TAG: "Global health"

Sustainable science to promote health in Africa


UCSF establishes regional headquarters in East Africa to anchor research, train local scientists.

When someone is diagnosed with HIV in western Kenya, chances are he will get help from FACES, a network of clinics that takes a family-focused approach to prevention, care and treatment of the virus.

Likewise, a villager in Uganda who wants to know her HIV status is likely to get tested at a traveling clinic from SEARCH, a community-based trial with the goal of stopping the spread of HIV through a strategy known as “test and treat.”

Both projects were launched in collaboration with African scientists by researchers from UC San Francisco, which has been working in East Africa for more than two decades. UCSF scientists and clinicians have provided AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria-related treatment to tens of thousands of people, researched the causes and trajectories of the diseases and trained scientists and physicians throughout the region.\

Now, UCSF’s many and varied efforts – which are spread throughout the African continent, but are most concentrated in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania – finally have a regional headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, sponsored by the UCSF/Gladstone Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). CFAR also is supporting the expansion of a core immunology lab at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda.

“This will increase the opportunity for UCSF researchers to get involved in collaborative programs in East Africa,” said Phil Rosenthal, M.D., a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH) and a malaria expert who has been training scientists in Uganda for more than a dozen years.

Like others at UCSF, Rosenthal has approached his scientific work with a dual aim: treat disease while sustainably building up the local health care system. These researchers have been at the forefront of a push toward more sustainable work that was embraced as national policy under the leadership of Ambassador Eric Goosby, M.D., who recently returned to UCSF after serving as Obama’s global AIDS coordinator and head of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

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Taming the global AIDS epidemic


Eric Goosby returns to UCSF intent on applying lessons learned as global AIDS ambassador.

Eric Goosby

Eric Goosby

When Eric Goosby, M.D., arrived in Washington, D.C., to lead the Obama administration’s global effort on AIDS in 2009, the world economy was in free fall. Foreign aid budgets were contracting, and many feared the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), begun by President George W. Bush in 2003, might lose the fight against a disease that had already wiped out a generation in Africa.

Four years later, despite funding cuts, the number of HIV-positive people that PEPFAR has put on life-saving antiretroviral therapy has grown fivefold – to 6.5 million. Since treatment stops transmission of HIV, many now speak hopefully about containing the spread of AIDS.

This month, Goosby returns to UC San Francisco, where he earned his medical degree and completed his residency. He’s intent on applying the lessons he learned as head of the largest public health endeavor in history – with $48 billion invested over 10 years – as resources began to shrink.

At UCSF’s Global Health Sciences, Goosby will lead a new center on implementation sciences, a hot, new field in public health and an emerging specialty at UCSF. It examines the practicalities of running public health programs, applying business-world efficiencies to improve them.

Goosby also will return to Ward 86, the AIDS unit at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center where he worked in the early days of the epidemic, when everyone died for lack of effective treatment.

“We are thrilled that Eric is coming back to UCSF and joining Global Health Sciences,” said Jaime Sepulveda, executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences. “Eric’s experience at the highest levels of international and domestic HIV/AIDS policy and implementation, and his early career as a doctor on the AIDS ward at UCSF, give him unique insights on what works, from both a local and global perspective.”

Read a Q&A, where Goosby discusses the challenges he faced as U.S. Global AIDS Ambassador and what lies ahead in a world where 35 million people – nearly the population of California – are infected with HIV.

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Collaborators in nursing, public health tackle AIDS in China


Part of international effort to limit spread of disease, improve care of those already infected.

Ann Williams (left) and Roger Detels began to collaborate on AIDS research and treatment in China 15 years ago — around the same time that World AIDS Day, every year on Dec. 1, was established to unite people around the globe in the fight against HIV.

Ann Williams (left) and Roger Detels began to collaborate on AIDS research and treatment in China 15 years ago — around the same time that World AIDS Day, every year on Dec. 1, was established to unite people around the globe in the fight against HIV.

Ann Williams, associate dean for research at the UCLA School of Nursing, has traveled the world for nearly 30 years caring for people with HIV/AIDS and conducting research to improve treatment outcomes. Over that same period, Dr. Roger Detels, professor and chair of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has taken a similar route, conducting AIDS research and training epidemiologists.

