CFAR Strengthens UCSF's East Africa Presence

Craig Cohen, MD, MPH
Director, CFAR International Program

CFAR Establishes Regional Office in Nairobi: A Platform to Strengthen Research for Health in East Africa

The UC San Francisco-Gladstone Institutes Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) has unveiled a new strategic plan for its International Program, focused on East Africa owing to the significant and growing amount of UCSF activity in this region. Recent cross-campus discussions and an international strategic retreat spearheaded by CFAR and Global Health Sciences highlighted the need to facilitate communication, linkages, and resource-sharing across UCSF-affiliated research groups collaborating in East Africa. The plan builds on the vision of CFAR International Program Director Craig Cohen, MD, MPH.

"We are excited to have this opportunity to work more closely with CFAR investigators in East Africa, and to have people on the ground to support the many UCSF faculty, students and trainees who do research in this part of the world,"

Jaime Sepulveda, MD, MPH, MSc, DrSc, Executive Director of Global Health Sciences

Infrastructure Support

CFAR has committed $200,000 over two years in focused infrastructure support to establish a regional presence in East Africa. An office based in Nairobi will serve the diverse research, programmatic, training, and policy interests of UCSF and its primary regional partners, including Kenya Medical Research Institute, University of Nairobi, and Aga Khan University in Kenya; Makerere University, Infectious Diseases Institute, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda; and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. The site will leverage Nairobi's role as a hub and host to regional, African, and international offices of major US and multilateral organizations and donors in East Africa.

2 people at a conference
Training

EA-UCSF will be well positioned to facilitate the CFAR and UCSF training missions through strengthened support of ongoing, multisite regional training efforts and scientific seminars involving East African and UCSF investigators. Paul Volberding, MD, CFAR Co-Director remarked, "This important CFAR-supported activity will continue to foster a stimulating intellectual environment for students and researchers, enhance the sharing of data, and encourage the development of new South-South collaborations across African sites, thus contributing to our common mission."

CFAR's East African colleagues welcome the new regional strategy, "...this strategic move will help strengthen collaborations built over the last many years and provide a platform for both students and researchers for new opportunities to expand ongoing work...to build capacity and grow networks for both local and international global health interests to make a difference as we conduct 'research for health' in the East African region."  Elizabeth Bukusi, MBChB, MMed (ObGyn), MPH, PhD, PGD (Research Ethics); Chief Research Officer and Deputy Director of Research and Training, KEMRI.