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2013 News Archive
Accordia's Warner C. Greene Leads Breakthrough HIV/AIDS Discovery

Accordia Executive Chair is Among Scientists Discovering How Key Immune Cells Die During HIV Infection and Identifying Potential Drug to Block AIDS

Gladstone Institutes to launch Phase 2 trial with existing anti-inflammatory

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—December 19, 2013—Research led by scientists at the Gladstone Institutes has identified the precise chain of molecular events in the human body that drives the death of most of the immune system's CD4 T cells as an HIV infection leads to AIDS. Further, they have identified an existing anti-inflammatory drug that in laboratory tests blocks the death of these cells—and now are planning a Phase 2 clinical trial to determine if this drug or a similar drug can prevent HIV-infected people from developing AIDS and related conditions.

Two separate journal articles, published simultaneously today in Nature and Science, detail the research from the laboratory of Warner C. Greene, MD, PhD, who directs virology and immunology research at Gladstone, an independent biomedical-research nonprofit. Greene is the executive chair of Accordia Global Health Foundation. His lab's Science paper reveals how, during an HIV infection, a protein known as IFI16 senses fragments of HIV DNA in abortively infected immune cells. This triggers the activation of the human enzyme caspase-1 and leads to pyroptosis, a fiery and highly inflammatory form of cell death. As revealed in the Nature paper, this repetitive cycle of abortive infection, cell death, inflammation and recruitment of additional CD4 T cells to the infection "hot zone" ultimately destroys the immune system and causes AIDS. The Nature paper further describes laboratory tests in which an existing anti-inflammatory inhibits caspase-1, thereby preventing pyroptosis and breaking the cycle of cell death and inflammation.

"Gladstone has made two important discoveries, first by showing how the body's own immune response to HIV causes CD4 T cell death via a pathway triggering inflammation, and secondly by identifying the host DNA sensor that detects the viral DNA and triggers this death response," said Robert F. Siliciano, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. "This one-two punch of discoveries underscores the critical value of basic science—by uncovering the major cause of CD4 T cell depletion in AIDS, Dr. Greene's lab has been able to identify a potential new therapy for blocking the disease's progression and improving on current antiretroviral medications."

The research comes at a critical time, as so-called AIDS fatigue leads many to think that HIV/AIDS is solved. In fact, HIV infected an additional 2.3 million people last year, according to UNAIDS estimates, bringing the global total of HIV-positive people to 35.3 million. Antiretroviral medications (ARVs) can prevent HIV infections from causing AIDS, but they do not cure AIDS. Further, those taking ARVs risk both a latent version of the virus, which can rebound if ARVs are discontinued, and the premature onset of diseases that normally occur in aging populations. Plus, some 16 million people who carry the virus do not have access to ARVs, according to World Health Organization estimates.
Seeking solutions for all these challenges, the new Gladstone discovery builds on earlier research from Dr. Greene's lab, published in Cell in 2010. This study showed how HIV attempts, but fails, to productively infect most of the immune system's CD4 T cells. In an attempt to protect the body from the spreading virus, these immune cells then commit "cellular suicide," leading to the collapse of the immune system—and AIDS.

After that research, the Gladstone scientists began to look for ways to prevent this process by studying exactly how the suicidal response is initiated. Working in the laboratory with human spleen and tonsil tissue, as well as lymph-node tissue from HIV-infected patients, the researchers found that these so-called abortive infections leave fragments of HIV's DNA in the immune cells. As described in Nature, pyroptosis ensues as immune cells rupture and release inflammatory signals that attract still more cells to repeat the death cycle.

"Our studies have investigated and identified the root cause of AIDS—how CD4 T cells die," said Gladstone Staff Research Investigator Gilad Doitsh, PhD, who is the Nature paper's lead author, along with Nicole Galloway and Xin Geng, PhD. "Despite some 30 years of HIV research, this key HIV/AIDS process has remained pretty much a black box."
Once the scientists discovered this key process, as described in Nature, they began to investigate how the body senses the fragments of HIV's DNA in the first place, before alerting the enzyme caspase-1 to launch an immune response in the CD4 T cells. To identify the so-called DNA sensor, the scientists found a way to genetically manipulate CD4 T cells in spleen and tonsil tissue. In doing so, they discovered that reducing the activity of a protein known as IFI16 inhibited pyroptosis, explained Zhiyuan Yang, PhD, a Gladstone postdoctoral fellow who is one of the paper's two lead authors.

