CGH Scholar Awarded D43 Training Grant

Congratulations Dr.Castillo

Dr. Ricardo Castillo of Penn Epidemiology, along with Drs. Valerie Paz-Soldan (Tulane University) and Javier Bustos (Cayetano University, Peru) were recently awarded a $1.2M training grant from the Fogarty International Center. The mission of this Global Health training grant is to establish an innovative transdisciplinary training program focusing on implementation science and epidemiology for controlling Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZD), such as rabies and neurocysticercosis, in Peru.

NZD present a complex challenge to public health due to their zoonotic nature, requiring coordination across sectors and involving intricate economic factors related to animal husbandry and livelihoods. Primarily affecting impoverished communities, NZD have profound consequences for individuals, families, and communities. Moreover, globalization of travel, migration, and food systems means that even high-income countries and their health systems are affected by NZD globally.

Despite their global significance, there are currently no formal training programs dedicated to addressing NZD. The Principal Investigators of this training grant, comprising a veterinary epidemiologist, a clinical researcher, and an implementation scientist, form an ideal "One Health" team to train scientists in tackling zoonotic diseases in Peru and Latin America.

Over the grant period, the program aims to train 40 students in Operational Research and Implementation Science, 20 students in a master’s program focusing on the control of tropical diseases, 8 scientists through the Penn Summer Implementation Science Institute, and 5 young scientists in PhD programs in Peru and the US. Dr. Castillo’s new training program aligns with the WHO Road Map for ending Neglected Tropical Diseases, bringing Latin America closer to its established targets.