Fifteen years ago, their paths intersected in China, when Detels was looking to include nursing as part of a training program in HIV research for Chinese health care professionals. A professor, Williams signed on, and they have been collaborating ever since as part of an international effort to limit the spread of HIV-AIDS and improve the care of those already infected.

Recently, each received HIV research training grants from the Fogerty International Center at the National Institutes of Health to help scientists and clinicians in developing countries build much-needed research infrastructure.

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Four global health grants awarded to UC researchers


Gates Foundation grants support projects that show great promise to improve global health.

Yanping Chen of UC Riverside is one of four UC recipients in the latest round of Grand Challenges Explorations grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Yanping Chen of UC Riverside is one of four UC recipients in the latest round of Grand Challenges Explorations grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Four University of California researchers have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They are among 81 grant recipients in the initiative’s 11th round of funding, announced Nov. 20. The grants support projects that show great promise to improve the health of people in the developing world.

Grantees include:

  •  Derek Dunn-Rankin, UC Irvine, Stored Energy Solar Stove Technology. Dunn-Rankin will refine the design of an energy storage device that collects and stores solar energy to enable indoor or evening cooking in developing countries. Traditional stoves use wood or animal dung as an energy source, which are labor-intensive methods, environmentally unfriendly and potentially deleterious to health.
  •  Yanping Chen, UC Riverside, Using Sensors to Understand Insect-Vectored Neglected Infectious Diseases. Chen will develop an inexpensive and robust sensor to directly measure the real-time density of insect vectors that transmit parasitic diseases to help plan intervention and treatment programs.
  • Kaveh Ashrafi, UC San Francisco, C. elegans as a Targeted Molecular Surrogate for Fliarid Parasites. Ashrafi will use the free-living model nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a molecular platform to identify new drugs capable of killing adult filarial parasitic worms, which cause serious infections.
  •  Judy Sakanari, UC San Francisco, Non-Invasive Detection of Viable Adult Fliarial Infections Using the “Capaci-Dance Patch.” Sakanari will develop a cheap electromagnetic detection device to non-invasively assess the viability of parasitic nematode worms in infected patients to guide treatment duration.

Related link:
Grand Challenges Explorations release

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UC Global Health Institute receives $4M gift


Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation funding supports new education, research programs.

The Los Angeles-based group was founded by world-renowned surgeon, inventor and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., and his wife, Michele Chan.

The Los Angeles-based group was founded by world-renowned surgeon, inventor and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., and his wife, Michele Chan.

The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation has given $4 million to the University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI) to support new cross-campus and interdisciplinary education and research programs that aim to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable people and communities throughout California and across the globe.

The Los Angeles-based group was founded by world-renowned surgeon, inventor and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., and his wife, Michele Chan.

“We look at this not merely as a donation for today, but a partnership for tomorrow,” said Soon-Shiong. “The UCGHI has a distinguished legacy of working to cure the ill and enhance the well-being of those in need the world over. To support the talented and dedicated individuals who enable the institute to do so — from the classroom to the lab — is a true honor.”

This gift, the first installment of which was given in 2011 anonymously at Chan and Soon-Shiong’s request, will be used to fund research fellowships and scholarships to UC faculty, postdocs, graduate and professional students, as well as support unique multicampus, interdisciplinary research programs.

At the core of the UCGHI mission is a commitment to expanding educational opportunities that would not be possible without multiple campuses and disciplines banding together. This gift is funding the initial strategic planning for a multicampus master’s degree program in global health — the first of its kind. At present, a proposal for the two-year degree program is under campus review.

In addition, this gift will enable the UCGHI to launch new initiatives, such as a 10-campus lecture series that will use technology to connect people across the UC system, and a “global health incubator” to generate the innovative ideas that can solve the world’s pressing global health problems.

