Global Health

>> International Pharmacotherapy Education and Research Initiative


The University at Buffalo (UB), a university center in the State University of New York system, has an extensive history of international education programs. The TPRC has been engaged in Global Health innovation through the development of the International Pharmacotherapy and Education Initiative (IPERI), established in 1998. IPERI provided a programmatic focal point for the drafting of an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UB and the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). In 1999, Dr. Gene D. Morse submitted a proposal to the NIH AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Executive Committee to support a fellowship at UB for Dr. Charles Maponga, a 1988 PharmD graduate who had returned to Zimbabwe. The request was approved by the ACTG. In 2008, Dr. Morse and Dr. Maponga were awarded a Fogarty International Center, AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) for UB-UZ postgraduate student research training. Dr. Robert Schooley (UCSD) currently chairs the UB AITRP Training Advisory Group (TAG) and Dr. Constance Benson, past ACTG PI, is also a UB AITRP TAG member. Other senior faculty members who are UB AITRP Scientific Advisory Board members include Dr. Robert Murphy (Northwestern University (Northwestern University) and Dr. James Hakim (UZ), as well as members from the Bill and Melida Gates Foundation, the William Clinton Health Access Initiative and industry representatives. Dr. Morse is also a member of the UZ Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Training Advisory Board. These collaborative efforts have led to a successful award to Dr. Maponga to  become the PI of an ACTG International Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory in June 2011.

In 2009 UB was awarded a 7-year contract from NIAID for a Global HIV Clinical Pharmacology Quality Assurance (CPQA) Program. The CPQA is now an established international program that coordinates the approval of new drug assay methods, global proficiency testing for antiretrovirals, training for international clinical research staff at NIAID HIV Research Centers, and laboratory training for clinical pharmacology investigators and lab technologists. The CPQA Advisory Board provides regular review of the program and has representatives from the NIH HIV Research Networks.  In 2010, two young faculty members from Makerere University, from Campala, Uganda visited UB for an 8-week period. Both conducted a clinical research project and were seeking additional training in clinical outcomes and implementation research for therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacokinetic data analysis methods. Following the UB visit, they have continued to collaborate with the UB IPERI and have had great success with abstracts and publications and have submitted NIH grant applications. 

In summary, UB has a number of NIH-supported research and training programs that collaborate directly with the TPRC faculty. The participation by multiple universities along with support from the senior university leadership at African universities, provide strong evidence that the ongoing research collaborations and planned implementation research and post-doctoral research fellowship programs that are being developed at the TPRC will contribute to global health programs.