"This identified IFI16 as the DNA sensor, which then sends signals to caspase-1 and triggers pyroptosis," says Kathryn M. Monroe, PhD, the Science paper's other lead author, who completed the research while a postdoctoral fellow at Gladstone. "We can't block a process until we understand all of its steps—so this discovery is critical to devising ways to inhibit the body's own destructive response to HIV. We have high hopes for the upcoming clinical trial."

The Phase 2 trial—which will test an existing anti-inflammatory's ability to block inflammation and pyroptosis in HIV-infected people—promises to validate a variety of expected advantages to this therapy. For example, by targeting the human body, or host, instead of the virus, the drug is likely to avoid the rapid emergence of drug resistance that often plagues the use of ARVs. The anti-inflammatory may also provide a bridge therapy for the millions without access to ARVs, while also reducing persistent inflammation in HIV-infected people already on ARVs. Many suspect this inflammation drives the early onset of aging-related conditions such as dementia and cardiovascular disease. By reducing inflammation, the drug might also prevent expansion of a reservoir of latent virus that hides in the body where it thwarts a cure for HIV/AIDS.

"This has been an absolutely fascinating voyage of discovery," said Dr. Greene, who is also a professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology at the University of California, San Francisco, with which Gladstone is affiliated, as well as serving as Accordia's executive chair. "Every time we turned over an ‘experimental rock' in the studies, a new surprise jumped out."

Nature article coauthors Zhiyuan Yang, PhD, Kathryn M. Monroe, PhD, Orlando Zepeda, Stefanie Sowinski, PhD, and Isa Muños Arias also participated in this research at Gladstone. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grants R21 AI102782, P30 AI027763 (UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research), 1DP1036502 (Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research), U19 AI0961133 (Martin Delaney CARE Collaboratory), the A.P. Giannini Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and the UCSF/Robert John Sabo Trust Award.
Science article coauthors Jeffrey R. Johnson, PhD, Xin Geng, PhD, Gilad Doitsh, PhD, and Nevan J. Krogan, PhD, also participated in this research at Gladstone. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grants R21 AI102782, P50 GM082250, P01 AI090935, P50 GM081879, P30 AI027763 (UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research), 1DP1036502 (Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research), U19 AI0961133 (Martin Delaney CARE Collaboratory); and the A.P. Giannini Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.

Read more on the Gladstone website.

About the Gladstone Institutes

Gladstone is an independent and nonprofit biomedical-research organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and innovation to prevent, treat and cure cardiovascular, viral, immune and neurological diseases. Gladstone is affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco.

For more information, contact: press@gladstone.ucsf.edu | 415.734.5000

About Accordia Global Health

Accordia is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization dedicated to solving Africa's pressing health needs by building and supporting sustainable African health institutions. Armed with a vision of creating a continent-wide network of centers of excellence (COEs) expanding permanent health capacity, Accordia is helping to prepare a new generation of African health leaders to manage world-class research, training, and service delivery. Accordia, in conjunction with our cadre of distinguished experts from the world's leading academic institutions, provides guidance and develops management processes and systems that help COEs succeed. We work in partnership with individuals, corporations, foundations, and governments who share our long-term vision to bring private-sector efficiency and academic innovation to our technical-assistance activities. We invest in strengthening African health systems to combat locally relevant health concerns including HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, and other diseases.

For more information, contact: mmay@accordiafoundation.org | 917.623.0632 

Summit Advances Progress Toward Child Wellness Institute

November, 22 2013 Accordia Global Health Foundation and the University of Malawi co-hosted the 2013 Summit on Child Wellness in Mangochi, Malawi from 28 to 30 October. The organizers convened experts from the University of Malawi, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Mzuzu, and many other universities from across Africa, North America, and Europe. The Summit also included senior representation from five Malawian ministries, various NGOs, and others stakeholders. The forum challenged participants to think differently about new multi-sectoral approaches to ensuring healthy, productive lives for children in resource-limited settings around the world.

Malawi's Minister of Health Catherine Gotani Hara opened the meeting with a statement of strong support for the initiative. Among her remarks, the Minister said, "I am very sure that in this room we have the collective capacity to secure brighter futures for our children if we bring ourselves together and fight for a common stand and focus."

