Center for International Health Research
Jonathan Kurtis, MD, PhD
- Director of the Center for International Health Research (CIHR)
- Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine and Coagulation at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals
- Professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University
Jonathan Kurtis, MD, PhD, is a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine with subspecialty training in transfusion medicine and coagulation at Brown Medical School
Since 1993, Kurtis has studied schistosomiasis immunity and participated in field based data collection in the Philippines, China, Kenya and Brazil.
Kurtis has studied a cohort of 270 individuals residing in a malaria endemic community in western Kenya. He examined the relationship between puberty and resistance to reinfection, the relationship between cellular and humoral immune responses and resistance to reinfection, the relationship between cytokine gene polymorphisms and resistance to reinfection, and the relationship between pro-inflammatory cytokines and malnutrition. In addition, he has utilized Kenyan sera to identify new vaccine candidates for falciparum malaria. This data, based on a single year of fieldwork, resulted in ten published papers.
More recently, Kurtis has led a complex longitudinal study of the impact of pubertal development on protective immunity and morbidity in schistosomiasis japonica. This ongoing study has recruited 625 S. japonicum-infected individuals age eight to 30 years residing in the same endemic villages that supported the previous pregnancy pilot study. At baseline, stool, anthropometric, ultrasound, water contact and hematology data were collected.
All individuals were treated with praziquantel (PZQ) and followed for eighteen months with quarterly stool, anthropometric, water contact and hematology assessment. To date, Kurtis and his team have already published over 20 papers using this data with several more in review.
Kurtis is currently a principal investigator on two ongoing National Institutes for Health-funded vaccine discovery efforts for schistosomiasis and malaria. These grants are based on a technique that CIHR developed for malaria vaccine identification as detailed in our recent paper in Science.