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[June 15, 2010]

Funding for SUNY Downstate’s International AIDS Training Program is Renewed:

Program to Expand into Ukraine and Kazakhstan

SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) has been renewed by the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center with a grant totaling $3.7 million over five years. AITRP is a federal government-supported collaboration between SUNY Downstate and the New York State Department of Health, and is part of the New York State International Training and Research Program.

AITRP provides training for scientists in low- and middle-income countries to strengthen research and public health capacities related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, and other emerging infections. Currently operating in Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, and Russia, the grant will enable the program to expand into Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

The program was initially funded in 1993 to focus on epidemiology and basic science training in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. The primary mode of transmission of HIV/AIDS and certain other communicable diseases in Eastern Europe has been intravenous drug use.

During the past 16 years, AITRP has provided support for 76 long-term trainees. They have published more than 650 articles and have risen to positions of academic and public health leadership regionally and internationally. “It’s been exciting to see this program evolve and expand in response to the challenges of the HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe,” said AITRP Principal Investigator Jack A. DeHovitz, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at SUNY Downstate.  “With its emphasis on population-based research, the AITRP program fosters the development of young scientists to explore the fundamental research questions in a region where HIV infection rates have had dramatic increase, which is the case in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.”  


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.