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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

GW: Professor Receives $1.2 Million Grant to Study Bacterial Cause of Diarrheal Disease

The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW Milken Institute SPH) announced a $1.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to identify possible routes of transmission of Campylobacter bacteria in a rural area of Bangladesh.

Dr. Amira Roess, the principal investigator of the project and an assistant professor of global health at Milken Institute SPH, will lead the international, multi-disciplinary team to investigate the various factors that lead to Campylobacter-caused diarrheal disease in humans. Campylobacter bacteria is one of four key global causes of diarrheal diseases, and can be fatal among very young children, elderly, and immunosuppressed individuals, according to the World Health Organization. Campylobacter bacteria is also associated with cognitive deficits and long-term neurological conditions such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). Dr. Roess has assembled a team of microbiologists, food biologists, epidemiologists, veterinarians, and others, to work on the two-year study. The longitudinal study will take place in Mirzapur, an area about 30 miles from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

“We’re examining all the different ways children and their family members can be exposed to these harmful bacteria,” Dr. Roess said. “This interdisciplinary study allows us to look at the problem in a unique way. Ultimately, we hope to find possible interventions that could prevent these potentially lethal bacterial infections.”

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