Soon-Shiong is a celebrated innovator and inventor, having pioneered groundbreaking treatments in diabetes and cancer. He developed the nation’s first biological chemotherapy nanoparticle (Abraxane), which is now approved for the treatment of breast cancer and lung cancer. Abraxane has succeeded in Phase 3 trials in pancreatic cancer and melanoma. Soon-Shiong also created, cultivated and later sold two multibillion dollar companies, American Pharmaceutical Partners and Abraxis Bioscience. He is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and ranked by Forbes as the wealthiest American in the health care industry and in Los Angeles. He is also executive director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute and a UCLA visiting professor of bioengineering and of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics. Soon-Shiong and Chan, who is a television and film actress, were both born and raised in South Africa.

Soon-Shiong received surgical and research training at the University of British Columbia and UCLA under the mentorship of Haile Debas, director of the UCGHI and chancellor emeritus of UC San Francisco.

“As an African, and as a former academic surgeon and researcher, Patrick is keenly aware of the value and promise of different disciplines coming together to improve health for the underserved,” says Debas, who also was dean of the School of Medicine and executive director of Global Health Sciences at UCSF. “With this gift, he has challenged the UC campuses to think outside the box and to create new opportunities for students and faculty to implement innovative, practical initiatives that will improve the health of the underserved here in the United States and in developing countries.”

Based on the UCSF campus, the UCGHI is co-directed by UCLA’s Thomas J. Coates, the Michael and Sue Steinberg Endowed Professor of Global AIDS Research and the founding director of the Center for World Health at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. The institute also has a presence on most of the UC campuses through its three multicampus Centers of Expertise (COE) – Migration & Health; One Health: Animals, Water, Food & Society; and Women’s Health & Empowerment — that break out of traditional academic structures to create new, interdisciplinary ways of solving health problems.

The centers have shared global health curricula via videoconferencing and online courses, and their faculty have contributed to UCSF’s one-year master’s degree program in global health sciences.

“Students are demanding a global education, and one mission of the UCGHI is to prepare the next generation of global health leaders,” says Coates. “We are providing students with real-world experiences and skills, essential for their success in working with partners around the world to provide real solutions to the ever-changing landscape of global health problems.”

The UCGHI also supports students and trainees with fellowship and scholarship programs, including the GloCal Health Fellowship, which is funded with $4 million over five years from the NIH’s Fogarty International Center. It will support 50 to 60 fellows from across the UC system. In all, the UCGHI is making available $7 million to UC students, faculty and postdocs through 2017 to pursue global health research and service. Much of this funding would not have been possible without the leveraging power of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation gift.

In addition to providing funding to students and trainees, the UCGHI hosts the annual UC Global Health Day, which brings together faculty, students and staff to highlight the research taking place across the University of California and to provide a forum for sharing and networking (see video about the 2013 UC Global Health Day, which was held at UC Riverside). Through oral presentations and posters, faculty and students learn about fieldwork their peers are doing around the world and cutting-edge research being conducted on the campuses.

The UCGHI initially was launched in 2009 with a $4 million planning grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It also receives funding from the UC Office of the President.

“With 10 campuses combining their scientific and educational expertise, and galvanizing resources around a common goal, great things can be achieved,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “The UC Global Health Institute is a terrific example of UC’s potential to improve the lives of people in California and around the world.”

About the UC Global Health Institute

The UC Global Health Institute (UCGHI) advances the mission of the University of California to improve the health of all people in California and around the world. By stimulating education, research and partnerships, UCGHI leverages the diverse intellectual resources across the University to produce global health leaders and accelerate the discovery and implementation of transformative global health solutions. For more, visit www.ucghi.universityofcalifornia.edu.

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New SARS-like virus discovered in Chinese horseshoe bats


Research is first time scientists have isolated a live SARS-like virus from bats.

Horseshoe bat (Wikimedia Commons/Lylambda)

Horseshoe bat (Wikimedia Commons/Lylambda)

Scientists have discovered a new SARS-like coronavirus in Chinese horseshoe bats, according to a new study published today (Oct. 30) in the journal Nature by a team of international researchers, including a wildlife epidemiologist from the University of California, Davis.

The research team isolated and cultured the live virus that binds to the human SARS ACE2 receptor, proving that it can be transmitted directly from bats to people.

