CRDF Global Announces Awardees of Joint U.S.-South African Research Grants under the Regional Prospective Observational Research for Tuberculosis (RePORT) Program

CRDF Global announced today it has awarded grants to five teams of joint U.S. and South African based Tuberculosis (TB) researchers. The U.S.-South Africa Initiative on TB Research: Regional Prospective Observational Research for Tuberculosis in the Republic of South Africa (RePORT SA) is administered by CRDF Global. Funding is provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and South African Council of Medical Research (SAMRC).
CRDF Global promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training and services in more than 40 countries. It has facilitated the grant competition management and peer review and will oversee award administration for RePORT SA. CRDF Global also manages grant awards for RePORT India, a joint venture between the Indian and U.S. governments. India is another high burden TB country and the inaugural country of the RePORT program started in 2013.
“The World Health Organization reports that the effective diagnosis and treatment of TB has saved an estimated 43 million lives between 2000 and 2014,” said Siri Oswald, CRDF Global Director of Research Partnerships. “However, this remains one of the top infectious disease killers, and South Africa is one of the six countries with the highest incident cases of TB. With the rapid increase in drug resistant TB, this disease continues to be an urgent problem,” said Oswald.
Each three-year grant of up to $1 million (USD) will be made to joint research teams of U.S. and South African investigators engaged in basic, clinical and implementation TB and TB/HIV Research. Awarded institutions from South Africa include, University of Cape Town, Wits health Consortium, KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for TB-HIV. Institutes awarded from the U.S. include Boston Medical College, John Hopkins University, Baylor Research Institute, Vanderbilt University, and Baylor College. Awards support research ranging from biomarker targeted TB treatment interventions to novel diagnostics for community-based case findings and pulmonary TB in children to identifying TB index case and household contact trends.
This initiative establishes RePORT South Africa – a network of institutions and investigators collaborating to advance TB/HIV research and enhance fundamental clinical and implementation research capacity in the country. Similar RePORT consortia, such as RePORT India, have and are being established in other high burden countries.
“The South African Medical Research Council understands the importance of this collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.  It is critical to solve the TB crisis in high burdened countries such as that seen in South Africa and India. The SAMRC looks forward to supporting these projects with CRDF Global and NIAID to ensure high quality research not only in South Africa but as part of the larger RePORT International Consortia,” said Prof. Glenda Gray, SAMRC.
“This partnership with the South African Medical Research Council and Department of Science and Technology represents an exciting opportunity to further build on the excellent TB/HIV research currently on going in South Africa.  The RePORT South Africa network will allow rapid advancement of research priorities that can positively impact the TB/HIV epidemic in South Africa both in the short and long term.  Furthermore, as a member of the RePORT International Consortia, we expect that this new network will play an important role in global TB research efforts,” said Mr. Steven Smith, Health Attaché and DHHS Regional Representative for Southern Africa