The Johns Hopkins University Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (Hopkins AITRP) began in 1989 as the Fogarty Epidemiology of AIDS International Training & Research Program. Dr. Harvey Fischman was the first PI/Director and led the program during its first 8 years. In 1997, Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, took over as PI/Director. In June 2008 the Hopkins AITRP began its 21st year.
The Hopkins AITRP is a campus-wide program involving faculty and trainees in departments in both the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. Primary BSPH departments participating in the program are: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, International Health and Population & Family Health Scinces. Primary SOM departments are Clinical Investigation, Medicine, Pathology, Pediatrics and Ob/Gyn. he School of Medicine. Campus and School-wide centers such as the Center for Global Health, Center for Clinical Global Health Education, Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Center for Immunization Research, Center for Clinical Trials, Center for TB Research, Center for Communications Programs and the Bioethics Institute serve as resources for faculty and training programs.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is the gravest infectious disease threat to human health and stability in modern times. Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia bear the greatest burdens of the epidemic, which threatens individuals, their families, communities, and the future health, development, and security of states and regions. After nearly 20 years of effort, we still do not have a cure, a vaccine, or an effective microbicide. While there have been successes in HIV prevention in developing countries, the epidemic, far from being contained, continues to expand globally, and now threatens enormous populations in China, India, and Russia, key partners for our program. Research into new prevention technologies, including vaccines, effective treatment regimens, and improved deployment of existing approaches, remains of central importance to eventual control of AIDS. However, the scientific and public health questions which require the most urgent answers are increasingly difficult to investigate in developed world settings. International collaborative HIV/AIDS research, and the training needed for developing country scientists to lead that research, remains an urgent global priority and a public health necessity.
Collaborative Research and Partner Countries
From its inception the Hopkins AITRP has endeavored to provide training and research support to developing country partners in training relevant to the growing global HIV/AIDS research agenda. Our model has been to provide training in support of collaborative research between faculty of the Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health and Medicine and their developing country partners, to foster lasting research partnerships, and to assist developing country scientists in establishing their own, and their countries’, capacity in independent HIV/AIDS research. We have measured our success through scientific contributions, competitive funding awards, the impact on country responses of returning fellows, and leadership in international HIV/AIDS research on the part of our trainees.
Our primary partner countries are:
China Guangxi, Dr. Chris Beyer and Dr. Brooks Jackson
Ethiopia, Dr. Andrea Ruff
India Pune, Dr. Robert Bollinger
Malawi, Dr. Taha Taha
South Africa, Dr. Chris Beyrer (Cape Town) and Dr. Richard Chaisson (Soweto)
Thailand, Dr. David Celentano
Uganda Dr. Mary Glenn Fowler (Kampala) and Drs. Ron Gray and Maria Wawer (Rakai)
Vietnam, Dr. Vivian Go
Research Training Focus
In its third funding cycle, Years 11 – 15, the program expanded from its initial focus on Epidemiology to include: Behavioral Interventions and Ethnography, Substance Abuse, Ethics, Clinical Trials, Vaccine Trials, Blood Safety, HIV Associated Malignancies. Areas of focus in the Years 16-20, are cross cutting areas such as : Ethics: Developing & Strengthening IRBs, Human Rights, Substance Abuse, Tuberculosis and Vaccine Trials. Through three Competing Supplements, the Hopkins ATIRP expanded geographically into the Russia with a focus on Substance Abuse; Cameroon with Vaccinology and a collaborative Substance Abuse in South and Southeast Asia (China, India-Chennai, Lao PDR, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam). The Hopkins AITRP received several CIPRA supplements: CIPRA: South Africa (Dr. James McIntyre, PHRU, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital) and CIPRA: Thailand (Dr. Kiat Ruxrungtham, HIV-NAT)
Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars (FICRS) Program
This program provides a one-year clinical research training opportunity for outstanding graduate level US students in health professions with a strong interest in international health and/or clinical research. In the beginning the Fogarty International Center offered these Overseas Fellowships in Global Health and Clinical Research Training with support from The Ellison Medical Foundation (EMF), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) and the program was referred to as "Fogarty Ellison". The program is now known as FICRS and Vanderbilt University serves as the Resource Center for the management of this program. The Research Insitute for Health Education Sciences (RIHES) at Chiang Mai University is our Thai in-country collaborator and is now a designated FICRS site.