The study describes how the team uncovered genome sequences of a new virus closely related to the SARS coronavirus, which erupted in Asia in 2002 and 2003 and caused a global pandemic crisis.

The research is the first time that scientists have been able to isolate a live SARS-like virus from bats. It will allow them to conduct detailed studies to create control measures to thwart outbreaks and provide opportunities for vaccine development.

“This work shows that these viruses can directly infect humans and validates our assumption that we should be searching for viruses of pandemic potential before they spill over to people,” said co-author and UC Davis professor Jonna Mazet, co-director of PREDICT, a project of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats program. PREDICT, which partially supported the study, is designed to target surveillance of wildlife populations and identify potential pandemic viruses before they emerge. Mazet is also director of the One Health Institute and Wildlife Health Center at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Child brides at funerals


Young maternal age, quick pregnancies linked to high infant mortality in South Asia.

A young mother and her child

A young mother and her child

Having children early and in rapid succession are major factors fueling high infant mortality rates in the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan where 1 in 14 births to young mothers ends with the death of the child within the first year, say researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Writing in the current online issue of the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Anita Raj, Ph.D., professor of medicine and director of the Center on Gender Equity and Health at UC San Diego, and colleagues said younger maternal age (under 18 years old) and short intervals between pregnancies (under 24 months) accounted for roughly one-quarter of the infant mortality rate among young mothers in India and Pakistan, a percentage that represents almost 200,000 infant deaths in 2012 for those two nations alone.

In Bangladesh, only the short inter-pregnancy interval was linked to infant mortality while in Nepal, only young motherhood was associated with infant death.

Infant mortality is a significant public health issue in South Asia. According to United Nations data, the infant mortality rate worldwide is 49.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. In Pakistan, it is 70.90; India, 52.91; Bangladesh, 48.98 and Nepal, 38.71. By comparison, the infant mortality rate in the United States is 6.81 and just 1.92 in Singapore, lowest in the world.

The new infant mortality findings are based upon analyses of national demographic and health surveys taken in the four countries. Raj noted the comparisons may be somewhat skewed by imperfect comparisons.

“The data in India and Pakistan were collected four to five years prior to the data in Bangladesh and Nepal,” she said, “and therefore represent different cross-sections of time. In addition, both India and Pakistan have higher burdens of infant mortality – in absolute and relative terms – than Bangladesh or Nepal.”

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GHREAT works globally


UC Irvine global health projects are saving lives — see how in four-part UCTV series.

UC Irvine professor Brandon Brown (center) works closely with the staff at Epicentro in Lima, Peru, to help gay men in the community.

UC Irvine professor Brandon Brown (center) works closely with the staff at Epicentro in Lima, Peru, to help gay men in the community.

Since the establishment of the Global Health Research, Education and Translation (GHREAT) Program at UC Irvine in 2011, demand from undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members to conduct global health research has grown rapidly. Visual communication of the program’s innovative research activities on the human beings afflicted with disease and infirmity in developing countries is crucial to understanding the program’s impact on the world.

This four-part UCTV series shows how GHREAT projects are enhancing health and saving lives, one person at a time, by improving clinical care and HIV stigma reduction in Peru, providing free life saving heart surgery to impoverished children in China, collaborating with Chinese researchers to reduce disease transmission and creating new diagnostics and treatments for severe malaria in Thailand, China and Myanmar.

“Few know what’s possible in global health and how to get involved,” said Brandon Brown, UC Irvine GHREAT program director. “Making more people aware could mean a big difference for all of us globally.”

Programs include:

Innovative Malaria Research in Southeast Asia: a UCI GHREAT Initiative
First air date: Aug. 2

One Heartbeat at a Time — Lifesaving Cardiology in Rural China: a UCI GHREAT Initiative
First air date: Sept. 27

Cutting-Edge Research Methods to Solve the Malaria Challenge: a UCI GHREAT Initiative
First air date: Oct. 11

HIV Stigma: Personal Stories from Gay Men and Transgender Women in Peru: a UCI GHREAT Initiative
First air date: Oct. 25

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UC Global Health Day makes call for abstracts, proposals


Submission deadline is Dec. 20.

