The establishment of the Zambia AIDS Malignancies Diagnosis and Pathogenesis Program (ZAMDAPP) will support the U.S.-Zambia collaborations necessary to develop a robust cancer research infrastructure at Zambia?s Cancer Diseases Hospital (CDH) and University Teaching Hospital (UTH), with an initial focus on Kaposi?s sarcoma (KS) and ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) ? two of the most common occurring HIV/AIDS-associated malignancies in the country. ZAMDAPP will, for the first time, provide a mechanism by which R01-style research projects led by Zambian scientists trained through the Fogarty International AIDS International Research and Training Program (AITRP, D43TW001429) and AIDS Malignancies Training and Research Program (AMTRP, D43TW010354) may be conducted in three areas critical to cancer research ? virology, biostatistics and epidemiology, and cancer diagnostics. The Zambian personnel leading the research projects will benefit from mentoring by U.S. partners and support by a number of research core facilities. ZAMDAPP will leverage strengths in clinical care and treatment at CDH and UTH; strengths in molecular viral oncology research and cancer genomics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and strengths in pathology, epidemiology, and biostatistics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, while extending the work that has been accomplished through AITRP and AMTRP, which provide support for trainees to pursue advanced degrees. In addition to providing research funding, ZAMDAPP will provide diverse training activities in the United States and Zambia to engage the next generation of Zambian cancer researchers, increase local expertise, and enhance the transfer of technology. The partnership will lead to exchanges that build the technical and personnel infrastructure necessary to perform the high-quality and sustainable cancer research desperately needed in Zambia.
Three specific aims will be accomplished: 1) develop the cancer research infrastructure at UTH and CDH through the establishment and enhancement two research core facilities; 2) provide an opportunity for former Fogarty trained fellows to lead hypothesis-driven research projects in the two more prevalent AIDS-associated malignancies, KS and OSSN, with the support of the U.S. partners and the core facilities; and 3) develop a pipeline of next generation Zambian cancer researchers through a) in-country workshops, b) pilot project funding, and c) short-term U.S. technical training. ZAMDAPP will build on successful ongoing Fogarty and National Cancer Institute training programs led by the PI and the leadership team in sub-Saharan Africa; implement a cross-disciplinary research and training program with different training tracks and in-country research projects that pair Zambian and U.S. researchers along with opportunities to conduct hypothesis-driven research projects; and be Zambian driven and benefit from broad local support. Thus, there is strong potential for ZAMDAPP to success in reaching its goal.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION The proposed consortium has a strong potential to improve health outcomes in Zambia by providing the training, mentoring, and infrastructure to develop a strong cancer research program with a focus on Kaposi?s sarcoma and ocular surface squamous neoplasia at the Cancer Disease Hospital.