The Global Health Biotech

Infectious Insights Blog

What Can We Do to End TB?

As we observe World TB Day on March 24, the World Health Organization (WHO) reminds us of the commitment made with the “End TB" strategy: to reduce tuberculosis incidence by 80%, tuberculosis deaths by 90% and to eliminate catastrophic costs that burdens TB-affected families, by 2030. We call on country leaders, stakeholders and partners to join the strategy to increase the number of people reported as diagnosed and treated, and to reach at least 30 million people with TB preventive services between 2018 and 2022. This challenge makes the STriTuVaD project, of which IDRI is a member, particularly suitable in addressing the 2019 World TB Day’s theme “It’s time." It’s time to act on the urgency to scale up access to prevention and treatment, especially in countries, like India, where tuberculosis isn’t just a health issue. “The social and economic impacts are devastating, including poverty, stigma and discrimination," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom [...]

March 22nd, 2019| |

Observe World Leprosy Day for a Different Reason

Despite the successes of multidrug therapy for improved treatment of patients and the advancement of chemoprophylactic regimen to contain infection in earlier stages within asymptomatic infected individuals, transmission of M. leprae – the bacterium that causes leprosy - continues and prevention remains beyond current reach. Accordingly, large numbers of new cases of leprosy emerge every year and the need to observe World Leprosy Day – this year on Jan. 27 -- throughout the world remains. While the physical effects of leprosy are well documented, as well as the stigma associated with the disease, a new report from ILEP shows that up to 50% of people affected by leprosy will face mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. The need for a vaccine to prevent and/or treat this devastating disease is greater than ever. Through funding and partnership with leprosy focused organizations such as American Leprosy Missions, Damien Foundation, German Leprosy [...]

January 25th, 2019| |

Need a Gift for Your Favorite Geek?

Yikes! The holiday season is upon us and so is the pressure to find that perfect gift for the geek on your list. Once again, IDRI scientists have stepped into the fray to help fill your list with great suggestions. Linda Hawkins says, “For the scientist who periodically gets cold and is seeking protection from the elements, a periodic table blanket beats all other precious metal and electron-ic gifts.” All puns appreciated! Jennifer Geist suggests a SnoValley culinary mushroom grow kit. “I received this as a present and it was so cool! I could see kids loving this as a fun in-home experiment.” According to Jenny, you can find these kits at all the Seattle farmers markets. “The mushroom “brick” (which is a specific organic mix with spores) comes in a plastic bag, and you can get shiitake or king oyster mushroom kits for $10. "All you do is open [...]

December 10th, 2018| |

Pioneering Women Offer Great Reads

The global health community in Washington state is filled with women who serve in all sorts of roles – from leading companies to leading labs to leading the administrative services that support research. There is a particular group of women, the Pioneering Women, who have been brought together by the Washington Global Health Alliance (WGHA), and I'm proud to be a charter member of this inspiring group. We drink wine, discuss our work and support the next generation of women in global health and life sciences.  And every year, at WGHA’s annual event, we put together an auction item that features wine and books. Each bottle of wine and book come with a handwritten note about why it was handpicked by the donor. This year’s the book selection was interesting and eclectic – so much so that there were requests for the list of books. In the spirit of finding a [...]

November 21st, 2018| |

Merck Fellows Help IDRI Learn New Skills

I am sitting in Heathrow airport waiting for my next flight to Cape Town (another work trip). The last time I made the journey to South Africa, I was on my way to meet three fellows joining us from Merck and bring them home to IDRI. That was three months ago and their time with us has now ended, but it seems like an appropriate point to reflect on their achievements. The MSD Fellowship for Global Health places experienced scientists from Merck with NGOs and non-profits for three months to transfer skills and use their talents to contribute to global health. This co-hort of Merck Fellows marks our fourth at IDRI. Our aims were to develop new capabilities for our group in drug discovery, adding some key skills in DMPK (drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics) to complement our existing medicinal chemistry and disease biology programs. We had three talented and dedicated [...]

October 30th, 2018| |
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