The University of Virginia began their partnership with the University of Ceara in Fortaleza, Brazil. Research and training capacity were funded with grants from the NIH such as the “Long term Impact and Intervention for Diarrhea in Brazil” International Collaborations Infectious Disease Research (ICIDR) cooperative agreement funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) that performed successfully for 24 years, ending in April 2016. This partnership trains and mentors scientists as they research topics of importance in low-resource areas. Capacity building continues in this partnership with a focus on developing leaders to aid with laboratories, clinical trials, and genetic epidemiology. In addition, data is being collected in order to inform policy and practices on how to manage parasitic infections and prevent their consequences.
The current NIH Fogarty International Center (FIC) funded GIDRT (Global Infectious Disease Research Training) program at UVA was initially held with UFC – and was successful for ten years – until Brazil became ineligible under the WHO Lower and Middle Income Country designation at which point it was successfully re-competed with the University of Venda in South Africa.
The 40 year collaboration (as of 2017) in northeast Brazil draws upon molecular genetics and our best science to develop interventions for malnutrition as an infectious disease. As evidenced by their remarkable productivity, our past FIC/GIDRT Fellows from UFC are returning to build an outstanding enterics research program under the leadership of Dr. Aldo Lima, who has developed the Institute of Biomedicine which occupies the top floor of a research building in the center of the Federal University of Ceará’s School of Medicine. Other Fogarty-UVa-trained fellows include Drs. Gerly Brito, Libanez Braga, and Reinaldo Oria who have become research leaders who have gone on to participate in other UVA NIH funded projects.
The UVA-UFC has led to several grant funded collaborations and both institutions continue to host trainees and scholars on a more ad hoc basis simultaneous to the current training programs with South Africa which has led to collaborations directly between Brazil and South Africa. In 2017, UVA is host to 3 pre and post-doctoral fellows from UFC.
Universidade Federal do Ceara in Brazil