The IRSDA provides junior U.S. scientists with an opportunity to pursue careers in research in global health, and prepares them for independent research careers. This award is similar to other NIH career development awards, but requires grantees to spend 50 percent of the grant period conducting research in developing countries.
Dr. Gopal is working with UNC-Project Malawi to address the increasing cancer burden in sub-Saharan Africa through a research project focused on non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma, both diseases associated with the HIV epidemic in the region. His project will seek to systematically provide accurate histopathological diagnosis to patients with clinically suspected lymphoma, and will correlate clinical and laboratory data with pathologic diagnoses to determine whether there are reliable clinical predictors of lymphoma that can be used in settings where examination by a trained pathologist is often not possible. Finally, he will follow patients with confirmed lymphoma who are receiving treatment under local conditions to assess response to therapy, treatment-related toxicities, costs of treatment, and health related quality of life assessments.
This work will constitute one of the only well characterized, prospective longitudinal lymphoma cohorts in the region, and will provide essential data needed for Dr. Gopal and other researchers to design more effective lymphoma therapies tailored to resource-limited conditions in sub-Saharan Africa.