Eduardo M. da Cruz, Professor of Pediatrics (Pediatric Cardiology & Intensive Care), Associate Medical Director for the Heart Institute and Head of the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine is the President and Chair of the Board of Surgeons of Hope Foundation (SoH), a United Nations-affiliated Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the care of indigent children with congenital and acquired heart diseases in low income countries. He has developed and implemented a project at the Hospital La Mascota in Managua, Nicaragua since 2008, in collaboration with other leaders from Children’s Hospital Colorado, the members of SoH’s Board and National and International experts in the field, and in partnership with multiple organizations, including project CURE, based in Denver. The project has provided equipment and disposables, trained the local interdisciplinary team (local training, multiple medical and surgical missions throughout the year, training of the local leaders in reference centers in Latin America), and has built a state-of-the-art Pediatric Cardiac Center (in collaboration with the Nicaraguan and the Spanish Governments) that was opened in June 2013. This center includes an outpatient clinic and an in-patient area with critical adjacencies consisting of 2 operating rooms, 1 cardiac catheterization laboratory, 1 anesthesia suite, a 9 bed ICU, a 14 bed cardiac ward, and facilities for patient families. The program is evolving towards self-sustainability as it strives to become a regional reference for the management of cardiac patients, and is currently developing peripheral clinics for the identification of new patients, prevention of rheumatic fever and education regarding prevention of cardiovascular disease, and follow-up of surgical patients. A low-budget telemedicine network that will allow the liaison between the peripheral clinics, the Hospital La Mascota and centers in the USA and in Europe is being developed, as well as the concept of Artificial Intelligence for humanitarian purposes. The near future will bring expansion of the satellite clinics towards other Central American countries with the objective of centralizing interventions in Managua, where it is expected that the local team will be proficient to manage the most common diseases within 10 years. SoH has also successfully intervened in Costa Rica where current surgical and interventional outcomes are comparable with those in the USA, and is also working on the inception of new projects in other countries in Latin America (Panama, Peru, Paraguay). These projects have no end date. Dr. da Cruz can be contacted at email@example.com.
SESKO is an ongoing collaborative research project that includes investigators at the University of Colorado Cancer Center (UCCC) and the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) to initiate a systems biology approach to the study of AIDS-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma (AIDS-KS) in an African setting. AIDS-KS is the third leading cause of mortality in antiretroviral treatment programs in southern Africa. Zimbabweans with AIDS-KS have 16% two-year mortality and are at increased risk for death and loss-to-follow-up. The lung is a commonly involved visceral organ in AIDS-KS, however diagnosis of pulmonary KS in African settings is difficult because of limited diagnostic capabilities and overlapping clinical and radiographic findings with common lung infections. The overall goal of SESKO is to generate new information about the diagnosis of pulmonary disease in AIDS-KS patients. SESKO is funded through a supplement to the (UCCC) P30 award to complete the following aims: 1) Estimate the prevalence of pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma, pulmonary tuberculosis and other lung infections in Zimbabweans with AIDS-KS. 2) Conduct a pilot study to assess the performance of a novel proteomics screen to identify plasma proteins associated with AIDS-KS outcomes in Zimbabwe. 3) Create a resource of clinical data and biological samples for future unbiased proteomic, transcriptome and genetic screens to better understand the molecular basis for AIDS-KS outcomes in Zimbabwe. This project will end January 2018. Dr. Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Matergia, MD, Senior Investigator at the Center for Global Health, Colorado School of Public Health, is a co-investigator on this project. Ten to twenty percent of all children suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition, the
majority of which will remain undiagnosed and untreated. Innovative care models are urgently needed to address this challenge. We are conducting a trial to establish the feasibility of training classroom teachers to deliver evidence-based mental health care as a first step in overcoming the treatment gap and increasing access to care for children in resource-limited settings. This intervention is being tested in rural primary schools of the Darjeeling Himalayas of India. This project will be completed in December 2018.
Susan B Rifkin, PhD, adjunct faculty at the Colorado School of Public Health and a Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Social Psychology, at the London School of Economics, in conjunction with Pat Pridmore, Institute of Education, London has been working to develop training programs for participatory planning and research.
Sheana Salyers Bull, PhD, MPH, Professor, Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, is a co-investigator in this project, which is being run by “Internet solutions for kids” in California, with Dr. Michele Ybarra as the Principal Investigator. CyberSenga is a comprehensive sexuality education program tailored to middle school aged youth in rural Uganda, where HIV prevalence is greater than 5%. The “senga” in Ugandan culture is the name given to the maternal aunt in families, and she is responsible for mentoring young people and offering advice as they come of age. Because families are often separated because of migration, the senga isn’t always accessible—and young people don’t have good access to complete and personalized sexuality education. With the growing reliance on and access to computers and the internet in rural Uganda and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, CyberSenga offers youth an opportunity to learn what they need to about sexuality in a private and personalized way. The program offers games, quizzes, and fun ways to interact with this serious content. The project is led by Dr. Michele Ybarra, CEO of Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc., in California and investigators include Dr. Julius Kiwanuka of Mbarara University of Science and Technology. CyberSenga will test whether youth can improve sexual risk behaviors after being exposed to the program; future technology based efforts can be expanded throughout Uganda and East Africa to facilitate prevention of HIV. This project began in 2008 and ended December 2012. Dr. Bull can be reached at email@example.com.
