Scientific solutions to today’s health problems require innovation and collaboration. We partner with institutions around the world on interdisciplinary research to address the most pressing health issues facing the world today. We also want our science to translate into action so that it can make a difference. We conduct policy research and convene stakeholders to ensure the highest quality science and research translates into the best possible action on the ground.
Please visit our EXPLORE database for a comprehensive view of the global research being conducted by faculty at the David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Health in collaboration with international partners.
For 25 years, the UCLA/Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (UCLA/Fogarty AITRP) has provided education and training that enables international healthcare professionals to complete M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS. Through partnerships with leading universities and HIV/AIDS control programs in partner countries, UCLA/Fogarty AITRP aims to provide training for local healthcare professionals and technical staff to assist with the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. The program has collaborated with institutions and professionals in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Trainees in the M.S. program typically spend between fifteen and twenty-one months in formal course work at UCLA and three to six months completing their fieldwork and thesis. Ph.D. trainees usually spend three years in academic studies at UCLA and twelve to eighteen months completing their dissertation. The UCLA/Fogarty AITRP also offers in-country courses, as well as a three-month postdoctoral training course at UCLA. To be considered for participation, health professionals must guarantee that they will return to their home country after completion of the program.
In 2014, the Fogarty International Center, a division of the National Institutes of Health, announced plans to award five-year grants to three HIV/AIDS prevention projects headed by UCLA faculty. Dr. Roger Detels and Dr. Sung-Jae Lee, faculty in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology, received two awards of $1.4 million and $1.5 million for their ongoing efforts to provide effective HIV/AIDS education and training in Myanmar and Thailand. Additionally, Dr. Pamina Gorbach, also a professor in the Department of Epidemiology, received $1.4 million for her work training Cambodian public health professionals in the analysis and use of HIV/AIDS data collected by the Cambodian government.
Through partnerships with the Myanmar University of Public Health (UPH), the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and the Cambodian University of Health Sciences (UHS), the three programs are giving M.S. and Ph.D. candidates, as well as postdoctoral scholars, the chance to train in advanced research methodologies both at UCLA and in their home countries. These training opportunities will enable professionals to better identify critical health trends, epidemiologic shifts, and use their knowledge to inform HIV/AIDS policies and program improvements.
The UCLA/Fogarty AITRP also operates in Vietnam, in partnership with Hanoi Medical University (HMU). Led by Dr. Li Li, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, the program provides training in advanced research methodology and HIV/AIDS to trainees from Vietnam. In addition to holding courses at UCLA for M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, the program also provides in-country summer workshops on community-based interventions, program monitoring and evaluation, research ethics, advanced study design and evaluation, and grant writing and management. The training strategy builds curriculum development capacities for HMU, strengthening the institution’s research capabilities.
about Dr. Detel’s work
about Dr. Lee’s work
about Dr. Gorbach’s work
about Dr. Li’s work
UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) is a division within the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences that focuses on addiction-related research and training. ISAP’s research efforts range from epidemiological and policy studies, to clinical trials of innovative behavioral and pharmacotherapy interventions. In addition to implementation of research initiatives, a significant part of their work focuses on moving empirically-supported substance abuse interventions from research settings into mainstream application. Since its founding in 1999, ISAP has steadily established its presence as a major entity in the drug abuse research community, both domestically and internationally.
ISAP has a number of international projects that are shaping the way addiction science is approached worldwide. In 2011, ISAP received funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to establish an HIV-Addiction Technology Transfer Center (H-ATTC) at Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam. The center concentrates education efforts on addiction, mental health, and HIV in two areas: pre-service education for medical, public health, and nursing students, and in-service education for the healthcare and social service workforce. Given the success of the H-ATTC in Hanoi, ISAP received additional SAMHSA funding in 2014 to add a second center in Ho Chi Minh City and again in 2016 to develop a third center in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Each year more than 2,000 students and healthcare providers receive specialized training through ISAP’s H-ATTCs in Vietnam and Thailand on a range of HIV, addiction, and mental health topics. Through effective training, mentoring, and technical assistance, these Centers are broadening the skillsets of both students and healthcare workers in Vietnam and Thailand, enhancing their competence in addiction science. ISAP’s extensive network of international partners, including universities, civil society organizations, and both governmental and non-governmental entities is helping to create a more skilled workforce that is capable of treating individuals with HIV and substance use/mental health issues.
ISAP’s international projects have been so successful that SAMHSA, in collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has chosen to expand the H-ATTC model in 2017 by establishing similar collaborative training centers in Ukraine and South Africa.
For more information on the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, please visit www.uclaisap.org/index.html.
Last Thursday, December 1st marked World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to acknowledging the progress being made worldwide in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Due to historic levels of investment in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other HIV/AIDS initiatives, great strides are being made to achieve the first AIDS-free generation in over 30 years.
As of 2016, PEPFAR is supporting nearly 11.5 million people on antiretroviral treatment and has prevented nearly two million babies from being born with HIV, almost twice as many as three years ago. Data from population-based HIV impact assessments (PHIAs) indicates that the epidemic is becoming more controlled in older adults and babies in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, where HIV-infected adults see an average of 65 percent community viral load suppression. In 2013, 650 children were newly infected with HIV every day. As of 2016, that number has dropped to 400.
This progress results from a multitude of research initiatives and clinical trials that are exploring the most effective ways to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. Two notable clinical trials announced in 2016 are The Ring Study and ASPIRE, “sister studies” that look at the efficacy of monthly, self-inserted vaginal rings that provide women a sustained release of antiretroviral treatment. The study results indicated strong adherence to treatment, a common problem with antiretroviral pills and gels, and new HIV infections were reduced by 31 percent in The Ring Study and by 27 percent in ASPIRE. The results of the studies suggest that the ring could significantly improve HIV prevention in women, who currently carry the highest burden of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The UCLA Center for World Health and its affiliated faculty are proud to implement a number of projects worldwide dedicated to preventing and treating HIV/AIDS. One such project is a collaborative effort with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation on its “Children Affected by HIV and AIDS Strategic Initiative.” With support from the Hilton Foundation, we are providing early childhood development training to HIV+ mothers in Malawi as part of their regular medical care for HIV. The Hilton Foundation project is fully integrated into our PEPFAR funding, whereby we are providing training and support for medical personnel on the front lines of HIV care. Our efforts have brought mother-to-child transmission of HIV down to 3% nationwide, and now our goal is to not only help children to survive, but also to thrive.
For additional information on the projects of the UCLA Center for World Health, the David Geffen School of Medicine, and UCLA Health, please visit our EXPLORE database: worldhealth.med.ucla.edu/index.php/explore/.