In Short

Health and science news briefs from around Emory
Tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Photo by Janice Carr/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Emory hosts first international conference on TB research

Leading tuberculosis experts from around the world gathered at Emory for the “Human Immunity to Tuberculosis” conference in April. Tuberculosis is an important area of research at the Emory Vaccine Center, where conference organizer Jyothi Rengarajan and her team work to understand how Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes disease. One-third of the world’s population is infected with TB, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resulting in nearly two million related deaths each year.

Emory launches biosciences program in South Africa 

Emory has partnered with the Innovation Hub, a science park in South Africa’s Gauteng Province, to launch the Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) in Biosciences. GAP Biosciences is a nine-month education program designed to support the establishment of biosciences-based companies in Gauteng Province, which includes Pretoria and Johannesburg. Emory’s involvement in GAP Biosciences is part of the university’s broader commitment to building bioscience capabilities in South Africa, and one of several collaborations with the South African government. The Emory South Africa Drug Discovery Training Program, established in 2007, also brings South African scientists to Emory and partner sites to receive advanced instruction in drug discovery disciplines.

New spina bifida center aims to eliminate birth defect on a global scale 

In partnership with the Sophie’s Voice Foundation, researchers in the Rollins School of Public Health and the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics announced in May the launch of a new international research and prevention center to fight spina bifida. Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that affects the spine, which can result in severe physical and mental disabilities. Worldwide, more than 325,000 babies are born with neural tube defects each year, and 75 percent of these birth defects could have been prevented with adequate consumption of folic acid.

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