Yale AIDS Research Program Receives $1.5 Million Award to Establish Research Collaboration with South African University
The Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) has received a five-year, $1.5 million award from the Fogarty International Center to establish an HIV research and training collaboration with the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
The Fogarty grant is called the International Clinical, Operational and Health Services Research and Training Award (ICOHRTA). It is an innovative program to support integrated multidisciplinary, clinical, operational and health services research and training collaborations between U.S. institutions and those in developing countries, as well as between U.S. institutions and those in emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, Russia and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union.
The ICOHRTA grant will allow the center to bring postdoctoral and junior faculty-level fellows from the University of Pretoria to Yale to work with mentors and develop research projects that they will then conduct in South Africa. The University of Pretoria fellows will come from faculties of law, including human rights; medicine; and humanities, including the social sciences. CIRA will also send Yale faculty to South Africa for up to three months to participate in training of South African researchers and more intensive mentoring on specific research projects. The ICOHRTA will also support the launching of pilot project research in South Africa.
Over 4.7 million people, or one in four adults, are currently thought to be living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. This number is higher than in any other country and is expected to double over the next decade.
“The extent of the epidemic in South Africa is staggering and presents many challenges,” said CIRA Associate Director Kim Blankenship, associate research scientist in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine. The ICOHRTA can help us address these challenges by establishing an institutional relationship that we hope to build on over time. It is intended to strengthen the research capacity of South African institutions and investigators and encourage the development of research collaboration between Yale and the University of Pretoria.”
The principal investigator on the ICOHRTA is Michael H. Merson, M.D., dean of public health, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine, and the Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health.