We will establish a Fogarty HIV-associated Tuberculosis Training Program at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in partnership with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) building on existing research collaborations between these institutions to provide HIV-associated TB (HIV-TB) training at UCT. The Program will address the following needs: more clinician scientists/researchers need to be trained to develop the next generation of scientific leaders in HIV-TB at UCT; there is an urgent need to accelerate transformation of the demographic composition of researchers at UCT to redress disparities that persist from apartheid; and there are specific training requirements in high-end analytical methods needed to lift UCT's capacity to the next level. Five focus areas for training have been chosen: 1) Clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, including HIV-TB diagnostic research; 2) Advanced epidemiology and modelling of the HIV- TB epidemic and interventions; 3) Clinical pharmacokinetics of HIV and TB drugs and their interactions, including pharmacogenomics and genetic epidemiology; 4) Translational research of the immunopathogenesis of HIV-TB co-infection and disease; and 5) Epidemiological and pathogenesis research of hypersensitivity reactions to HIV-TB drugs. We will provide 11 PhD fellowships (2 to medical students; 5 to medical doctors; 4 to basic scientists) and 4 post-doctoral fellowships, spread across the five focus areas, with shared mentorship from the partner institutions as long-term training. Of these 15 fellowships, 10 will be targeted to emerging black HIV-TB researchers. We will offer the following medium-term training opportunities: 5-10 month training periods at US institutions to learn a laboratory or analytical method for 4 trainees; attendance at the JHU Graduate Summer Institute of Epidemiology and Biostatistics for 6 trainees; and web-based epidemiology and biostatistics courses. Short-term training will include short courses on topics including grant writing and management, career coaching, observational epidemiology, biostatistics, and genetic epidemiology. A novel aspect of our Program will be an ?Entry into HIV-TB research? course for 5th year medical students followed by ongoing contact and participation in an HIV-TB Pharmacovigilance Network, with the objective of having the most talented and committed students return to UCT to develop careers in HIV-TB research. This student program will emphasize opportunities for black students. There will be two-monthly research seminars and an annual symposium. The Program will be led by Dr. Meintjes (PI) with a nine-member Coordinating Committee representing all partner institutions. Oversight will be provided by a Training Advisory Committee (TAC) chaired by Dr. Heimburger (VUMC) and with four other members (Drs. Mayosi, Mizrahi, Young, and Beyrer). An annual structured evaluation process will assess individual development and overall Program outputs, outcomes and performance, and will involve a written report to and feedback from the TAC, which the PI and Coordinating Committee will use to improve the Program.

Public Health Relevance

South Africa has among the highest incidence of HIV-associated tuberculosis in the world, with this condition being the leading cause of death in South Africa. For this Fogarty HIV-associated Tuberculosis Training Program, the University of Cape Town will partner with Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University Medical Centre to provide training opportunities that develop the next generation of researchers working on the epidemiology, treatment issues and immunology of HIV and tuberculosis interaction. In the Training Program we will place strong emphasis on training clinician scientists/researchers, attracting medical students to HIV-associated tuberculosis research, and on demographic transformation of the research platform to redress disparities persisting from apartheid.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Bansal, Geetha Parthasarathy
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University of Cape Town
South Africa
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