Days 12, 13 – NIH training (Tuberculosis, NLM, presentations)

Our last “State of the Science” lecture covered tuberculosis, my field for next year. Christine Sizemore, PhD of NIAID discussed the burden of Tb, current treatment modalities and future studies, and the need for more R&D. Since I’ll probably write a fair bit on Tb throughout the next year, I’ll truncate my blog on this talk for now!

Before we started our afternoon presentations, we received a tour of the National Library of Medicine, a phenomenal facility and the largest health library in the world (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/). The building, built during the Cold War era, is rather invincible and built to withstand major attacks in order to protect the works. I don’t recall exactly how many football fields big it is with many levels underground. The exhibit we paid the most attention to was called “Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health.” (See: http://apps.nlm.nih.gov/againsttheodds/index.cfm) Well done, and I saw a few familiar student and physician leaders and advocates in global health in the exhibit’s pieces.

Our presentation on a diagnostic modality for identifying Tb (called MODS: microscopic observation and drug susceptibility assay) went well as did the other presentations. They were impressive! The collaboration the project cultivated gave us a very small taste of what international collaboration looks like for putting together a proposal. On Day 13 after the last presentation we had a farewell/send-off talk from a few of the NIH and Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health directors. Saying goodbye to new friends felt melancholic, but they Fogarty Center people convinced us that our paths will surely cross again in the future. I hope so! I know I’ll see a few in the East African region over the next year, and I’m excited for that. Ali packed up to head back to Uganda on Sunday, and I did shortly after. Coming home, my brother’s wedding is now my biggest responsibility before getting a week to pack, organize and readying myself for departure! I hope you enjoyed the NIH training posts and found some interesting articles to read. Stay tuned…

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