Global research opportunities through collaborations with Partners Healthcare, Mass General, and countries in Africa and Asia, hold much promise for the advancement of pathology research.

Pathology Global Health Program Research Investigations

The most important illnesses on Earth—in terms of overall morbidity and mortality—are found in developing nations. These include the major infectious diseases (malaria, HIV, TB), complications of pregnancy and delivery, diarrheal illnesses, malnutrition, trauma, and cancer. Fundamental questions of disease mechanisms and practical research on improved diagnosis and disease monitoring promise to be fruitful areas of investigation. Productive collaborative relationships already established by Mass General Hospital with overseas medical facilities enhance opportunities for successful research outcomes.

Dr. Prasad at in office

Dr. Satya Vara Prasad,
collaborator, Aga Khan
Hospital, Kisumi, Kenya

For example, in the fall of 2010 Dr. Walter Dzikand colleagues completed a two-year clinical study of host blood groups as risk factors for cytoadherence in pediatric malaria. The study enrolled over 2,000 children with acute malaria, and resulted in six publications in peer-reviewed journals.

In 2015, Dr. Dzik and colleagues completed an NIH-sponsored randomized clinical trial of blood transfusion in children in Uganda with severe anemia. The trial is registered at www.clinicaltrials.govas NCT01586923. Read more in the Pathology News article: Studying the Effects of Fresh versus Stored Red Blood Cells in Uganda.

Health Care Delivery Research

Developing nations are especially disadvantaged by a lack of development in hospital-based pathology, especially laboratory medicine. There is enormous opportunity for research in laboratory diagnostics, appropriate laboratory utilization, quality methodology, result interpretation and reporting, informatics and laboratory management.

Infectious Disease Research Collaborations

Worldwide, the persistence of infectious diseases remains one of the most significant threats to the global health. The accurate identification of infectious pathogens is fundamental to ongoing research efforts and the delivery of effective health care.

Pathology’s microbiology laboratory collaborates with the Division of Infectious Disease, and the Ragon Institute of Mass General Hospital, MIT and Harvard. These groups have active research programs in sub-Saharan Africa (South Africa), Asia (Bangladesh, Vietnam and China), and South America (Peru). Investigators from these groups study a diverse array of pathogens including diarrheal pathogens, HIV-1 and Tuberculosis. The Pathology Microbiology Laboratory frequently serves as a reference laboratory for these research projects. Eric Rosenberg, MD, Subspecialty Head, and Co-Director of the Microbiology Laboratoryis also a member of the Infectious Disease Division, serving as a key collaborator within these groups, and as a bridge between the Infectious disease Division, Ragon Instituteand the Mass General Hospital Pathology Service.

A view of the arc-shaped building of Mulago hospital in Uganda

Mulago Hospital, Uganda

Overseas Collaborations

A central goal of our Global Health Program is to encourage Mass General pathologists to collaborate with overseas investigators—particularly those in Africa. In turn, we want to encourage overseas pathologists to join us in our research efforts, and offer research positions as they become available. Whenever possible, African pathologists are encouraged to take the lead in collaborations. Our pathologists may offer mentoring relationships when this is not practical.

Drucilla Roberts, MD, has several ongoing collaborations with investigators in Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa. These projects include autopsy and placental pathology and include many opportunities for residents to participate.





Updated 9/21/2015