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UB to host session on global HIV research in South Africa

By SARA R. SALDI

Published July 17, 2014

“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.”
Gene Morse, professor
Department of Pharmacy Practice
Gene Morse

Gene Morse

For the fifth straight year, UB faculty member Gene D. Morse has been invited to lead a session on research capacity building at an  international conference.

This year’s session will take place at the 17th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, being held July 13-18 in Cape Town, South Africa. The World Congress is considered to be one of the most prestigious gatherings for international researchers working in all aspects of pharmacology.

The session on July 18, titled “Global HIV Clinical Pharmacology Capacity Building and Implementation Research,” will showcase distinguished speakers from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Thailand and the U.S., and focus on collaborative approaches to HIV/AIDS clinical and translational pharmacology research.

July 18, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, is also Nelson Mandela International Day, created in 2009 by a UN General Assembly resolution in recognition of the former South African president’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom throughout the world.

Morse, professor of pharmacy practice in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and associate director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, is a presenter at the session, as well as serving as chair.

Morse, who will present on the NIH 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 is building a center of excellence for the southern African region with its partner, the University of Zimbabwe.

“The program is so successful that other countries want to join in and build research training collaborations,” Morse says. “As a result, UB is now a recognized hub for training in this area among African countries.”

In addition to Morse, presenters include UB pharmacy faculty member Robin DiFrancesco, Fatai Fehintola of Ibadan University in Nigeria, Tinashe Mudzviti of the University of Zimbabwe and Tim Cressey of Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

The Fogarty International Center, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports basic, clinical and applied research and training for the 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 role of these kinds of training programs cannot be overstated,” says Morse. “HIV/AIDS is still growing in many resource-limited countries where the capacity to treat it is extremely limited and novel clinical pharmacology and therapeutics research is needed to facilitate more widespread implementation.

“With this session nested in the larger context of an international pharmacology program, 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,” he says.