Emory Institute for Drug Development is awarded the Global Health Primer

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Nov. 7, 2012

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Holly Korschun
404-727-3990
hkorsch@emory.edu

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"The Global Health Primer will also enable the Emory Institute for Drug Development to advance its focus on global health research and development, particularly in commercially neglected diseases," says Dennis Liotta, PhD, Emory professor of chemistry and founder and executive director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development (EIDD).

BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), a non-profit organization that works to address the unmet medical needs of the developing world, has awarded the Global Health Primer to the Emory Institute for Drug Development (EIDD). The award recognizes EIDD’s expertise in drug development, its rich academic environment and its strong commitment to global health. 

The Global Health Primer, funded through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was originated by BVGH as a unique on-line resource that tracks drug, vaccine and diagnostic products for 25 of the world’s most devastating yet neglected tropical diseases. Such diseases include tuberculosis, malaria, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and other communicable diseases that disproportionately affect the developing world.

In addition to tracking the status of approximately 500 separate projects, the Primer contains introductory materials and links to resources with further information about these diseases, which together affect the lives of more than 1 billion people worldwide.

EIDD will be responsible for maintaining and expanding the underlying dataset, for publishing the Primer, and also for generating and disseminating further analyses, reports and policy recommendations based on its evaluation of the Primer data. EIDD will maintain the Primer as a freely available resource at no cost for the continued benefit of product developers, disease researchers, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions and funders.

"We are pleased to have this opportunity to build on this important resource for global health," says Dennis Liotta, Emory professor of chemistry and founder and executive director of the EIDD. "The Global Health Primer will also enable the Emory Institute for Drug Development to advance its focus on global health research and development, particularly in commercially neglected diseases. This award will facilitate our direct engagement with pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, foundations and others pursuing preventives, diagnostics and therapeutics for neglected diseases worldwide."

Emory will also utilize the Global Health Primer to develop and disseminate teaching modules, instructional materials, and video lecture recordings, and to serve as an online curriculum for global health education.

"Students in the Emory Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Business, and Emory College will have the opportunity to engage in the Primer activities to increase first-hand knowledge of global health and combine their perspectives on health, business, policy and economics of neglected diseases," says Theresa Gillespie, associate professor in the Department of Surgery, who will lead the Global Health Primer program. "Clinicians, students and others in low- and middle-income countries can also freely utilize the teaching tools to enhance their knowledge of these diseases, their diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The Global Health Primer clearly reflects Emory University’s focus on both global outreach and online learning initiatives."

Future goals include expanding the Primer to include rare and pediatric diseases and progress in developing diagnostics and therapeutics for these conditions as well.

Co-Investigators on the Global Health Primer are: Carlos del Rio, professor and chair, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health; Michael Sacks, associate professor, Goizueta School of Business; George Painter, director of the EIDD; and Steve Sencer, general counsel, Emory University.