Fondation Merieux

A family foundation dedicated to fighting infectious diseases

Second round of the European fellowship program for African researchers into NTDs

13 April 2010, Lyon (France)

Just under 1 million euros has recently been awarded to young African scientists in a second round of research fellowships under a unique initiative from European Foundations. The European Foundation Initiative for African Research into Neglected Tropical Diseases (EFINTD) is a partnership between 5 European Foundations: Volkswagen, Mérieux, Calouste Gulbenkian, Nuffield and Cariplo. EFINTD, now in its second year, is designed to strengthen African research capacity in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), both in biomedicine and public health.

Second round of the European fellowship program for African researchers into NTDs

Neglected tropical diseases: Hidden successes, emerging opportunities conference, February 2010, Lisbon (Portugal)

The competitive application process for these Post-Doctoral Fellowships to young African researchers seeking funding for research and development projects in the area of NTDs culminated in final selection during an International Conference in February 2010.

The conference, 'Neglected Tropical Diseases: Hidden successes, emerging opportunities', took place at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. With keynote speakers from international organizations and leading research institutions, training workshops and presentations from the first round Fellows, the conference offered a unique opportunity for junior and experienced researchers from North and South to exchange ideas and information. Applicants for the Fellowships presented their proposals during the plenary sessions and were then interviewed by an international scientific committee.

The Foundation representatives agreed to award a total amount of 851,000 Euros to the following projects and African researchers:

  • Scaling up early detection and treatment to reduce buruli ulcer morbidity in the Asante Akim North District of Ghana
    Anthony Ablordey

  • Ecology of transmission of the deadly Lassa Virus from rodents to man across various flashpoints within Nigeria
    Ayodeji Olayemi

  • Female genital schistosomiasis and HIV-1 Infection in Lower Moshi, Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
    Elia John Mmbaga

  • Development of genetic markers for early detection and monitoring of Ivermectin resistance in Onchocerca volvulus and its implication for onchocerciasis control
    Mike Osei-Atweneboana

  • Comparative study of Rotavirus infection between HIV positive and negative children less than 5 years with acute and severe diarrhea
    Nilsa de Deus

  • Implementation of Community Directed Intervention (CDI) for Schistosomes and Soil Transmitted Helminthes (STH) in an urban setting: Western Kenya
    Pauline Mwinzi

  • Vector competence and filariasis transmission in Malawi
    Themba Mzilahowa

According to the fellows, this initiative "is a beautiful initiative which will have a really significant impact on combating NTDs – with young brilliant African scientists in the frontlines".

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