Botswana Study Abroad
HIV in Africa
A Unique Semester Abroad
Dear Professor Essex,This Thursday I will be graduating from Harvard College, and I wanted to thank you sincerely for providing me with the most important academic and life experience I have had my four years here. Participating in the Botswana program absolutely convinced me of pursuing a career in international development—the program not only gave me an enriching research experience, but also allowed me to see first-hand the complex effects of global health and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.Sincerely,
Class of 2009
Botswana is severely affected by the AIDS pandemic, having one of the world’s highest prevalence rates of HIV. Since 1996, the Government of Botswana and the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative have collaborated on innovative research and training in HIV/AIDS. The Botswana–Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) is a state of the art biomedical, research, and training laboratory located on the grounds of Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.
|BHP Viral Load Lab|
Harvard is offering an exceptional study abroad program in Botswana. In the spring of 2011, Harvard undergraduates will be placed with scientific mentors in BHP laboratories to work on innovative research projects that include, but are not limited to, the evolution of HIV-1C; prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1C; virologic and immunologic markers in acute HIV-1C infection; genetics of resistance to HIV-1C; mechanisms of HIV-1C transmission; HIV-1C co-receptor utilization and cell attachment; expression of genes related to innate immune response; correlation with HIV-1C-associated HLA polymorphisms; drug resistance patterns for HIV-1C; differences in HIV-1C long terminal repeat (LTR) associated with viral activation; interactions between HIV-1C and genital herpes simplex virus (HSV); and effects of HIV-1C on hematopoiesis.
|Lisa Flannery inspects a sedated lion on an
excursion in the Kalahari Desert
In addition to the unique laboratory experience, students will be enrolled part time at the University of Botswana, taking elective courses and a customized language course in Setswana. Students will also participate in a CIEE experiential language and culture practicum. The structure of this tailored interdisciplinary program, along with a host of field excursions, will ensure that students gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities behind HIV research, prevention and treatment in Africa.
|Program Base||Gaborone, Botswana|
|Credits||16 units (one full-time Harvard semester)|
|Coursework||• Supervised research at BHP
• 1-2 elective courses at the University of Botswana
• 1 course in Setswana language study at the University of Bostwana
• An experiential language and culture practicum with CIEE
|Faculty Director||Max Essex, DVM, PhD, Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health|
|Housing||Student dormitory at the University of Botswana|
|Field Excursions||Rural clinics, Gaborone Game Reserve, National Museum, Koloberg ruins, Jwaneng diamond mine, Kalahari desert, and Okavango River Delta|
|Pre-departure||Selected students are required to participate in one-day lab safety session and 25 hours of research training at HSPH.|
|Eligibility||Harvard sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are in good standing are eligible to apply. Successful applicants will have demonstrated academic, professional, and personal interest in the sciences, and more specifically, in HIV and AIDS. Prior lab experience strongly preferred.|
|Application Procedure||Students should submit the following:
• One-page essay on your interest in HIV/AIDS research and objectives for participating in the Botswana Study Abroad Program. Please include your name, class year, Harvard ID number, and concentration.
• Academic transcripts from Harvard and resume
• Letter of Recommendation (preferably from someone who has previously directed you in your lab research)
Questions about the program should be directed to:
Harvard School of Public Health
Dept of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
FXB 402 651 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115