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Reducing the Impact of Infectious Diseases by Supporting Trans-Disciplinary Academic Research

History, Vision, and Mission

Established in 2017, the UVA Global Infectious Disease Institute (GIDI) is committed to improving health in Virginia and around the world. GIDI's mission is to leverage the full resources of the University of Virginia and our partners around the world to support collaborative research, train the next generation of infectious disease researchers, and promote scholarly activities across Grounds. 

Vision Statement,

To reduce the impact of globally prominent infectious diseases by supporting transdisciplinary academic research across Grounds and with partners throughout the world.

History of The Global Infectious Diseases Institute

The Global Infectious Disease Institute was launched in the Summer of 2017 as part of the UVA Cornerstone Plan.

 “The Cornerstone Plan crystallizes a vision and set of strategic directions that will equip the University to move boldly into its third century.” —President Teresa Sullivan

Establishment of the Pan-University Institutes was a competitive process announced by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and overseen by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The goal of Pan-University Institutes is to catalyze new transdisciplinary research by bringing together researchers from across UVA on cross-cutting themes of major impact to society. The proposal for the Global Infectious Disease Institute was submitted by Alison Criss and Linda Columbus, the Director and Associate Director of GIDI, respectively. The GIDI proposal reflected the desire for greater integration and synergy among the large number of UVA scholars investigating infectious disease, from fundamental research on Grounds to robust partnerships on six continents. The proposal outlined a dynamic framework to connect scholars and trainees across disciplines to tackle the 21st century challenges of global infectious diseases.Strengths in the social sciences, nursing, engineering, medicine, basic science, and policy were integrated into a common goal of tackling the most notorious infectious disease challenges worldwide. Town hall meetings across Grounds, along with lunches on cross-cutting themes, shaped GIDI's strategic interests and activities. By establishing a framework to connect researchers invested in global infectious diseases, at UVA and with partners around the world, GIDI will enhance UVA's international impact and reputation.

Since its official launch in July 2017, GIDI has established a robust seed and proposal planning grant program to support collaborative research at UVA and with local, regional and international partners. GIDI's educational initiatives are primarily through co-mentored, interdisciplinary research at UVA conducted by undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. These mechanisms are overlaid with mixers, thematic working group meetings, retreats, symposia, lectures, and other events to inform and bring together our members.