The University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) recently announced the recipients of their International Infrastructure Awards. Geoffrey Gottlieb (Adjunct Professor of Global Health), John Kinuthia (Affiliate Associate Professor), Rose Bosire (Clinical Research Scientist/Global Health Fellow), and Sylvia LaCourse (Assistant Professor) each received awards.

The International Infrastructure Awards provide up to $10,000 in funding to build capacity for international HIV research projects. These awards generally benefit multiple studies or investigators within a single research site and are often used to renovate facilities or purchase supplies that contribute to the projects’ execution and development. Projects recognized by the International Infrastructure Awards must be completed within one year of their approval. 

Gottlieb’s award will help strengthen the UW-Senegal Research Collaboration, a partnership focused on epidemiology, treatment, and prevention that provides training opportunities for students, physicians, and scientists from Senegal. Gottlieb’s funding will go toward a machine that analyzes patients’ CD4 counts at the Centre de Sante de Ziguinchor in Casamance, Senegal. CD4 cells are more commonly known as the white blood cells that fight infection. When a person’s CD4 count drops below 200, they are diagnosed with AIDS. 

“The machine will provide much needed infrastructure for HIV clinical care and ongoing HIV research studies,” Gottlieb explained. “Many people living with HIV in Senegal present with advanced HIV/AIDS. Having access to point-of-care CD4 counts will hopefully improve patient outcomes in this neglected region of Western Africa.”  

Kinuthia’s project will create safer and more efficient spaces for HIV care in Kenya. His award will purchase two shipping containers to be converted into a dedicated research space at the Discordant Couples’ Clinic (DCC). This clinic, located in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi, offers couple-centered HIV care, prevention, and safer conception services to HIV sero-discordant couples. 

Bosire and LaCourse will both purchase items to improve and support ongoing research. Bosire's funding will be used for a four-cartridge system to improve viral load monitoring during antiretroviral therapy (ART) in a Kenyan pediatric lab, while LaCourse will purchase a 6,000 sample capacity liquid nitrogen tank. This tank will become an instrument in research studies currently underway in the Nyanza region of Kenya.

To be eligible to an International Infrastructure Award, the principal investigator must be a faculty member at UW or a Fred Hutch CFAR affiliated institution. For more information on the International Infrastructure Awards, click here.