The study of tropical diseases is by its very nature international. Areas that are endemic for various tropical diseases often widely circumscribe the globe, and they also stray afield to more temperate climes when they take up residence in some of the millions of visitors to the tropics or in those from the tropics who immigrate or visit other regions of the world.
Regardless of how one looks at these diseases, almost all of the research and education within CTEGD inherently involves considering international aspects of biomedical and public health issues.
Field Research Sites
CTEGD has a number of internationally based research projects that combine investigations at the University of Georgia with on-site studies. Sites include:
In 2014, Dr. Docampo received a São Paulo Excellence Chair (SPEC) Award from the São Paulo Research Foundation in São Paulo, Brazil to establish a laboratory at the State University of Campinas in Brazil.
A long standing collaboration exists between the Tarleton Lab at UGA and the Laucella Lab in Argentina. A project to study immune responses of patients in Argentina to potential Trypanosoma cruzi vaccine or diagnostic candidates and to attempt to correlate immunity with disease severity in patients with Chagas disease was funded as part of the NIH-sponsored Tropical Disease Research Unit grant. The two labs continue to collaborate on various NIH-sponsored projects.
Mosquito net in Kenya (Image: Thomas Ormandi)
Dr. Moore’s laboratory is funded by the NIH to study the basic biology and immunology of placental malaria in Kenya, where it is a major predisposing factor to low-birth weight and contributor to vertical transmission of HIV-1 infections to newborns.
Dr. Colley’s research program, also in Kenya, is determining the immune responses of people who are occupationally at high risk to develop schistosomiasis. The goals of the research are to discover which immune mechanisms might be best to induce with vaccine candidates and to determine the impact schistosomiasis on routine immunizations of neonates and adults.
Dr. Lammie is actively pursuing the elimination of lymphatic filariasis from Haiti, Guyana, American Samoa, and Brazil, while also studying the basic immunobiology of the host/parasite interactions in this chronic worm infection. The latter studies are trying to better understand the mechanisms that lead to severe morbidity in lymphatic falariasis. Conversation: Patrick Lammie and CDC Director.
In 2014, Dr. Kissinger received a Brazilian Special Visiting Professor Award from Brazil’s national science agency, CNPq, as part of their “Science Without Borders” program. The award will continue to fund an almost 20 year collaboration between the Kissinger lab and Dr. Guilherme Oliveira’s lab at the FIOCRUZ. They will expand SchistoDB to include all the flatworms and integrate it into the EuPathDB.org family of databases. Professor receives award.
In addition to the full-fledged research collaboration with investigators in universities and research institutes around the globe, members of CTEGD also have a web of international connections that often involve the exchange of students and research materials. These networks include:
University of Ghana
University of Ghana
National Museums of Kenya
Fatala Chaben Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Universidad de Valle in Guatemala City
Nation School of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bamako, Mali
Federal University of Penambuco in Recife, Brazil
Centro de Pesquisas, Rene Rachou/FIOCRUZ in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Centro Internacional de Investigaciones Medical (CIDEIM) in Cali, Colombia