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Building Sustainable Translational Research Teams in Hiv-Associated Malignancies

Corey Casper

4 Collaborator(s)

Funding source

National Cancer Institute (NIH)
Cancer is one of the leading complications of HIV infection worldwide. Uganda in particular has among the highest rates of HIV-associated malignancies (HIVAM), but research on HIVAM in Uganda has been limited by a small number of trained scientific leaders and a paucity of research teams with the capacity to conduct research specializing in this field. In 2004, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center initiated a collaboration with the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) known as the Uganda Program on Cancer and Infectious Diseases (UPCID). The collaborative research to date has resulted in a number of research grants and publications in the field. Furthermore, we have developed a successful program to train Ugandan physician-scientists in HIVAM supported by the Fogarty International Center, trained an additional 43 personnel to participate in HIVAM research, and have recently been awarded a grant to from USAID to build a new clinic and training center on the UCI campus. Despite all of our efforts, trained personnel are still lacking in a number of crucial fields. On the foundation of the great need for HIVAM research in Uganda and the strong collaborative program developed in UPCID, we have designed a program to expand training in HIVAM in Uganda. We propose a training program with three components: 1) Training for Research Leaders: Combined long- and short-term training for four future scientific leaders (Principal Investigators) will be conducted over three years in four defined areas relevant to HIVAM research (infection-related cancers, lymphoma, clinical trials, and cancer epidemiology), and will culminate in Doctoral degrees conferred by Makerere which will include courses at University of Washington; 2) Training for Research Managers Combined long-, medium- and short-term trainings to develop the staff required to oversee and support clinical and translational research in HIVAM in four specialized disciplines: Study Managers, Data Managers, Lab Managers, and Pharmacy Managers. Training will include two formal Masters of Public Health degrees from Makerere University and six additional Certificates of Core Competency after extended 3-month internships; 3) Training for Research Implementers: Short-term trainings in Kampala taught jointly by Seattle and Kampala faculty on a quarterly basis in eight disciplines (Administration; Data Management; Regulatory Affairs; Clinical Operations; External Relations and Communications; Community Affairs; Laboratory Operations; Pharmacy Operations). At the end of the award period, 58 persons trained in HIVAM research at all levels and integrated into 4 teams will be ready to conduct independent and collaborative research. RELEVANCE: Cancer is a leading complication of HIV infection worldwide, but the burden of HIV-associated cancers in Uganda is among the highest in the world. For the past five years, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has had a highly productive partnership with the Uganda Cancer Institute. This proposal seeks to train a total of 58 Ugandans in HIV-associated malignancy research at all levels, to establish four teams of researchers prepared to conduct independent and collaborative cutting-edge research in the field.

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