BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For the third straight year, the University at
Buffalo is jointly sponsoring a workshop with Northwestern
University at the prestigious AIDS 2012/International AIDS
Conference being held July 22-27 in Washington, DC.
The workshop will cover a variety of topics in support of
strengthening global capacity for clinical pharmacology and
AIDS 2012 is the premier gathering for those working in the
field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and
others committed to ending the pandemic.
Gene Morse, PharmD, UB pharmacy practice professor and associate
director of the New York State Center of Excellence in
Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, is a facilitator of the workshop
and also a presenter.
According to Morse, the workshop, titled "Global HIV Clinical
Pharmacology Capacity Building and Implementation Research," will
showcase distinguished speakers from Italy, India, Nigeria,
Zimbabwe and the U.S., and will focus on collaborative approaches
to HIV/AIDS clinical and translational pharmacology research. The
workshop will take place on July 23.
Morse, who is presenting on the new Fogarty International Center
HIV Research training programs, says, "UB is one of the only
Fogarty training grant institutions with an emphasis on clinical
pharmacology and a partner with Zimbabwe. The program is so
successful that other countries want to join in and build research
training collaborations. As a result, UB is becoming a hub for
training in this area among southern African countries."
The Fogarty International Center, part of the U.S. National
Institutes of Health, supports basic, clinical and applied research
and training for U.S. and foreign investigators working in the
developing world. Fogarty has served as a bridge between NIH and
the global heath community facilitating exchanges among
investigators, providing training opportunities and supporting
promising research initiatives in developing countries.
The UB-UZ AIDS International Training and Research Program
(AITRP) was initiated with a visit by Morse to the University of
Zimbabwe in August 2009. During this visit, Morse met with
university leadership, faculty mentors, clinical and laboratory
scientists, UZ students and the PARI Patient Support Group.
Subsequently, the AITRP Advisory Committee reviewed and accepted
the policies and procedures for applicants and faculty mentors and
the program was officially under way. A website has been developed
to facilitate global communication: https://tdm.pharm.buffalo.edu/aitrp/index.php.
There has also been a 10-year initiative/collaboration program
between UB and UZ to investigate the provision and outcomes of
antiretroviral therapy in Zimbabwe.
The UB-UZ antiretroviral pharmacology training initiative was
initiated in 2002 in collaboration with NIAD AIDS Clinical Trials
Through a two-year supplement to the UC Berkeley AITRP in 2005,
a more formalized training program was established between UB and
UZ and provided the opportunity to train two new UZ postgraduate
students. This effort has resulted in a multidisciplinary AITRP
between UB and the UZ College of Health Sciences.
Morse says that in addition to increasing the number of faculty
researchers, the AITRP is assisting UZ with its efforts to expand
clinical pharmacology laboratory staff and analytical
instrumentation capacity. Contributions from Waters Associates
Inc., Research Triangle International (RTI) and Merck Laboratories
that included two HPLCs and additional equipment and laboratory
supplies were provided to UB for inclusion into the UZ
"Recently, the UZ HIV clinical pharmacology program was
designated for inclusion by the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Disease (NIAID)-supported, HIV Clinical Pharmacology
Quality Assurance Program Laboratory Network. This will provide
additional capacity for the UZ lab to participate in proficiency
testing, assay technology transfer and laboratory staff training.
The UZ program also has received an award to implement a
developmental, international Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory from
the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Laboratory Network," says Morse.
"The role of these kinds of training programs cannot be
overstated," he says. "HIV/AIDS is growing in many developing
countries where the resources to treat it are extremely
"With this workshop, we hope to discuss how to build capacity
-- that is to extend the limited human resources of researchers and
clinicians in the developing world so that they can work together
as efficiently as possible for the study and treatment of
individuals living with HIV/AIDS."