Sarah Goodwin
Kathi Ovnic
Holly Korschun
October 20, 1998


Emory University will extend its expertise in AIDS research and education to scientists in other countries through a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) designation as an AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP). The AITRP program is part of the programs supported through the NIH Fogarty International Center, which was established in 1968 to advance health through international scientific cooperation.

Emory's specific mission through the AITRP program is to enhance the HIV/AIDS-related research capabilities within the countries of Mexico, Vietnam and the Republic of Georgia. In collaboration with these countries, Emory will select a group of Fogarty Fellows and provide them with educational and training opportunities in AIDS and HIV research.

Fellowship training will include academic courses leading to graduate degrees and postdoctoral research training at Emory. Emory scientists will also provide in-country training as well as mentorship to fellows when they return to their native countries to facilitate HIV/AIDS research. The program also will offer Emory medical, public health, and graduate students opportunities to participate in overseas health research experiences in collaboration with Fogarty fellows.

The NIH recently designated the Emory/Atlanta Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) an official NIH CFAR site. The CFAR designation was designed to encourage multidisciplinary cooperation among diverse HIV/AIDS programs in Atlanta as well as stimulate applications for increased funding and attract new investigators to HIV/AIDS research. The CFAR is directed by James Curran, M.D., Dean of Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and former director of the AIDS program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to Dr. Curran, Emory's CFAR includes a number of nationally recognized AIDS investigators who may serve as mentors for the AITRP Fogarty Fellows.

Carlos del Rio, M.D., Emory associate professor of medicine, is principal investigator for the five-year AITRP grant and director of the program. Dr. del Rio was executive director of the National AIDS Council in Mexico (CONASIDA) before joining the Emory faculty in 1996. He is also the director of the recently nominated Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Collaborating Center at Emory University.

"This grant provides Emory with excellent possibilities for expanding its international collaborative work on HIV/AIDS," says Dr. del Rio."Emory already has several ongoing HIV/AIDS research and training projects in the Republic of Georgia through the Atlanta-Tbilisi partnership, and Emory AIDS investigators also are collaboraters on AIDS research projects in Mexico and Vietnam. Emory's Division of Infectious Diseases has developed a nationally recognized AIDS Program over recent years and will now be able to make this expertise available to investigators in developing countries where the major burden of the AIDS epidemic is occurring."

The Emory AITRP program with Mexico will be officially launched at the Emory-Mexico Symposium on HIV/AIDS Research in Cuernevaca, Mexico in January, 1999. This symposium is the result of a grant from the Internationalization Fund of Emory University (Office of International Affairs) to sponsor a seminar on HIV/AIDS in collaboration with the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico. The seminar will bring together researchers from Emory University and Mexico to discuss opportunities for future joint collaborations.

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