"There is a clear need to establish a world-class institution to drive improvement in the health and well-being of children in underserved regions of the world," said David Greeley, president and CEO of Accordia Global Health Foundation. "Nearly all the research done on children takes place in North America and Europe, so too little is known about the world's most disadvantaged populations of young people."

Participants agreed that achieving child wellness in Malawi will require innovation and collaboration among all sectors of government, development, and civil society. There was consensus that health is a critical component of wellness, and equally vital are contributions from the fields of agriculture, education, technology, and many others. Experts emphasized that the ability to partner more effectively across sectors and disciplines could result in ground-breaking advances and new opportunities for children born today in Malawi.

Additional outcomes included the agreement that the institute will be created as a center of excellence within the university structure and, with time, will become a true knowledge center for East and Southern Africa. Once established, the center will help Malawi take a leadership position in the region, changing the way the world invests in Africa's children by designing and testing new multi-sector approaches to improving child wellness and ensuring improved access to innovative services for children throughout the country.

Following two days of deliberations, a smaller working group convened on Wednesday, 30 October to distill the Summit's proceedings and help establish the parameters of a detailed business plan that Accordia will complete before year end. On Thursday, organizers held a debriefing in Lilongwe for the global health community about the outcomes of the Summit and next steps in developing the institution.

The Malawi forum was the sixth in the Accordia Global Health Summit Series. Organizers are analyzing output and insights from the summit's deliberations to inform the shared vision and strategic plan for Accordia's proposed child wellness institute at the University of Malawi. Now stakeholders are turning their attention to raising funds for the center.

Accordia's work in Malawi is supported by Pfizer Inc, Michigan State University, Willow Springs Charitable Trust Foundation, Friess Family Foundation/Water Missions International, and The Sheila C Johnson Foundation.

Media Coverage:


AllAfrica

2013 Summit on Child Wellness in Malawi

Malawi Summit on Child Wellness
October 2013

On October 28-30, Accordia and the University of Malawi will co-host the 2013 Summit on Child Wellness in Mangochi, Malawi. We will convene local leaders and global experts in all aspects of pediatric health, agriculture, education, economics, technology, and the emerging science of integrated development. The sixth in the Accordia Global Health Summit Series, the forum will challenge these professionals to think differently about new multi-sectoral approaches to ensuring healthy, productive lives for children in resource-limited settings around the world. Output and insights from the Summit's deliberations will inform our shared vision and strategic plan for Accordia's proposed International Center for Child Wellness at the University of Malawi.

For nearly a decade, Accordia has convened an annual leadership-level summit to explore forward-minded opportunities to improve health in sub-Saharan Africa and the world. This year, we co-hosted the Accordia Global Health Summit Series with our colleagues at the University of Malawi. We focused on ways to improve child wellness in resource-limited settings through better integrated, multi-sectoral, and preventive approaches to children's care and development.

The Malawi Summit on Child Wellness convened a select group of global leaders in pediatric health as well as the essential surrounding disciplines of agriculture, labor, and education. Participants included acknowledged experts in comprehensive prevention and wellness programs. Outcomes and insights from the summit will inform our collective strategy to establish and sustain an institute for child wellness at the University of Malawi.

The Accordia Global Health Summit Series is an invitation-only meeting, convening highly accomplished global leaders for candid, exploratory conversations about new ways to address strategic challenges to improve health around the world. Past summit topics have included: strategies to effectively build individual and institutional health leadership in Africa; ways to better measure and demonstrate the comprehensive impact of advances in global health programming approaches; and new sustainability equations for the long-term success of African-owned health institutions and centers of excellence.

Organizers analyzed output and insights from the summit's deliberations to inform the shared vision and strategic plan for the proposed Institute for Child Wellness in Africa. Now stakeholders are turning their attention to raising funds for the center.

Learn more:


We thank our generous supporters who make Accordia's work in Malawi possible: The Sheila C Johnson Foundation, Friess Family Foundation/Water Missions International, Michigan State University, Pfizer Inc, and Willow Springs Charitable Trust Foundation.

Recap:

Summit Advances Progress Toward Child Wellness Institute

Accordia Global Health Foundation and the University of Malawi co-hosted the 2013 Summit on Child Wellness in Mangochi, Malawi from 28 to 30 October. The organizers convened experts from the University of Malawi, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Mzuzu, and many other universities from across Africa, North America, and Europe. The Summit also included senior representation from five Malawian ministries, various NGOs, and others stakeholders. The forum challenged participants to think differently about new multi-sectoral approaches to ensuring healthy, productive lives for children in resource-limited settings around the world.