UC Global Health InstituteThe UC Global Health Institute (UCGHI) invites submissions of abstracts for posters and proposals for breakout sessions for the 2014 UC Global Health Day, which will be April 26 at UC Davis. This annual conference is a showcase of the research, training and outreach in global health being undertaken across the University of California.

UC students, fellows, faculty, staff and visiting scholars come together at this event to share their current work in global health in plenary sessions, posters and concurrent breakout sessions covering a broad range of global health topics.

Proposals for breakout sessions that are interdisciplinary and cross-campus collaborations are strongly encouraged. All presenters will receive complimentary registration to UC Global Health Day. Students selected to present at UC Global Health Day will receive funding to offset travel and poster expenses.

Read the calls for posters and breakout session proposals for more information.

The submission deadline is Dec. 20.

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UCLA launches Global Media Center for Social Impact


Center to collaborate with entertainment industry, news media to increase awareness of public health issues.

UCLA Global Media Center for Social ImpactThe Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA has established an innovative new center to increase awareness of important health issues and improve the well-being of people throughout the world by harnessing the storytelling power of television, film, music and new media.

By collaborating with the entertainment industry and news media, the Global Media Center for Social Impact will help content creators and reporters craft compelling stories that accurately address a full range of public health issues — from the social determinants of health to climate change and early childhood health — with the goal of impacting global health.

“Currently, there is a huge gap between what we know and what we do,” said Dr. Jody Heymann, dean of the Fielding School. “Therefore, we have a tremendous opportunity to transform lives, if research about what works in public health is widely known and applied across the country and around the world.”

Housed on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, the center is ideally poised to engage the entertainment industry in creating compelling storylines by linking filmmakers, writers and other industry types with the experts and extensive resources of the Fielding School. The center will also collaborate with media organizations and producers around the globe to promote exceptional storytelling, effective reporting and interactive new media content that can help move research on population health from evidence to impact.

Launched with funding from a generous donation by public health leader and Fielding school professor Jonathan Fielding and his wife, Karin, the new center will be led by Sandra de Castro Buffington (founding director), a pioneering force for public health inspiration and information in the entertainment industry, and Dr. Neal Baer (project scientist), a pediatrician and award-winning writer and producer of TV shows and documentaries.

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UCLA nurse leads volunteers brining health care to Kenya


“Coming from the place, I know how much health care is needed.”

UCLA nurse Millicent Manyore extracts a bacterial infection, known as a "chigger," from a baby's foot at a clinic she helped organize in her homeland of Kenya. (Photo from Medical Missions Kenya)

UCLA nurse Millicent Manyore extracts a bacterial infection, known as a "chigger," from a baby's foot at a clinic she helped organize in her homeland of Kenya.

During her overnight shifts at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, nurse Millicent Manyore checks patients’ blood pressure nearly 100 times a week.

But in Manyore’s native Kenya and other parts of the developing world, this routine test is virtually unheard of in rural villages and urban slums. So thousands of people with hypertension are never diagnosed or put on the simple medical regimens that can help prevent potentially deadly problems like stroke, heart disease or kidney failure that are linked to high blood pressure.

That’s one of the reasons why Manyore and a team of 14, which included nine people from UCLA, all paid their own way to Kenya to spend more than two weeks working in makeshift clinics in three rural villages and a slum outside Nairobi. Manyore organized the trip through the nonprofit organization she runs, Medical Missions Kenya, which uses volunteers to bring desperately needed basic modern medical care to her home country.

From May 31 to June 13, the group, which was composed of nurses, a pharmacist, a pharmacy student and two doctors, saw more than 850 people. The volunteers checked blood pressure and blood glucose levels, tested for malaria and HIV, taught proper condom usage, treated diseases and dispensed vitamins and medications. About 75 percent of the kids who came in had discolored patches of bald, scaly skin on their scalps — a fungal infection called tinea capitis, easily treatable with antibiotics.

“Coming from the place, I know how much health care is needed,” said Manyore, who grew up in a village of 4,000 in central Kenya.

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Putting the spotlight on global health


UC Irvine professor Brandon Brown is spreading the word about global health.

