Several USF Health faculty were among leading international researchers contributing to the scientific conversation at the third Vaccinology in the Tropics Conference, hosted by USF Health in Panama in January.
The two-day conference offered researchers, clinicians and public health professionals the latest scientific, clinical and practical advances in vaccine research and global health.
Among those presenting, moderating and taking part in panel discussions were Donna Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH, dean of the USF College of Public Health; Ricardo Izurieta, MD, Dr.PH, MPH, associate professor of Global Health at the USF COPH; Arlene Calvo, PhD, assistant professor of Community and Family Health at the USF COPH office in Panama City; John Adams, PhD, Distinguished USF Health Professor of Global Health at the USF COPH; Constance Visovsky, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, associate dean in the USF College of Nursing; and Jorge Lujan-Zilbermann, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of Clinical Research in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.
Other researchers represented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johns Hopkins, among others.
As part of his remarks that opened the conference, Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, touted the successes of USF Health Panama and shared his vision for furthering the collaborative relationship USF Health has with the City of Knowledge in Panama.
“Since its inception nearly 10 years ago, USF Health’s Panama program has been committed to educating current and future generations of health leaders and practitioners across the Americas, discovering new therapies to transform global health and most importantly, creating healthier and more sustainable communities, both locally and globally,” Dr. Lockwood said.
“Students from across a variety of disciplines gain valuable, hands-on public health experience in rural or indigenous communities throughout Panama, conduct innovative research to complete their master’s and doctoral theses, work alongside leading Panamanian physicians in public and private hospitals, and participate in internships and service missions across the Panama region.”
While in Panama, Dr. Lockwood, along with a team from USF Health in Tampa and USF Health Panama, attended a series of meetings with many of USF Health’s key partners, including Dr. Jorge Motta, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation; Dr. Enrique Mendoza, dean of the University of Panama College of Medicine; and Dr. Nestor Sosa, director general of the Gorgas Memorial Research Institute; and Jorge Arosemena, president of the City of Knowledge.
USF has a presence in Panama through the USF Health and Education International Foundation as a way to increase collaboration in education, research and patient care between USF faculty and students and Panama, and other health professionals and organizations throughout Latin America. The Foundation is located in the City of Knowledge, an international complex of organizations for education, research and innovation and host to UNICEF’s regional headquarters, the Red Cross, the United Nations Development Programme regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean, the World Food Program, and Plan International, among other regional headquarters. USF Health is the only health-focused, academic organization in the City of Knowledge.
The partnership offers ample opportunity for collaboration and sustainable, interdisciplinary programs. Since opening USF Health Panama in 2006, more than 975 undergraduate and graduate students and medical residents as well as more than 100 faculty members from the USF and other U.S. institutions have participated in the collaborative program. In the past year, USFH Panama faculty and alumni submitted a record 19 research grant proposals for studies in Panama, particularly focusing on HIV/AIDS, malaria, influenza, dengue, nutrition, health education and policy. In addition, the partnership has helped fund graduate academic-scholarship programs for more than a dozen Panamanian graduate students and professionals to study in the U.S. who have returned to Panama and assumed active roles to help strengthen the local capacity in health sciences, research, and business.
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Reposted from USF Health News.