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Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Fellowship Site Directors:
Warren Johnson, Jr., MD, Weill Cornell Medical College
Jose Lapa e Silva, MD, PhD, MSc, FURJ

Site Contact:
Lindsey Reif

Site Specialties: Infectious diseases, tuberculosis 


 

Site Highlights:

  • Weill Cornell Medical College has participated in a research and training program with the Federal U. of Rio de Janeiro since 1994.  This program has trained >100 Brazilians and produced >110 research publications.  The program has focused on tuberculosis and on the training of Brazilian investigators in epidemiology, surveillance, clinical trials, and diagnostics, with the overall goal of strengthening TB and TB/HIV research capacity in Brazil.  Highlights of resources include:
  • Three modern cell and molecular biology research laboratories; one Clinical Mycobacteriology Laboratory
  • One Level-2 and two level-3 Mycobacterium laboratories
  • Two immunogenetics laboratories
  • One TB Outpatient Clinic, with 1500 sq. ft. of area with biosafety infrastructure to deal with MDR-TB patients, which comprise routine, research and training tracks
  • Seven full-time medical school faculties, five full-time physicians, eight full-time nurses, 25 part-time collaborators, and 21 other health care workers and administrative staff.  Over 50 undergraduate or graduate students are currently training in the TB Program.
  • The HTCP performs multidisciplinary research and training in prevention and control of TB in the hospital setting. The FURJ Clinical Medicine graduate program offers training leading to masters and PhD degrees.

The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (FURJ) is ranked the third most important research university in Brazil due to its track record on high level graduate education, mainly doctorates, and its scientific output. The Medical School of the FURJ has a long history of excellence in training and research. It is now ranked by the Ministry of Education as one of the top medical school in the country based on evaluations of its graduate physicians and on-site examinations. Its Graduate training programs are also highly reputed. In September 2010, the triennial evaluation of its Clinical Medicine Graduate Program by CAPES/Ministry of Education resulted in a grade of 7 (of a maximum of 7) for the third consecutive time in recognition of its undisputed excellence in research, training, and international collaborations. The current ICOHRTA grant utilizes this program extensively to confer masters and doctorate degrees to its trainees, in a system that is inexpensive, reliable, and helps to build research competence and in the long run, sustainability.

FURJ and Cornell have been working together for many years in training and research in TB and TB/HIV in Brazil through several Fogarty International Center research training programs. The investigators have also received research grants from other NIH Institutes and Centers (including ICIDR), CDC, FDA, USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the European Union.  In Brazil, several other projects have been awarded, including the prestigious Millennium Institute of Sciences, now National Science and Technology Institute in Tuberculosis, to the Brazilian Tuberculosis Research Network (REDE-TB, 2003-2013) and the PRONEX, Program of Excellent Nuclei in Research in 2000, 2004, and 2007.  The Weill Cornell Division of International Medicine & Infectious Diseases has over 45 years experience in International training in Brazil and many other countries.

The FURJ/Cornell collaboration started in 1993 with Dr. Kritski and Dr. Riley. In 1997, Dr. Kritski and Dr. Lapa e Silva were invited to participate as Faculty members of three Fogarty projects in the areas of Emerging Infectious Diseases, AIDS and TB. Since 1998, a total of 60 Brazilian students received research training supported by Cornell/Fogarty, as short training, short courses, long training in the US, or long in-country training.  Dr. Lapa e Silva was appointed in 2003 Adjunct Professor of Immunology in Medicine at Cornell.

US students also developed their research projects in Rio. The Academic Program of Tuberculosis (APTB) at FURJ was created in 2002, unifying FURJ’s Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU), the Hospital TB Control Program (HTCP), the medical school’s discipline of TB and the area of TB of the Graduate Program on Clinical Medicine. The TBRU, organized in 1995 by Drs. Kritski and Lapa e Silva, performs research and training in molecular and cell biology and health services research. The Unit has today seven full-time Medical School faculties, five full-time physicians, eight full-time nurses, 25 part-time collaborators, and 21 other health care workers and administrative staff.  Over 50 undergraduate or graduate students are currently training in the TB Program. The Unit has three research laboratories and one Clinical Mycobacteriology Laboratory. The HTCP performs multidisciplinary research and training in prevention and control of tuberculosis in the hospital setting. The Clinical Medicine graduate program of FURJ offers training leading to masters and PhD degrees. APTB has a TB Outpatient Clinic, with 1500 sq. ft. of area with biosafety infrastructure to deal with DR-TB patients, which comprise routine, research and training tracks.

Current and potential future research opportunities for Global Health Fellows:

U2R TW006883-06
NIH/FIC
Innovative approaches for tuberculosis control in Brazil
This is the Comprehensive award of the ICOHRTA AIDS/TB program.

National Institute of Science and technology in TB
CNPq
This grant from the Brazilian Research Council is the continuation of the Millennium Institute of Science.

Priorities for Rio de Janeiro
FAPERJ/Rio de Janeiro Research Funding Agency
Informatization of tuberculosis diagnosis using neural networks. Establishment and operational testing of decision trees bases in neural networks for the diagnosis of TB in outreach health posts and other special settings as prisons.


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