The Northwestern/Nigeria Research Training Program in HIV and Malignancies (NN-HAM) addresses a high NIH research priority and significant problem in sub-Saharan Africa because of the widespread HIV epidemic made worse by the high burden of oncogenic viral co-infections. Antiretroviral treatment programs put into place by PEPFAR, the Global Fund and others, have resulted in a remarkable decrease in HIV-related morbidity and mortality, however, the rate of malignancies and other non-communicable diseases is rising while at the same time, the population is aging. Most medical and research institutions in Africa are ill prepared to deal with these emerging health challenges. Northwestern University and the University of Jos in Nigeria have successfully collaborated in a research training program for HIV and malignancies since 2014. Highlights of this program include: training of two Masters level scientists in Clinical Investigation and two PhDs in our Health Sciences Integrated PhD Program; senior faculty enrichment experiences; and six mentored pilot awards for trainees. As a result of our training activities, we formed a network with Northwestern, the University of Lagos, and University of Jos and successfully competed for an NCI-funded U54, “Epigenomic Biomarkers of HIV-Associated Cancers in Nigeria” which focuses specifically on hepatocellular carcinoma and cervical cancer. This renewal Fogarty HIV Research Training Program for LMICs proposal will further enhance capacity to conduct large population-based HIV-malignancy research in Nigeria by training researchers focused on cancer molecular biomarker studies at the population level. Our primary hypothesis is that building capacity in molecular cancer epidemiology, biostatistics, and bioinformatics on HIV-associated malignancies will significantly enhance our understanding of cancer epidemiology and promote mechanistic biomarker-based research that will help develop preventive and therapeutic strategies that will lead to a reduction in incidence and related morbidity and mortality of these cancers. The specific aims of this renewal application are: 1) initiate training of cancer molecular epidemiologists capable of: i) designing and conducting population-based molecular epidemiology studies, ii) developing protocols for biospecimen collection, processing, and storage, iii) and developing biomarkers that can be used for prevention and improved treatment of HIV-associated malignancies; 2) develop training of biostatisticians who can perform compresensive statististical analysis generated from large population studies; and 3) create a multidisciplinary research team capable of performing advanced in-country research including high throughput omic research on HIV-associated malignancies at our network sites, University of Jos and University of Lagos. We will accomplish our training goals through strong mentorship with a combination of 4 long-term master’s and 1 PhD degree granting programs, 3 medium-term research project-driven training experiences, short-term in-country workshops, and innovative distance learning approaches. At the end of this project, we aspire to have our Nigerian network partners become centers of excellence in research for HIV-associated malignancies in West Africa.
|Effective start/end date||4/19/19 → 3/31/24|
- John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences (2D43TW009575-06)