSU facility. In-country workshops will be held annually for trainees and faculty in molecular epidemiology, data management and analysis, and mentorship. We thus plan to establish a long- term molecular and field epidemiological research capacity at JSSU that can address this emerging ID public health problem resulting from the increasing prevalence of NCDs in India.
The goal of this proposal is to establish a research and training program in Mysore, located in the southern state of Karnataka in India, focused on the study of the interaction of infectious diseases with non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and chronic respiratory disease. As the economy of India advances and its life expectancy increases, non-communicable diseases are growing in prevalence, even while the burden of infectious diseases remains very high. This training program will support post-graduate research, training and capacity building in India to generate a new, focused set of researchers and projects addressing this growing and important health challenge.