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Dengue is no joke – it causes a ‘bone-breaking’ illness and fever that basically wipes you out. Several members of my Paraguayan family can attest to that.

And dengue is all over the world. It is the second most common cause of febrile illness among travelers coming back from Asia and has been reported recently in parts of the United States (Florida, Texas, Hawaii). Oh, did I mention that the mosquito vector for it exists in California? This means that dengue could also be established on the West Coast.

We have no vaccine, we cannot predict who will get severe dengue (at worst, hemorrhagic fever), nor do we know how to ameliorate the clinical severity of the disease. We’ve got so few tools in our arsenal against dengue. You SHOULD be worried.


It doesn’t have its celebrity fundraisers, unlike AIDS. It hasn’t made the headlines in the way that bird flu or SARS have. It isn’t feared in the way that polio or TB are, and yet dengue fever can kill and is spreading around the world to an unprecedented degree.

The latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that annual transmissions of the disease may breach 390 million. This year, infections are breaking records all over Asia and Latin America — from sweeping epidemics in Nicaragua to the worse outbreaks in six years in India, 20 years in Thailand and the first homegrown case in Western Australia in seven decades. Even temperate climates are now stalking grounds for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Almost 3 billion people, or 40% of the world’s population, live in areas where there is a risk of dengue transmission. Previously known as breakbone fever, owning to the…

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Contributed by Jessica Taaffe:

Several members of the Global Health Technologies Coalition, will be hosting a discussion on Capitol Hill on Neglected Tropical Diseases on June 17.   See more information below:


Please Join Us for a Discussion on Neglected Tropical Diseases:

The Role of the U.S. Government and the Case for Scaling Up Treatment and Accelerating Innovation for the World’s Most Neglected Patients

Monday, June 17│11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Capitol Visitor Center, Room 268

With Presentations by:

Rachel Cohen, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative

Brian D’Cruz, MD, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

Laurence Buxbaum, MD, PhD, Philadelphia Research and Educational Foundation

Moderated by:

Kaitlin Christenson, Global Health Technologies Coalition

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of communicable diseases that affect more than one billion ofthe world’s poorest people worldwide and threaten the lives of millions. Because NTDs disproportionately affect poor people in rural, remote, and unstable areas of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, diagnostic and treatment options for some of these diseases are limited.

The current U.S. NTD Program focuses only on five of the world’s 17 NTDs. Other NTDs—including African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis), the three NTDs with the highest death rates—are not included and thus do not receive adequate attention. Sleeping sickness and kala azar are fatal if left untreated, and one-third of Chagas patients will develop life-threatening complications.

Efforts to scale up access to care and treatment need to be enhanced, but since existing tools are inadequate, new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies are also urgently needed for these NTDs, requiring significant investments in research and development (R&D).

In conjunction with:

Representatives Karen Bass and Lucille Roybal-Allard

Please RSVP to Gwen Rathbun at


Original posting:

Contributed by Jessica Taaffe:

Kaiser Family Foundation will be holding a live webcast on global health, vaccines and kids on June 18th.  Tune in to hear about these very important topics! See more information below:


Getting to Zero: Saving Children’s Lives with Vaccines

As one of the cornerstones of global health, widespread immunization through vaccines is critical to reducing child mortality and eradicating polio, two goals endorsed by the international community and particularly emphasized by the U.S. government.  On Tuesday, June 18 from 12:30 p.m. ET to 1:30 p.m. ET, the Kaiser Family Foundation will host a live, interactive webcast to explore the importance of vaccines in global child survival efforts, including the role of the U.S. government, the GAVI Alliance, and NGOs.  Panelists will discuss the current state of childhood immunization, global investments in vaccines, and the opportunities and challenges faced by key stakeholders.

Speakers will answer questions from viewers, which can be submitted ahead of time or during the live program to All viewers are also welcome to continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag, #KFFglobal.


Josh Michaud (moderator), Associate Director of Global Health Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation

Seth Berkley, CEO, The GAVI Alliance

Amanda Glassman, Director of Global Health Policy, Center for Global Development

Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children

Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator for Global Health, USAID

Original posting:

Contributed by Jessica Taaffe:

When you think of global health, do you think about how animals and the environment influence human health?  As most global health initiatives target human populations, it’s easy to focus just on that one aspect.  However, it is important to remember that many pathogens can be passed back and forth between humans and animal populations, some having caused or currently causing pandemics and outbreaks (HIV is the result of a non-human primate virus passed and adapted to humansinfluenza strains causing past pandemics have had their origins in birds and pigs, and it is suspected that bats are the natural host for the coronavirus causing the recent MERS- related sickness and deaths).  In order to minimize morbidity and mortality caused by zoonotic diseases, proper surveillance and biomedical research must be implemented collaboratively by both human and animal health scientists and medical professionals.  The One Health Initiative and Washington State University’s School for Global Animal Health are committed to this strategy, promoting an interdisciplinary approach to disease intervention and prevention in animals and human populations.

