Center for International Health Research
Rhode Island Hospital

Our Mission

Malaria kills one child in Africa every forty seconds, accounting for more than 2,000 deaths every day. Caused by a mosquito-transmitted protozoan, malaria infects 300 to 500 million people worldwide and kills two to three million individuals annually.

Dr. Jonathan Kurtis talks with and adult and a group of children in a rural village.
The Center for International Health Research seeks to understand the mechanisms that cause tropical infectious diseases.

Schistosomiasis, caused by infection with tissue-invasive parasitic flatworms, currently affects more than 200 million individuals and results in significant mortality and morbidity including anemia and severe liver disease. These deleterious consequences are disproportionately borne by children and pregnant women.

Tuberculosis (TB) is responsible for the second greatest number of deaths globally in recent years, behind only COVID-19. TB caused a staggering 1.3-million deaths in 2022. Investigators at CIHR focus on the unique issues facing adolescents with TB including the unique clinical presentation and morbidities and how best to approach treatment in this age group.

To address these urgent global health challenges, the Center for International Health Research (CIHR) at Rhode Island Hospital was founded. The center's mission is to understand the pathogenesis of tropical infectious diseases, with a focus on malaria, tuberculosis, and schistosomiasis, and to harness this knowledge to design improved treatments and vaccines. The Center also focuses on the enormous burden of disease to to sickle cell disease globally, with studies to understand the optimal diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in Africa.

To combat these diseases, the center is engaged in studies integrating community-based epidemiologic studies in endemic countries with laboratory-based, basic science investigations. The center's research approach is rooted in the belief that the discoveries of tomorrow will come at the intersection of field and lab science.

Read more about the Center for International Health Research

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