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


The goal of the GIDI iGrant Program is to support innovative, impactful research conducted by individuals. Consistent with GIDI's mission, these projects will promote trans-disciplinary research and extend GIDI's national and international footprint in infectious disease research.

2018 iGrant Recipients

MD Amzad Hossain, Ph. D Candidate College of Arts & Sciences-Economics

Impact of a Community-based Intervention on Heath Outcome: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Bangladesh.


Tania Thomas MD, MPH. Assistant Professor School of Medicine

Nanoparticle capture of urinary lipoarabinomannan for diagnosing childhood tuberculosis.

A diagnostic biomarker for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that performs well in children is urgently needed. Our project focuses on improving methods of diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) from urine: we will compare the ability to detect the lipoarabinomannan protein (Determine TB LAM Ag, Abbott, MA) with and without a specimen processing step using the Nanotrap method (Ceres Technology, Manassas, VA) which uses nanoparticle technology to concentrate proteins of interest and filter out interfering substances from urine. We anticipate that the Nanotrap method will augment the detection of LAM in urine samples from children diagnosed with TB.


Shiwei Liu, Graduate Student-Biology Graduate Program.

Genome sequencing of single Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

This project analyzes genome amplification events using single cell sequencing of malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum. The project aim to understand the mechanism of genome amplification and its role in antimalarial resistance. Ultimately, we hope to develop novel strategies to block the development of antimalarial resistance."


Christina Pierre Ph. D., Clinical Chemistry Fellow Pathology

Social Media as a Recruitment Tool for Cervical Cancer Screening & Research in Trinidad & Tobago.


Courtney Hill, Ph. D. Candidate, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Effectiveness of water treatment technologies to prevent child stunting in Limpopo, South Africa.

Courtney is conducting a randomized controlled trial to assess the relationship between access to treating water in the home and linear growth stunting in children. The study is following 400 households in rural South Africa for two years measuring height, weight, and bacteria found in stool from children in each household to understand how water interventions affect human health.


Costi Sifri MD. Associate Professor of Internal Medicine; Hospital Epidemiologist

Measuring the Cost of Over testing and Over diagnosis of C. difficile Infection.

Clostridium difficile is the leading pathogen causing healthcare-associated infections; however, use of highly sensitive PCR stool testing can mistakenly diagnose C. difficile infection in patients who are asymptomatically colonized with C. difficile, leading to unnecessary treatment and other healthcare expenses. By leveraging PCR cycle threshold data to differentiate true infection versus colonization and identifying determinants of costs in these groups, we aim to answer the critical question: what is the cost of C. difficile overtesting and overdiagnosis?


Richard Deang Ph. D. Candidate, College of Arts & Sciences-Anthropology

PrEP School for Men (Who Have Sex with Men): Peer Counselor Training for a National HIV PrEP Program and the Construction of Biomedical Belonging in the Philippines.

This project is an ethnographic study of MSM-focused (“men who have sex with men”) community-based organizations in charge of the rollout of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the Philippines. By looking into the ways in which “peer counselors” are trained to infuse ideas of personhood and community into their work, this project asks how the articulation of drug use and clinical consultations with sexual practices, friendship, and care not only affects public health programs but also creates new lifeworlds and personhoods for MSM.