Upstate Medical University

Research & Clinical

Platform and Partnerships in Kenya

Members of the Upstate Institute for Global Health and Translational Science have more than 25 years combined experience in western Kenya with long-standing collaborations through the Department of Defense, United States Army Research Unit- Kenya and the Walter Reed Project.

RESEARCH: Recently, IGHTS has partnered with the Walter Reed Project (WRP), Kombewa Clinical Research Center and Medical Training College, and Kenya Medical Research Institute in Kisumu, Kenya to administer the Kenya Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS). The HDSS collect prospective demographic and population-based surveillance from a 369 square km region around the Kombewa Clinical Research Center. Broadly, the HDSS platform allows for new population-based research initiatives such as evaluation of the dispersion of disease, relation of disease to disease vectors over time, co-infection research, post-marketing surveillance, and outbreak investigations. A unique feature of the HDSS being the presence of stable demographics that can provide disease risk and incidence/prevalence data on diseases of global importance such as influenza, zika, dengue, chikungunya, ebola, yellow fever, west nile, and onyong nyong viruses. The platform exists an area with 22 health facilities that serve the resident community and also serves as the catchment area for clinical trials and the Department of Defense HIV program. Participating households are surveyed every 6 months for demographic updates. Approximately 140,000 participants have enrolled in the HDSS to date.

Data analytic projects have commenced from the Kenyan HDSS, a collaboration defined by the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between SUNY Upstate and US Army Medical Research Directorate- Kenya (USAMRD-K) signed and executed in 2018. An HDSS review committee was formed in conjunction with Upstate Medical University’s Institute for Global Health and Translational Science and the Department of Public Health and Preventative medicine in spring of 2018 to provide oversight to the HDSS research studies and analytic teams.

CLINICAL: We have formalized an educational collaboration between SUNY Upstate Medical University and Maseno University School of Medicine through a Memorandum of Understanding and Hospital Letter of Agreement. These agreements will allow Upstate’s pediatric faculty to train and educate Kenyan medical students and trainees at Maseno University and Obama Children’s Hospital. Students are able to shadow and round with Upstate faculty at these hospitals.

Platform and Partnerships in Ecuador

The Institute for Global Health and Translational Science has been supporting a vibrant research program on emerging infectious diseases and public health interventions in the city of Machala in southern coastal Ecuador since 2012, in partnership with Ecuadorian and U.S. universities and the Ministry of Health. We have established a diagnostic laboratory in the central hospital, an entomology laboratory at the Technical University of Machala, including administrative offices across both sites. Machala, a port city of approximately 280,000 people, is a key site to study emerging tropical infectious diseases and the effects of climate on health. Ongoing projects span disease surveillance, epidemiology, virology and immunology, clinical research, entomology, spatial modeling, nutrition, household-level economy, disaster risk management, and climatology.