Malawi's Minister of Health Catherine Gotani Hara opened the meeting with a statement of strong support for the initiative. Among her remarks, the Minister said, "I am very sure that in this room we have the collective capacity to secure brighter futures for our children if we bring ourselves together and fight for a common stand and focus."

"There is a clear need to establish a world-class institution to drive improvement in the health and well-being of children in underserved regions of the world," said David Greeley, president and CEO of Accordia Global Health Foundation. "Nearly all the research done on children takes place in North America and Europe, so too little is known about the world's most disadvantaged populations of young people."

Participants agreed that achieving child wellness in Malawi will require innovation and collaboration among all sectors of government, development, and civil society. There was consensus that health is a critical component of wellness, and equally vital are contributions from the fields of agriculture, education, technology, and many others. Experts emphasized that the ability to partner more effectively across sectors and disciplines could result in ground-breaking advances and new opportunities for children born today in Malawi.

Additional outcomes included the agreement that the institute will be created as a center of excellence within the university structure and, with time, will become a true knowledge center for East and Southern Africa. Once established, the center will help Malawi take a leadership position in the region, changing the way the world invests in Africa's children by designing and testing new multi-sector approaches to improving child wellness and ensuring improved access to innovative services for children throughout the country.

Following two days of deliberations, a smaller working group convened on Wednesday, 30 October to distill the Summit's proceedings and help establish the parameters of a detailed business plan that Accordia will complete before year end. On Thursday, organizers held a debriefing in Lilongwe for the global health community about the outcomes of the Summit and next steps in developing the institution.

The Malawi forum was the sixth in the Accordia Global Health Summit Series. Organizers are analyzing output and insights from the summit's deliberations to inform the shared vision and strategic plan for Accordia's proposed child wellness institute at the University of Malawi. Now stakeholders are turning their attention to raising funds for the center.

Accordia's work in Malawi is supported by Pfizer Inc, Michigan State University, Willow Springs Charitable Trust Foundation, Friess Family Foundation/Water Missions International, and The Sheila C Johnson Foundation.

Media Coverage:

AllAfrica

Daily Monitor article on safe delivery

Daily Monitor article on safe delivery

IDI's work in improving safe deliveries was featured in an article in the Daily Monitor regarding International Safe Motherhood Day on October 17, 2013.

Ugandan President Presents Award to IDI Director Coutinho

Ugandan President Presents Award to IDI Director Coutinho
October 9, 2013

Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Executive Director Dr. Alex Coutinho was awarded the 50th independence Golden Jubilee Medal for his contribution to health and academic excellence in Uganda.The medal was presented by Ugandan President Museveni on 9 October 2013 in Rukungiri. Coutinho was one of 100 medal recipients to be recognized through this prestigious program, which recognizes outstanding civilians who have made a significant contribution to Uganda during its 50 years of independence.

 



 

The often-lauded Coutinho recently received the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Award for his role in developing The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) and IDI. Coutinho met several colleagues at the ceremony including his uncle, Professor Darbela, who was the first Ugandan head of medicine at Makerere University and Professor Olweny, the first Ugandan head of the Cancer Institute.

In discussing the award, Coutinho said that the truly deserving recipient for this medal is his mother.

Accordia Selects Team to Advance Mission

September 23, 2013, Washington, D.C. – Accordia Global Health Foundation has named three new members to its senior leadership team: LMichael Green, Vice President, Development; Serap Akisoglu, Director, Individual Giving; and Melissa May, Director, Communications. The Washington DC-based nonprofit, which creates and supports innovative health models, builds centers of excellence, and strengthens academic medical institutions in Africa, also announced the appointment of a new office manager. The team was brought on board to raise the organization's profile and expand its program improving healthcare for Africans.

With more than 20 years in nonprofit development, strategic planning, and marketing, LMichael Green has led programs for the International Partnership for Microbicides, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Africare, and CARE USA. Prior to his years in humanitarian assistance, Green was a successful marketing executive in the private sector. His marketing career included brand management positions with Coors Brewing Company, The Pepsi-Cola Company, Kraft Foods, and General Foods.

Green received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University with a double major in Government and Economics. He also holds a Master's in Business Administration, with a Marketing and Finance concentration, from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

Serap Akisoglu is Accordia's Director of Individual Giving. She recently served as the Director of Development for the National Immigration Forum and was previously the Director of Major Gifts and Foundations at TechnoServe. She earned a liberal arts degree from Duquesne University and a graduate degree in International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Akisoglu will focus on generating major-gift donations as a core member of the Development team.