Guy Palmer is the Director and Founder of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University.  On June 18, 2013, Dr. Palmer will speak at NIH on the interface between animal and human health and discuss current disease control and prevention programs in East Africa.  See specific details below:


The Global Health Interest Group presents:

“Global Health and the Animal-Human Interface”

Guy Palmer, DVM, PhD

Director of Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

Washington State University

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

4 – 5PM

National Institutes of Health

Building 50, Rm 1227/1233

(Visitors please check in at NIH Visitor Center first)

Guy Palmer, DVM, PhD is founding Director of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, a multi-disciplinary institute with the mission of addressing global disease challenges through research, education, global outreach, and application of disease control at the animal-human interface.  Dr. Palmer currently leads disease control programs in east Africa and Latin America as well as directing laboratory research at Washington State. He heads the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Training Program in Infectious Diseases and Microbial Immunology and holds a NIH MERIT award for research on pathogen emergence. He also serves as an adviser to the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Training Program on Molecular Epidemiology of Food-borne Pathogens in Eastern Africa, and is a member of the NIH College of Scientific Review. For his research at the interface of animal disease and human public health, Dr. Palmer was elected to membership in National Academy of Sciences in 2006 where he is a current member of the Board on Global Health within the Institute of Medicine. A Medical Sciences Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Palmer has been honored with numerous awards including the Merck Award for Creativity and the Sahlin Award for Research. Dr. Palmer is a summa cum laude graduate in biology from Kansas State University where he also received his DVM, he received his PhD in Infectious Diseases from Washington State University, and in 2011 was awarded an honorary doctorate (honoris causa) for his work in global health from the University of Bern (Switzerland).

Dr. Palmer will discuss how animal health interfaces with human health, especially as it relates to disease control and prevention programs in Africa.  He will also talk about the One Health Initiative (, a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment.


Check out upcoming seminars hosted by the NIH Global Health Interest Group here.

Apply for Gates Fellows Program

Contributed by Jessica Taaffe:

Interested in getting your foot in the door with the Gates Foundation?  Here’s an opportunity to apply for a position in the Gates Fellow Program.  See more information below:

Fellows Program Summary

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has recently established a Gates Fellows Program, the objectives of which are to:

  1. Create a cadre of top talent within strategic partners and the field that aligns with the foundation
  2. Access fresh talent and perspectives to advance our thinking and contribute in a substantive way to our work
  3. Develop fellows’ capabilities, skills, and understanding of the foundation.

We are seeking Fellows with exceptional qualifications across a variety of backgrounds, to join beginning in Fall 2013, to contribute to program teams in Global Health.


Fellows at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will work in close collaboration with foundation employees to support research, evaluation of strategic priorities, grant projects and initiatives. Fellows will have broad access to mentoring from world class leaders and opportunities to leverage the foundation’s network. Fellows will be a part of a two year cohort that will work on a range of responsibilities.

In partnership with foundation team members Fellows will:

Strategic portfolio management

  • Plan, design, manage and execute activities in strategic planning, portfolio/grants management and external relationship management. Participate in strategy development, review and evaluation activities.
  • Serve as a point of contact on portfolio-related issues for key internal and external stakeholders, including performing technical, scientific, and strategic analysis on portfolio investments.
  • Collaborate with other program staff and foundation colleagues as appropriate to ensure that work is aligned, supported, and enhanced throughout the foundation.
  • Partner with foundation staff to develop and manage funding partnerships with external stakeholders, including identifying funding opportunities, managing negotiations, developing MOUs, and shaping announcements.
  • Identify and engage qualified subject thought leaders, technical experts, and consultants in priority areas for meetings, technical consult, review, and other program activities.

Knowledge management and learning dissemination:

  • Write and produce informative briefings, reports, email updates, and other materials on key issues. Provide ongoing research and literature reviews in areas related to foundation strategic priorities, as well as capture and synthesize background and technical progress information from grants and other initiatives.
  • Interact with foundation staff as well as partners and outside experts to develop information that contributes to shaping program priorities and strategies. In specific assigned areas, develop drafts and concepts that contribute to shaping program priorities and strategies.
  • In partnership with program staff, coordinate and/or manage a wide range of monitoring and evaluation activities in support of strategic planning, grant management and external relationship management.
  • In partnership with Business Teams, create and manage content for technical and strategic areas on our internal SharePoint site.
  • Undertake special projects, as requested.


To be considered, applicants are required to have an advanced degree such as MD, PhD, PharmD (scientific disciplines highly encouraged), or MBA with backgrounds in management consulting, investment banking, private equity or venture capital, and 7-10 years of related professional experience.

Those with an advanced degree and field experience in global health and development are encouraged to apply.

