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Research Across Borders: Advantages & Challenges

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Dr. Phil LoVerde to lead Spotlight on Research Integrity Workshop on Tuesday, January 27th, 4-5pm

Author: Phil LoVerde, PhD | Category: Around Campus | January 12, 2015

I have performed research in foreign countries mainly Africa and South America for more than 45 years. My research involves tropical diseases, especially schistosomiasis- a disease that afflicts some 200 million people in 76 countries of the world. The advantages of research in endemic areas are that you can study various aspects such as epidemiology, immunology, diagnosis, genetics and interventions of human-parasite interactions. Your laboratory is not conventional and is found within the populations, transmission sites and the environment. You develop collaborations through sharing graduate students/postdocs that are win-win. They result in life long interactions that result in outcomes that improve the health of populations in endemic areas. These advantages far outweigh the disadvantages such as the long process of attaining permits from the US and local governments to import/export pathogens, vectors of disease, human sera or cells among other biological items. The gained knowledge that you share through publications and/or with the Ministries of Health improve the outcomes of human-parasite interactions. Within the upcoming Spotlight on Research Integrity presentation, I will relate my personal experiences that present the advantages and challenges of performing research overseas. The terrain where we work in Brazil is rugged. The roads to the field sites can be washed out or a tree can fall across the road. We often have to repair washed out bridges, remove trees or find another route to the field site. The picture below shows the school children who were part of our study. It is my hope that those who attend this workshop will leave with a greater understanding of the obstacles associated with research outside of the laboratory setting.  For more information on the workshop Click Here.

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