Accordia appointed Melissa May Director of Communications. May has more than 20 years of marketing communications experience in the private and public sector. She holds a B.A. from Purdue University and an M.A. from the University of Texas. She is the former Vice President of Communications and Marketing at BrightFocus Foundation and Director of Public Information for the Population Council. She previously managed public relations teams at AirTouch Cellular (now Verizon Wireless) and Airborne Express (now DHL).

Amy Butler has joined Accordia as its office manager and executive assistant to President and CEO David Greeley. Butler has more than ten years of administration experience, working most recently at Datawatch Systems, Inc. She held previous posts at Autobytel Inc. and Rosenthal Automotive.

"We are pleased to be building on our own new capacity for healthcare systems strengthening," said Accordia President and CEO David Greeley. "This is an exciting time in our history as we're striving to replicate successful, transformative models for improving Africans' health.

Accordia Global Health Foundation

Accordia Global Health Foundation is a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit that works in partnership with individuals, corporations, foundations, NGOs, and governments from around the world to address pressing health concerns in Africa by creating innovative health models, building and supporting centers of excellence, and strengthening medical institutions. For more information, visit www.accordiafoundation.org.

Contact

Melissa May, APR
mmay@accordiafoundation.org
202-469-3843 / 202-534-1200

ExxonMobil Fuels Innovation in Africa

August 7, 2013, Washington D.C. - Although eliminated in some parts of the world, malaria continues to devastate much of sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 215 million people are afflicted by the disease each year. Young children and pregnant women are disproportionately impacted, leaving them weakened and vulnerable to other diseases. This places an enormous burden on already strained health systems in the region. In African countries with a high malaria burden, an average of 40 percent of health resources are estimated to be spent on the fight against malaria. Most importantly, the 655,000 malaria-related deaths each year have a profound and unacceptable impact on society.

ExxonMobil has a long tradition of driving advances in the world's fight against malaria, by fueling innovation in ways only the private sector can. In 2005, Accordia Global Health Foundation and ExxonMobil formed a partnership designed to develop more effective ways to prepare Africa's health professionals to prevent, diagnose, and treat malaria among the communities they serve. During the first five years of our partnership, ExxonMobil and Accordia collaborated to design, implement, and evaluate a new, cost-effective approach to improving quality of malaria care in Africa's public and private healthcare sectors. An overview of this outstanding program can be found in the National Malaria Training Model report.

Today, ExxonMobil is taking their leadership to the next level – by investing in the establishment of a truly transformative institution in Nigeria, to drive research and education around malaria in the region. The West African Infectious Diseases Institute (WAIDI) will be a collaborative research institution based in Abuja, operating as a multi-institutional resource to help enhance research being conducted by local physicians and scientists throughout Nigeria and the region. WAIDI will attract international resources, linking global experts with local investigators to conduct ground-breaking research in infectious disease, and develop new regional leaders in the field. It will be locally-owned and -led, but will bring key international linkages, highly-specialized infrastructure, and sound institutional capacity to strategically link and support the region's universities and other key health sector stakeholders to advance health science, education, and capacity in West Africa.

ExxonMobil understands that, if given the right resources and opportunity, African researchers can themselves lead successful efforts to eradicate this disease that is having such an enormous impact on their continent.

Accordia Global Health Foundation would like to thank ExxonMobil for its unwavering commitment to reducing the burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa – and, in doing so, saving countless lives.

Dr. Alex Coutinho and Dr. Peter Piot Receive Second Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize

June 1, 2013, Japan - Dr. Alex Coutinho and Dr. Peter Piot (pictured right) were awarded the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development. The prestigious award recognizes their outstanding contributions to fighting infectious disease in Africa.

The award was presented by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who said, "Dr. Piot and Dr. Coutinho have bravely challenged fears and prejudices, and have continued their research and activities in Africa."

Dr. Coutinho serves as the Sande-McKinnell Executive Director of Accordia's flagship center, the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at Makerere University, in Kampala Uganda. Under his leadership, IDI has developed and implemented proven training, prevention, and treatment programs, as well as a world-class research program to evaluate the effectiveness of health interventions. Developing Africa's health leaders in each of these areas has been a key focus of IDI's work. Dr. Coutinho intends to use the grant funding that comes with the Noguchi Prize to invest further in leadership training for African healthcare workers.

