ICOHRTA - Brazil Scientists Program

Investigator: George Rutherford, MD
Sponsor: NIH John F. Fogarty International Center

Location(s): Brazil


The ICOHRTA Brazilian Scientists Program has trained Brazilian scientists in clinical and prevention research methods since 2001 at UCSF and in Brazil. Our broad objective is to increase the capacity for clinical and prevention research related to AIDS, HIV and sexually transmitted infections in Brazil and in other Portuguese-speaking countries and, thus, augment these countries' abilities to prevent and control the HIV epidemic. We have three specific aims: (1) Provide training in clinical research methods to 24 Brazilian scientists at two partner institutions in Brazil, the Centra de Estudos de AIDS de Rio Grande do Sul (CEARGS) and the Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA). Trainees develop a research protocol and compete for funding for 16 pilot studies, which are conducted under the mentorship of CEARGS, UFBA and UCSF faculty. Following the completion of the studies, trainees will return for a second course in data analysis and scientific writing. Our courses are taught exclusively in Portuguese and emphasize adult learning and one-on-one mentoring. We offer clinical research methods to a minimum of eight trainees per year in Years 1, 2 and 4 and data analysis and scientific writing to eight successful trainees per year in Years 3 and 5. To broaden our program's accessibility, we have recruited a new partner institution in northeastern Brazil, UFBA, to be the site of the courses in Years 2 and 5; the other courses will be conducted at CEARGS and its affiliated institutions in Porto Alegre; (2) Strengthen CEARGS' institutional affiliations in Porto Alegre through a four-institution consortium, broaden access to our training program by adding the second institutional training base at UFBA in Salvador, and facilitate training opportunities for scientists from other Portuguese-speaking countries through a partnership with the Brazil Ministry of Health; and (3) Evaluate impact in terms of improving Brazil's scientific capacity in HIV/AIDS clinical and prevention research. We have designed our aims and activities to complement the Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program at the School of Public Health in Berkeley as well as with our existing training programs at CAPS. This program will lead to improved prevention of HIV and improved care for HIV-infected patients in Brazil and internationally by giving scientists the tools they need to become successful independent and/or collaborative investigators.