Center for International Health Research
Interdisciplinary Research for Tropical Public Health
To address the many urgent global health challenges, the Center for International Health Research (CIHR) at Rhode Island Hospital was founded in 2005, under the aegis of the departments of pathology and pediatrics.
The CIHR embraces interdisciplinary approaches by linking basic lab science with cutting edge population-based science. It is this approach that makes the center unique in Rhode Island and in southern New England.
Through the Center, husband-and-wife research team Jonathan Kurtis, MD, PhD and Jennifer Friedman, MD, MPH, PhD, work to understand the mechanisms that cause tropical infectious diseases, specifically malaria and schistosomiasis, and to harness this knowledge to design improved treatments and vaccines.
“We want to know how these parasites cause disease in the host, when it’s most effective to treat, and how to prioritize the limited health care resources in these developing countries,” says Kurtis. “Ultimately, what drives us is to make something deliverable—a pill, a vaccine... a tool that could protect millions of people from infection and disease.”