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Welcome to the Translational Global Infectious Diseases Research Center (TGIR). The TGIR is a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), which support thematic, multidisciplinary centers to augment and strengthen institutional biomedical research capacity. These centers are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The TGIR is housed within the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and is closely aligned with the talented team of researchers and clinicians at UVM’s Vaccine Testing Center. 

The TGIR will leverage UVM's substantial existing strengths in global infectious diseases research, complex systems and computational modeling. Bringing investigators from these disparate disciplines together will result in synergies that foster novel, collaborative research.  A team of experienced directors and scientific advisers lead the effort, supported by two new facilities, the “Mathematical and Computational Predictive Modeling” and “Human and Population Research” cores. The TGIR will develop four junior faculty under the mentorship of scientific advisers from three UVM colleges and five departments. 

The TGIR COBRE: bridging the culture gaps between biological and computational biomedical research. 

Projects 

The TGIR currently supports the following junior faculty and their projects:

Dr. Benjamin Lee:Development of B cell responses and serological immunity following oral rotavirus vaccination in infants” 

Dr. Laurent Hébert-Dufresne: Network epidemiology and the quantification of behavioral interventions

Dr. Ross Colgate:Novel approaches to address excess burden of diarrheal disease in infants using metagenomics & machine learning to understand Campylobacter persistence & enteric co-infection

Dr. Jessica Crothers:Mucosal immunity to polio virus is modified by the gut microbiota, dependent upon cytotoxic cellular responses and can be enhanced via intradermal administration of a mucosally-adjuvanted inactivated polio vaccine (dmLT-IPV)"

TGIR Postdoctoral and Postgraduate Fellowship Opportunity

UVM's TGIR Postdoctoral and Postgraduate Fellowship at the Complex Systems Center offers early-career scientists a unique opportunity to address pressing issues in modeling infectious disease epidemiology. This fellowship will provide an excellent chance to work alongside an international network of leading academic researchers in the fields of complex systems and infectious disease epidemiology. For more information click here

TGIR in the News

  • Diehl & Colleagues' Latest Research Could Benefit Dengue Vaccine Development
    May 28, 2021 by Jennifer Nachbur and Sean Diehl
    Despite a record number of over 400 million cases in 2019, vaccine development for the mosquito-borne dengue virus has been challenging due to the need to protect equally against all four dengue strains. The discovery of new possible biomarkers to predict clinical and immune responses to dengue virus infection could be critical to informing future vaccines.
  • TGIR Research Slam Highlights Progress One Year into Pandemic
    April 7, 2021 by Jennifer Nachbur
    On March 18, 2021, researchers from across UVM came together via Zoom for the second edition of the Translational Global Infectious Diseases Research Center's COVID-19 research slam, titled “UVM Tackles COVID-19: Research Progress and Perspectives One Year into the Pandemic.”

Cores

The TGIR will design, develop and implement three Cores: an Administrative/Academic Core; a Mathematical and Computational Predictive (MCP) Modeling Core; and a Human and Population Research (HPR) Core. The Administrative Core will include the three COBRE directors/Co-PIs, the scientific advisors/senior mentors, the core directors, the internal and external advisory boards, and administrative staff.The MCP Core, led Jason Bates, PhD, will “bridge the culture gap” between biomedical and quantitative data scientists in the analysis and use of big data sets in global infectious diseases, including the spectrum of data from biologic systems to population-based disease transmission and surveillance data. The HPR Core, led by Kristen Pierce, MD, will facilitate and accelerate high-quality clinical and translational human research by the COBRE faculty and will capitalize on the infrastructure of the UVM Vaccine Testing Center.

Team 

The TGIR will develop junior faculty under the mentorship of scientific advisors from three UVM colleges and five departments. Institutional support will enable recruitment of new junior faculty while internal and external advisory committees provide formal, unbiased oversight. Two physician-scientists with complementary strengths in global infectious diseases and an outstanding computational biologist with expertise in disease modeling will lead the TGIR. Learn more about the team.

 

Spotlight

Partners in the Community Education Sessions on the COVID-19 Vaccine gather in Zoom session, including  Bidur Dahal, Dr. Avila; Dr. Pierce; Sara Chesbrough, Doma Sherpa, Ms. Vastine;Ms. Merdzanovic; and Ms. Ratsebe.

Kristen Pierce, M.D., infectious disease specialist, Vaccine Testing Center researcher, and TGIR COBRE HPR Core Leader, has been working in collaboration with community leaders to bring vaccine education to New American communities in Vermont. Using virtual education sessions, the group is able to create partnerships, address health disparities, and build trust. To learn more about this effort, click here