Contact PD/PI: Becker-Dreps, Sylvia Abstract t The growing, global impact of emerging and endemic viral diseases is a critical public health issue. The explosive spread of zika virus throughout Latin America and the Caribbean in 2015 followed only two years after a similar pattern of spread of chikungunya virus. In 2017, yellow fever virus from Amazon regions emerged in Rio de Janeiro, underscoring the risk of a major urban outbreak. In addition to these emerging and reemerging viruses, endemic viruses continue to cause a high burden of disease. Caliciviruses are now the leading causes of childhood diarrhea in Nicaragua, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus continue to cause a high burden of respiratory disease, and all four dengue serotypes are now endemic. We have designed a program to train a cadre of innovative scientists in Nicaragua to confront these emerging and endemic pathogens of high priority to the LMIC institution. The rationale for this program is to protect the public health of populations by increasing the numbers and expertise of local scientists to 1) describe the epidemiology of these viral pathogens, 2) understand their impact on morbidity and mortality, and 3) identify evidence-based approaches to reduce their prevalence and burden of disease. The Nicaraguan Emerging and Endemic Diseases (NEED) Training Program takes advantage of the convergence of a longstanding relationship between Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Nicaragua, Len (UNAN-Len) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), existing collaborative research for trainee projects, and strong bilateral institutional support. The program?s objectives include: 1) Provide long-term, pre-doctoral training in infectious disease epidemiology at UNC to two young investigators from UNAN-Len. These graduates will contribute to the core research faculty at UNAN-Len to address pressing local research agendas; 2) Create a sustainable supply of well-trained biomedical scientists in the region by establishing an accredited PhD program in Biomedical Sciences at UNAN- Len; we will enroll five pre-doctoral candidates in the initial cohort. This program builds upon a successful Master?s program of Microbiology in place at UNAN-Len and fills a huge need in Nicaragua for rigorous PhD- level biomedical research training. We further support five of these pre-doctoral trainees for one-month long laboratory trainings at UNC. 3) Foster professional growth and research skills development among 140 trainees of all levels, including local faculty, to ensure academic and research success. Robust short-term trainings in professional and research skills needed to become an independent investigator and successful academician are provided to both trainees and local faculty to ensure that the program?s impacts extend more broadly. This program will result in a multidisciplinary research team at UNAN-Leon to confront the emerging and endemic viral diseases that affect public health both regionally and globally. Our approach is made feasible by leveraging an existing successful Master?s program at UNAN-Len and by providing trainees the opportunity to partner with mentors at both UNC and UNAN-Len on a growing array of collaborative research projects.
Contact PD/PI: Becker-Dreps, Sylvia Project Narrative e Emerging and endemic viral infections are a growing threat to global public health. To respond to this threat, we propose to train a cadre of world-class scientists to understand, control, and prevent life-threatening viral infections through the Nicaraguan Emerging and Endemic Diseases (NEED) Training Program. The goals of the Program are to: 1) train young Nicaraguan scientists in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and 2) create a sustainable supply of scientists in the region by establishing an accredited PhD program in Biomedical Sciences at the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Nicaragua, Len, 3) foster professional growth and development among trainees and local faculty to ensure academic and research success.