The Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases (IID) at the Harvard School of Public Heatlh focuses on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, parasitology and immunology. Researchers in the Department’s 15 labs study the biological, immunological, epidemiological, and ecological aspects of viral, bacterial, protozoan and helminthic diseases of animal and humans and the vectors that transmit some of these infectious agents.
Researchers and the students working with them explore pathogenic mechanisms that may lead to better diagnostic tools, the development of vaccines and other interventions for prevention and control of infection and disease, and the identification of new targets for antiviral and antiparasitic drugs. Laboratory-based research within the school is supplemented by field-based studies of epidemiological and ecological aspects of infectious disease transmission and control. Diseases of developing countries are emphasized.
The mission of the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (HU CFAR) is to expand, promote, and facilitate collaborative, multidisciplinary activities in AIDS research among CFAR members and their colleagues throughout Harvard Medical School and across the University, in order to help end the pandemic.
Harvard and its affiliated institutions have conducted an extraordinary breadth and depth of investigations in AIDS and related fields of research. Activities among the 144 NIH-funded HU investigators doing AIDS-related research activities include studies of molecular virology, pathogenesis, host immune responses, epidemiology, treatment, vaccines and prevention, to which Harvard investigators have made consistent, high-impact contributions.
The Harvard Initiative for Global Health (HIGH) aims to increase the number of students embarking on global health professions, develop new and innovative solutions to the vital problems of global health, and support inter-faculty research efforts in the critical areas of inquiry necessary to address today’s global health challenges.
In November 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the Harvard School of Public Health with $25 million to create the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN). In partnership with government agencies, universities, and nongovernmental organizations in Nigeria, APIN strives to reduce the rate of growth of Nigeria’s HIV epidemic—and ultimately reverse its course.
In 2003, Dr. Phyllis Kanki prepared the successful grant application for the Harvard PEPFAR, “Rapid Expansion of Antiretroviral Therapy Program,” for which she has served as principal investigator since March 2004. In its first year, this program initiated high-quality treatment and care programs in six sites in Nigeria and five sites in Tanzania. In Botswana, in response to the Government of Botswana and the USG-Botswana Core Team, PEPFAR activities have focused on development of the Master Clinical Trainer Corps, which provide critical training to health care providers in antiretroviral treatment sites throughout the country. The PEPFAR program in Botswana has sought to establish a strong monitoring and evaluation system that will provide ready access to program evaluation parameters for the country’s national antiretroviral treatment program.