Darna L Dufour, PhD, Professor, Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, is supervising a PhD student, Michaela Howells, in a study of the effects of psychosocial stress on gestation length and pregnancy outcome (birth weight and infant anthropometrics). The study is longitudinal and using fertility monitors to determine the most likely timing of ovulation, a biomarker of implantation, and multiple measure of psychosocial stress including Epstein-Barr virus antibodies, a questionnaire-based measure of status incongruence and a standardized questionnaire-based measure of psychosocial stress.
Opisthorchis viverrini is a water-borne parasite found in Asia that causes bile duct cancer. People become infected from consuming raw or undercooked fish. We are working to understand the sources of exposure to the parasite. Where do people obtain infected fish and how are the fish habitats contaminated with the parasite? Answers to these questions can inform disease control programming. This research is being conducted in collaboration with investigators at Khon Kaen University in Thailand and the University of California, Berkeley. This project is slated to run until summer 2017, with potential to continue for another year. You can contact Dr. Carlton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sara Yeatman, PhD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, is an investigator on this project being conducted between 2008-2013 in Balaka, Malawi. Despite the severity of the AIDS epidemic and the centrality of pregnancy and fertility to life in sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about how AIDS and its consequences alter reproductive goals and strategies. Tsogolo la Thanzi is an ongoing panel study of 2500 young men and women (ages 15-24) designed to investigate how young adults transitioning to parenthood amid a generalized epidemic simultaneously navigate the dual goals of avoiding HIV/AIDS and healthy childbearing. We situate the study in rural Malawi because counseling and testing for HIV, which are likely to influence reproduction, are just becoming available in rural areas. The study uses an intensive panel design in which respondents are interviewed three times a year over a period of three years. Data include a survey designed to capture change over time, a biomarker for pregnancy, and the randomized introduction of HIV testing and counseling. Using these new data, we address questions critical for individual, couple, national and international efforts to achieve healthy childbearing in a high-fertility and high HIV-prevalence setting
Schistosomiasis has declined dramatically in China and public health officials are looking towards local elimination of the disease. But schistosomiasis has reemerged and persisted in some areas despite aggressive disease control efforts. In this study, we are building on a longitudinal study and leveraging new genomic sequencing technologies to investigate sources of new infections and whether some individuals harbor persistent, uncured infections. This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted in close collaboration with the Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Chengdu, China. This study is scheduled to conclude summer 2018. You can contact Dr. Carlton at email@example.com.
Edwin Asturias, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Infectious Disease at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is working on vaccine safety at the international level with the World Health Organization as well as doing projects in Latin America to strengthen their vaccine safety systems. Through the Center for Global Health, he is working on the more permanent areas for research in Maternal and Child Health, and right now both research sites are concentrated in Guatemala, and potentially Colombia and Mexico. This project has no end date.
Sara Yeatman, PhD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, is working on this project between 2010-2012 in Balaka, Malawi. The recent expansion of free access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in many sub-Saharan countries has the potential to transform the meaning of HIV/AIDS in the region. Despite findings that the availability of ART influenced risk perceptions and behaviors among men who have sex with the men in the West, few studies have examined the implications of ART for the generalized epidemics of sub-Saharan Africa. The Young Adults’ Responses to ART (YARA) study is collecting timely and innovative data to examine how improved access to ART influences the meaning and consequences of HIV/AIDS for rural Malawians entering the peak ages of infection. The study is based in Balaka, Malawi to take advantage of Tsogolo la Thanzi (TLT), an ongoing panel study of 2500 young men and women, and because ART has been available at the local district hospital for four years. YARA uses a sequential mixed-method design that includes focus group discussions, two waves of TLT longitudinal survey data, and in-depth interviews with a nested subsample of TLT respondents and their infected household members. Using these data, we address questions of how exposure to ART and the possible existence of HIV treatment optimism influence young adults’ risk perceptions, risk behavior, and future aspirations. This project ended in 2012, but received a no-cost extension until 2013.
Michael Hambidge, MD, ScD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is the principal investigator of this project. The first goal of this study is to determine the effects of a daily maternal Zn supplement (early pregnancy – 9 mos post-partum) on maternal cognition and temperament, fetal and infant brain growth, maternal-infant interaction and on cognition and temperament in early-mid infancy. The effects of three different doses of Zn supplement (0, 10 and 20 mg Zn) will be compared. The second principal goal is to determine the effects of a 3 mg Zn/day supplement for infants aged 6-9 mos, the offspring of each of the maternal intervention groups, on infant cognitive and motor development and on temperament. This project was conducted between July 2007 and May 2011. You may contact Dr. Hambidge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed Havranek, David Kao, and Tom Maddox worked on the project “CHRIS” (Cerebrovascular, Heart Failure, Rheumatic Heart Disease Interventions Strategy). CHRIS was an initiative based in Zimbabwe. It was funded by NIH (NHLBI and the Fogarty Center), and was part of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) that paired medical schools in the United States with medical schools in sub-Saharan Africa for the purpose of enhancing medical school capacity. This cardiovascular disease initiative was linked with a larger partnership known as NECTAR between the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, also funded under the MEPI program. The CHRIS initiative primarily sought to train UZ post-graduates in cardiovascular disease so that they might become future cardiology faculty members. Activities included visiting professorships from UC cardiology faculty, an exchange program that has brought UZ trainees to Denver for brief attachments, and development of patient registries for clinical research in peripartum cardiomyopathy, pediatric rheumatic heart disease, stroke, and atrial fibrillation. We have also provided instruction in cardiovascular disease for clinical and pre-clinical medical students, and have worked to transfer responsibility for this activity to our UZ trainees. The project began in late 2010 and was funded through 2016. You can contact Dr. Havranek at email@example.com.