UC Irvine professor Brandon Brown (right)

UC Irvine professor Brandon Brown (right)

By Katherine Tam

Every few months, UC Irvine professor Brandon Brown returns to Epicentro Salud, a gay men’s community-based clinic in Lima, Peru, to help the staff brainstorm ways to encourage local men to get tested for HIV.

The stigma around homosexuality often deters the gay community from proactively getting tested in Lima, but Brown and clinic leaders have been working to change that these last three years. With Brown’s help, the clinic landed a USAID grant in October 2011 that provided funds to train HIV counselors and bought vital clinic and laboratory equipment.

“Epicentro staff did a lot of outreach to get started. We recruited on Facebook, on the streets, at bars, and were active in the gay pride parade,” Brown said. “We’re seeing more people visiting the center than ever. It’s a big asset for gay men and transgendered individuals in Peru.”

Whether it’s battling HIV stigma in Peru, finding new tools to diagnose malaria in Thailand, or improving sanitation in Kenya, Brown has made it his mission to spotlight the importance of global health and spread the word about the myriad opportunities here and around the globe that people can make a difference.

“Global health is an exciting field and there are lots of ways to get involved,” said Brown, who teaches global health, public health ethics, honors research, and epidemiology. “It’s easy for people to be comfortable in the bubble they’re in. But even if you’re studying say math, you can still be educated on things outside your area of expertise.”

That’s why two years ago, Brown launched a new initiative to put global health on more people’s radar at UC Irvine.

The initiative, Global Health Research Education and Translation (GHREAT),brings together researchers to collaborate on projects, and encourages students to get involved in global health. GHREAT offers courses students can take to earn a global health certificate. In addition, it also offers a global health mentorship program, seminar series and global health job opportunities.

Brown leads GHREAT on his own time and does not receive a salary for it. Neither do the motivated students and faculty who collaborate with him.

So far, students who have participated in GHREAT have become involved in a variety of projects here and abroad: studying how sanitation interventions can prevent contamination of the water supply in Kenya; investigating mental health issues of Iraqi refugees; identifying perceptions of genital warts in Peru; and producing a photo series chronicling the experiences of people living with HIV.

“I don’t think I could have asked for a better mentor,” said Karen Munoz, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in public health and will seek a master’s degree in the same field this fall. “He’s always willing to help, especially when it’s a student’s passion and has to do with global health.”

Munoz credits Brown with her ability to successfully secure a grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program for her project, which focuses on access to health care among low-income women in Southern California for early detection of the human papillomavirus and cervical cancer.

“When we were applying for grants for our projects, he helped us revise our papers and showed us examples of his so we learned what to do,” Munoz said. “Many of us had never applied for a grant before.”

UC Irvine professor Brandon Brown (center) works closely with the staff at Epicentro in Lima, Peru to help gay men in the community.

UC Irvine professor Brandon Brown (center) works closely with the staff at Epicentro in Lima, Peru, to help gay men in the community.

When he’s not teaching at UC Irvine or spearheading GHREAT, Brown continues to work on global health projects. In addition to weekly Skype calls, he returns to Peru during the year to continue his collaborations with Epicentro.

Jerome Galea, founder of Epicentro, said the grant Brown helped secure early on was instrumental in getting the clinic off the ground.

“Probably if it weren’t for Brandon, Epicentro would not have a clinic today,” Galea wrote via email. “I’ve worked with Brandon for about 10 years and have found myself looking for projects to do with him – even though we’re on different continents – since he’s one of those people that you know you’ll have a great work experience with.”

Brown is working simultaneously on three research projects, including a study on syphilis among gay men in Peru that could lead to better treatment. And he has partnered with a UC San Diego team to research cervical cancer prevention among female sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico.

He hopes more students will take an interest in global health, whether they choose it as their major or not. Eventually, he plans to ask the university to establish an organized research unit in global health, which would provide more funding for projects, synergize global health efforts, help support student travel, and make researchers less dependent on grants.

“Few know what’s possible in global health and how to get involved,” Brown said. “Making more people aware could mean a big difference for all of us globally.”

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