"Congratulations to Dr. Coutinho and Dr. Piot. Both men have made invaluable contributions to health in Africa, as well as to Accordia's work. Under Dr. Coutinho's guidance and leadership, IDI has become a world-renowned center for infectious disease training, research, and treatment – resulting in better care for the African people for generations to come," remarked Accordia President & CEO, David Greeley.

To read more about the Second Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, Dr. Coutinho, and Dr. Piot, please visit:

 

 IDI Executive Director Dr. Alex Coutinho Awarded Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize 

Dr. Alex Coutinho at IDI in Kampala, UgandaThe government of Japan has awarded IDI's Executive Director, Dr. Alex Coutinho, the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Services. The prize recognizes individuals or organizations who are committed to combating infectious disease in Africa and who have made a substantial contribution to medical research or medical services. This is the second time Japan has honored an individual with the prestigious prize.

Born in Uganda, Dr. Coutinho has been working for over 30 years to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in Africa and was recently named one of the 20 most influential Ugandans in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

"I am honored and thankful to receive this prize and for the recognition that it also brings to my colleagues at IDI and TASO and throughout Uganda. Great strides have been made in the fight against infectious disease – yet more work remains," commented Dr. Coutinho. "We must continue building the healthcare infrastructure in Africa so that Africans are prepared to combat HIV and other infectious diseases for the long-term."

Dr. Coutinho is the Sande-McKinnell Chair and Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Established by Accordia Global Health Foundation and a diverse coalition of partners, IDI is now an African-owned and -led Center of Excellence in health that combines locally-relevant and innovative research, training, and clinical care services to drive best practices and strengthen health systems throughout the region.

Under Dr. Coutinho's leadership, IDI has expanded its services throughout Uganda and has had an international impact on infectious disease research, treatment, and care. 

"On behalf of his colleagues and friends at Accordia, I congratulate Alex on this well-deserved honor," said Accordia's President Dr. Warner Greene. "Because of his vision, passion, and dedication to excellence, millions of men, women, and children in Africa are living healthier lives today."

Prior to joining IDI, Dr. Coutinho spent six years as the Executive Director of The AIDS Support Organization Uganda, Africa's largest HIV/AIDS care and treatment organization.

Peter Piot will also be awarded The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Research, in recognition of his pivotal research on disease endemic in the African continent.

Dr. Coutinho and Professor Piot will formally receive the The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize on June 1, 2013. The prize will be presented by the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

Photo credit: The Japan Times

Dr. Damalie Nakanjako Named Winner of Fourth Annual Merle A. Sande Health Leadership Award

April 9, 2013, Washington D.C. - On behalf of the Merle A. Sande Health Leadership Award selection committee, Accordia is pleased to announce Dr. Damalie Nakanjako as the 2013 winner of the prestigious award.

Damalie Nakanjako, MD, PhD, is an internist whose work focuses on optimizing HIV treatment outcomes and reducing HIV-associated morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. She is currently a Lecturer in Makerere University's Department of Medicine and a Wellcome Trust post-doctoral Research Fellow in Infection and Immunity at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI).

"Damalie has proven herself as a leader and mentor... She is a bright, committed, productive woman who is focused on academic medical research which is hypothesis-driven and translational with clear relevance for sub-Saharan Africa," said Dr. Yuka Manabe, Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and former Head of Research at IDI.

The award – created in 2010 in memory of Dr. Merle Sande, a founder of Accordia and renowned infectious disease specialist – recognizes the efforts of emerging African healthcare leaders who have contributed significant improvements to the health of their home communities and embody Dr. Sande's passion, intellectual drive, and spirit.

"Merle had a profound vision for a place that nurtured promising young African physicians and scientists and empowered them to transform health throughout the continent. That dream came to fruition through the establishment of the Infectious Diseases Institute and through doctors and researchers like Damalie," said Accordia's Executive Chair Dr. Warner C. Greene. "She is an outstanding researcher whose numerous projects are advancing the quality of care in Uganda and throughout Africa.

"Congratulations to each of the other applicants as well, who represent an impressive and diverse group of health workers from across Africa," added Dr. Greene.

On April 23, 2013, at Davis Hall at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, Accordia will present the award to Dr. Nakanjako, who will also deliver a keynote address entitled, "Optimizing HIV Treatment Outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa."

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