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UGA's Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases receives grant to train Brazilian scientists

The Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases (CTEGD) at the University of Georgia has received a $1.2 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center to provide informatics training to Brazilian researchers. The grant will help a Brazilian ministry of health laboratory (the Centro de Pesquisas Ren Rachou FIOCRUZ) develop both the infrastructure and the scientific expertise to apply advanced information management technologies to tropical disease research.

"There is a critical need for training in the area of parasitic diseases," said Dan Colley, director of CTEGD. "Students trained in bioinformatics in the countries most affected by these diseases will help provide the needed researchers to do future cutting-edge science on these major public health problems."

The first trainee, computer scientist Adriana de Andrade Oliveira, is slated to arrive at UGA by January.

"We envision training a total of 22 people," said Jessica Kissinger, assistant professor of genetics at UGA and principal investigator. "The goal isn't just to train a few people to do something. It is to make this place [the collaborating laboratory in Brazil] self-sustainable by the end of five years."

Collaborating institutions include UGA, George Washington University and the FIOCRUZ (Brazil's ministry of health) in Rio de Janeiro (IOC) and Belo Horizonte (CPqRR).

Participants in this program will come from the FIOCRUZ laboratory in Belo Horizonte, a research facility that specializes in studies of tropical parasites, their vectors and their hosts. During the five-year project, trainees will develop the analysis infrastructure to support two NIH-funded studies already underway on the parasitic worm that causes schistosomiasis, a tropical disease that affects more than 200 million people worldwide.

The grant will provide trainees with opportunities to work in laborator
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Contact: Kim Carlyle
kcarlyle@uga.edu
706-583-0913
University of Georgia
16-Dec-2004


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