In addition, heavy emphasis will be placed on:

  • Demonstrated interest and/or experience in global health, development, policy and advocacy, or communications
  • Strong knowledge across relevant technical area/expertise, proven ability to learn new content quickly, identify connections and second-order implications as well as demonstrate competence and execute good judgment in a variety of areas.
  • Demonstrated strong analytical, writing & verbal skills for communicating with a broad and diverse audience, including internal leadership and external high-level stakeholders, on a range of complex technical issues.
  • Experience in a role requiring effective collaboration within a complex organization, as well as a proven ability to work with efficiency and diplomacy as part of a team effort.
  • Commitment to Foundation's core values of Rigor, Innovation, Collaboration and Optimism
  • Demonstrated capacity and initiative to solve problems with energy and positive attitude
  • Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills as well as willingness to work in a flexible environment
  • Proactive and flexible nature with reliable follow-through and attention to detail
  • Ability to work both independently and in a cooperative and collegial fashion
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally
  • Scope of work will require residency or relocation to the Seattle, Washington area.

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a comprehensive background check.

For full information visit the original posting:

Contributed by Jessica Taaffe:

Ever wonder what global health research opportunities are available for biomedical scientists?  Interested in how international field clinical and research sites are set up?  HIV and STD expert Dr. Thomas Quinn will discuss these topics in an upcoming seminar at NIH on May 28, hosted by the NIH Global Health Interest Group.  Dr. Quinn is an excellent speaker, has a wealth of international HIV research experience, and has been involved in global health activities at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and at NIH.  See more information below:

The Global Health Interest Group presents:

“International HIV Research: Past, Present and Future Global Health Research Opportunities”

Thomas Quinn, MD, MSc

Associate Director for International Research, Chief of International HIV/STD Research

Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

11am –  noon

National Institutes of Health (9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD)

Building 50, Rm 1328/1334 Rear

(Non-NIH badge holders, please go check-in at NIH Visitor Center first with your gov’t issued ID)

Thomas C. Quinn, M.D., M.Sc. is Associate Director for International Research and Senior Investigator and Section Chief of International HIV/STD Research in the Laboratory of Immunoregulation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  Since 1981, he has been assigned to The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he is a Professor of Medicine and Pathology, and has adjunct appointments in the Departments of International Health, Epidemiology, and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2006 he was appointed Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health.

Dr. Quinn’s investigations have involved the study of the epidemiologic, virologic, immunologic features of HIV infection in Africa, the Caribbean, South America and Asia.  In 1983 he led the first group of scientists to Haiti and central Africa to determine the extent of HIV within those countries.  In 1984, he helped establish the interagency project called “Projet SIDA” in Kinshasa, Zaire which was the largest AIDS investigative project in sub-Saharan Africa.  Since then he has generated numerous global initiatives and research programs in 28 countries.  He was among the first to describe the heterosexual transmission of HIV in Haiti, Zaire, Kenya, India, and more recently, China. He demonstrated that HIV viral load was the single most important predictor of HIV perinatal and sexual transmission, correlating this with timing of infection and natural history.  More recent collaborative studies in Uganda have also provided evidence that male circumcision can reduce HIV acquisition by at least 50%. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the NIAID International Center for Excellence in Research (ICER) in Uganda where he is conducting several studies on HIV pathogenesis, transmission, molecular epidemiology and response to therapy.

Dr. Quinn will discuss opportunities for biomedical scientists to get involved in global health research and touch on his experience setting up international field sites.


Check out upcoming seminars hosted by the NIH Global Health Interest Group here.

NTD seminar on Podoconiosis at NIH

Contributed by Jessica Taaffe:

Interested in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)?  How about a “neglected” NTD?  What about a NON-INFECTIOUS NTD?

Interest piqued yet? Then check out this upcoming seminar this Wednesday hosted by the NIH Global Health Interest Group featuring Dr. Melanie Newport from Brighton and Sussex Medical School on Podoconiosis.  See details below:


The Global Health Interest Group presents:

“Podoconiosis: from genes to disease control for a ‘neglected’ NTD”

Melanie Newport, PhD, FRCP, MRCPCH
Professor in Infectious Diseases and Global Health
Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
4 – 5 PM

National Institutes of Health (9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892)
Building 10 (Hatfield), Rm 2-3330

Talk Abstract:
Podoconiosis is a non-infectious, geochemical disease that results in swelling of the lower legs. It is caused by long term exposure of bare feet to red clay soil derived from volcanic rock. Podoconiosis is an important yet neglected public health problem in over ten countries in tropical Africa, central and south America, and north India. Last year the World Health Organization (WHO) officially adopted it as a neglected tropical disease (NTD).

We have developed a podoconiosis research programme over the last seven years involving collaboration between  Addis Ababa University; the Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the University of Buea, Cameroon; Brighton & Sussex Medical School; the Natural History Museum in London; the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, USA and a podoconiosis Patients Association in southern Ethiopia. Multidisciplinary studies have generated information on disease epidemiology, aetiology, pathogenesis, and consequences that will be described in this talk.

Directions to Room 2-3330:
From the Main Lobby of the Building 10, go down the left corridor past the Coffee Shop.  (Do not take the Central Elevators.)  Look for the “1 East Corridor” sign on your left and take that door to the end of the hallway. Then take the “Southeast Elevators” up one flight to the second floor. Conference Room 2-3330 is located in the glass enclosure next to the elevator lobby.

Check out upcoming seminars hosted by the NIH Global Health Interest Group here.