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Zambian Cervical Cancer Research Capacity Initiative

Groesbeck P Parham

1 Collaborator(s)

Funding source

National Cancer Institute (NIH)
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) propose to increase research capacity, in the area of HIV-associated malignancies, within the Zambian Ministry of Health's only tertiary and cancer specialty hospitals - the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and Cancer Diseases Hospital (CDH), both located in Lusaka. Our proposal specifically focuses on building research capacity around cervical cancer because it is an AIDS-defining disease, the cancer most commonly diagnosed in Zambia, and the leading cause of cancer-related death among Zambian women. The research training that will be provided by the proposed program is strategically designed to provide a significant opportunity to develop and retain investigators within Zambian public health institutions. Our vision is to ultimately facilitate the creation of a Zambian HIV-Associated Malignancies Clinical Trials Unit, based at the Cancer Diseases Hospital that will be able to attract research support. We will offer training to a number of Zambian clinical and technical staff, Including six senior investigators, six junior investigations, four laboratory technicians, and ten study coordinators/research associates, through a variety of means. We will foster a multidisciplinary approach to cervical cancer research by focusing our training in the following six medical disciplines, each with a dedicated UAB mentor and a senior and junior Zambian investigator: radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, pathology, virology, nutrition, epidemiology and biostatistics. Our approach to building research capacity includes: (1) professional mentoring and exchange visit opportunities to UAB for six senior Zambian investigators, all in positions to influence and direct future research within the country; (2) year-long fellowships at UAB for six junior Zambian investigators, including a six-month course in clinical and translational science research methodology for all trainees; (3) an eighteen-month in-country research practicum for junior investigators, during which time they will complete an independent research study project and develop a manuscript, under the guidance of their UAB mentors and senior Zambian investigators and (4) an intensive three-month training for two cyto-histologic and two radiation therapy technicians at UAB. Additionally, we will offer a 36 week distance-based education course to train Zambian research associates/study coordinators and a 2 week web-based course in translational science for UTH and CDH staff interested in conducting research PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: RELEVANCE (See instructions): This program aims to create a cadre of Zambian investigators who will have the capacity and support to research critical questions around the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer as an AIDS defining malignancy, within Zambian healthcare institutions.

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