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Researchers from the VZNIGHT program, the Wright lab and the Haselton lab develop a device to enhance existing malaria tests in Zambia. In collaboration with Macha Research Trust and Macha Mission Hospital, the VZNIGHT program’s global initiatives are being realized.
Published on Jan 12, 2015
Vanderbilt University/Joseph Conrad, Ph.D. 

Vanderbilt University and the Malaria Institute at Macha have formed an interdisciplinary fellowship opportunity in innovative health science technologies. Join a team of US and Zambian trainees and faculty mentors from Vanderbilt, Macha Research Trust, the University of Zambia, the Tropical Diseases Research Centre, Copperbelt University, and the Zambia Ministry of Health in an 18-month fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee and Zambia.  Each team of VZNIGHT Trainees will develop and implement an innovative diagnostic, selected with mentor guidance, for malaria detection in a multidisciplinary environment that includes the basic sciences, the engineering sciences, and global public health and clinical sciences.

Program Aims:

1) To identify and nurture 12 American and Zambian research trainees (4 cohorts of 3) operating as teams in a broadly interdisciplinary training environment to generate innovation in low-resource diagnostic technologies focused on malaria.

2) To establish a network for innovation that develops a pipeline of technologies and products that improve diagnostic capabilities and assist the Zambian health system to approach its goal of a malaria-free Zambia

Fellows Will:

  • Operate as teams in a broadly interdisciplinary training environment to generate innovation in low-resource diagnostic technologies focused on malaria
  • Experience the full lifecycle of technology development from the lab to product development to field testing
  • Serve as an integral part of a novel network for innovation in the US and Africa
  • While working together to advance a common technology, each trainee will engage intensively with mentors from his/her particular field, e.g., chemistry, engineering, entomology, parasitology, public health epidemiology, clinical trials, public health interventions, biostatistics, etc.
  • Engage in selected didactic courses and professional development and short-term training opportunities at Vanderbilt
  • Work on site at Vanderbilt for design and development of new technologies and at Macha Research Trust for field validation and performance evaluations. Earn a Certificate in Global Health Diagnostic Technologies.

Fellowship Eligibility

  • A BS, MS, or PhD degree in Engineering; or
  • A research doctoral degree in Basic and/or Health Sciences; or
  • A Medical doctoral degree (MD, MBChB, or equivalent; advanced training such as MMed preferred)
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, OR citizens of Zambia.

This program is funded by the Fogarty International Center.