TDR’s scientific priorities for 2014/15 endorsed by STAC

TDR news item
20 March 2013

TDR’s scientific plans through 2015 have been endorsed by its Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) at its annual meeting that concluded today. The work, which will come out of a US$ 60 million budget covering the years 2014 and 2015, is focused on building research capacity and funding research that will get more treatments to people in poor and remote areas.

“It’s an exciting time for TDR,” said STAC Chair Mario-Henry Rodriguez-Lopez of Mexico. “After 2 years of reorganization, our committee was very impressed with the many positive changes that have been made.”

TDR has a strong history of building research capacity, and the future will build on this. What is new is a stronger focus on research that will scale up the treatments and other tools that are available but not being used because of system bottlenecks. Funded researchers will learn by doing in a number of ways – through both training and field research – and be included in a broader mentoring network to build sustainable research systems. The goal is to help low- and middle-income countries provide care to people suffering from infectious diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases. TDR Director John Reeder told the committee, “We feel this plan will help countries do more with what they already have, and they will be able to sustain those improvements.”

TDR will also work with partners to identify research gaps and needs, particularly as they relate to the issues needed to improve care for women and children, manage insecticide resistance and growing disease control problems like dengue.

STAC is TDR’s premier scientific advisory body, comprised of 15 scientific experts in a variety of areas. Three new advisory groups were approved by STAC to review specific research projects underway:

  • The impact of climate change on diseases caused by vectors that carry infectious diseases.
  • Community-based approaches using an ecosystem management for dengue and Chagas disease in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Improved access to health interventions in Africa.

The programme budget will next go to the Joint Coordinating Board in June for final review and approval, and will be published after that.

For more information, please contact:

Ms Jamie Guth
Communications Manager
Telephone: +41 79 441 2289
E-mail: guthj@who.int

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