The Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute at Ohio University seeks to improve the health status of underserved populations through sustainable and comprehensive research, service and educational initiatives related to infectious diseases.
The Institute promotes multi-national and multi-disciplinary collaborations forged among researchers, health-care professionals, public health leaders and educators in the pursuit of comprehensive strategies to eliminate or minimize the effects of infectious diseases on populations.
The Institute is committed to the development of sustainable, locally-based programs with active participation of the people in the communities, that apply state of the art technology to prevent or minimize the effects of infectious diseases.
Founding and Focus
The Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute was founded in 1987 (Orginally named the Tropical and Geographical Disease Institute) by a group of visionary scientists (David Scholl, William Romoser, Malcom Powell and Edwin Rowland) who wanted to pull in their combined resources to improve the life of the people in disease-endemic areas.
Training students: Since its initiation, ITDI faculty have provided training to students from the United States and developing countries at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The institute's education-abroad programs were initiated in 1995. Since then, more than 180 students from more than 20 universities in the United States, Europe, New Zealand and other countries have participated in the workshops and research training programs carried out in Ecuador.
Research projects: ITDI's research projects have included immunoparasitological studies in experimental mouse models of Chagas disease, vectorial competence of mosquitoes to transmit Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis and Rift Valley Fever virus, safety of the blood supply, Chagas disease epidemiology in Ecuador and in the USA, among others.
ITDI contributions: Faculty and students have been instrumental in the initiation of a Chagas disease control and T. cruzi blood screening programs in Ecuador. The blood bank initiative has lead to a major improvement of the safety of the blood supply in Ecuador. These endeavors have had a major impact on the lives of the Ecuadorian people.
Partnerships: Ecuador has been the focus of ITDI's international activities. A close network of collaborators has been established with governmental and non-governmental organizations in the country. A cooperation agreement with Catholic University of Ecuador, one of the most prestigious universities in Ecuador, has allowed for creation of tangible research infrastructure in the country and implementation of ambitious and successful research, service and education programs.