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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 13  |  Page : 17

Global health in tropical medicine: Developed at the Center for International Health Research and Exported to the World

Center for International Health Research, Rhode Island Hospital & Brown University Medical School, Providence, RI 02903, USA

Correspondence Address:
Hannah Wu
Center for International Health Research, Rhode Island Hospital & Brown University Medical School, Providence, RI
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.243082

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Center for International Health Research (CIHR) was founded in 2005 with the mission to apply interdisciplinary perspectives to research and training to improve the health of populations in developing countries. CIHR has a fully equipped modern research laboratory located at the Claverick Research Building of the Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University school of Medicine. CIHR faculty have been working on projects trying to understand the mechanisms of morbidity due to parasitic diseases, primarily malaria, and schistosomiasis, among children and pregnant women living in the endemic areas. Vaccine identification and development for falciparum malaria and Asiatic schistosomiasis are another focus of the Center’s goal of improving human health. CIHR has applied a “field to laboratory to field” approach and conducted cutting edge research from basic science to complex biostatistical modeling. This approach collects data in the field, returns samples to the laboratory to understand mechanisms of disease or identify vaccine candidates, and then uses this to design new interventions or test vaccine candidates. Our research project “Schistosoma japonicum and pregnancy outcomes: An RCT” strongly influenced the modification of WHO’s schistosomiasis treatment guideline to pregnancy women. Using whole proteome differential screening approach, we identified pfSEA-1, a promising malaria vaccine candidate with findings published in Science. Our collaborative work with scientists from China and The Philippines, clarified the critical role of water buffalo in schistosomiasis transmission in The Philippines. Our center is currently conducting studies of three vaccine candidates for malaria and schistosomiasis in large animal trials in the US (malaria), and The Philippines and China (schistosomiasis). We have four ongoing NIH funded R01 projects with collaborators from Kenya, the Philippines, and China. We’ve also trained students and scholars from more than five countries. CIHR looks forward to expanding our efforts in combating the tropical diseases with stronger partnership and multinational collaborations.

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