April 2013
In This Issue
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Roopa's Visit to India
Last month, BVGH's tireless Associate Director of Partnering and Scientific Affairs, Roopa Ramamoorthi, traveled across India. Read more about Roopa's trip...

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SNAPSHOT Newsletter
A Note from Jennifer
Dear WIPO Re:Search Members,

Roopa has returned from India after a productive trip to increase awareness of WIPO Re:Search with the goal of recruiting new members to the Consortium. Highlights of Roopa's trip are captured in this month's Snapshot.


I had the pleasure of hosting guests from Kumasi, Ghana in Seattle this past week. Ellis Owusu-Dabo, Scientific Director, Kumasi Centre of Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) and Ingrid Sobel, Head of Administration, KCCR visited Seattle for the first time to meet with PATH. You will hear about their visit in next month's edition.  


Sanofi Pasteur, a division of Sanofi, will become actively involved in WIPO Re:Search following meetings held in Lyon, France.   I'm pleased to welcome our newest member of WIPO Re:Search, Aberystwyth University, UK and specifically Karl Hoffmann, Professor in Parasitology and Editor of Parasitology International.


Please share this Snapshot with your colleagues and friends. Your comments, suggestions and ideas are always welcome.



 Jennifer Dent

President, BVGH 

Cornerstones of Collaboration
Seattle plays host to visitors from Ghana's Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR). Read more...

Partnership Hub Central
Jennifer travels to Switzerland; Members discuss cutting-edge technology from MIT.

Research Request
Researchers at the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) have created a unique method for scientists to study trypanosomiasis in mouse models. Read more...
Highlighted Contributions
The NIH is seeking interest parties to collaborate on the development of a unique vaccine for trachoma. Read more... 


New Member Announcements
We are pleased that Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, will become a member of the WIPO Re:Search Consortium. Sanofi Pasteur is a global company that provides more than one billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. They offer a broad range of vaccines against 20 infectious diseases and are actively researching and developing new vaccines.

Aberystwyth University located in Aberystwyth, Wales (UK) was established in 1872 -- the first Welsh university -- and has built a strong academic reputation.  The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) houses the Parasitology & Epidemiology Group which consists of investigators studying molecular and biochemical parasitology, vector borne disease, and the evolutionary implications of host-parasite interactions. Please join us in welcoming our newest WIPO Re:Search Member!

Cornerstones of Collaboration
Jennifer hosted guests from the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) in Ghana.  Ellis Owusu-Dabo, Scientific Director and Ingrid Sobel, Head of Administration at KCCR visited Seattle for the first time. More details on their meetings and visit will be included in the next Snapshot issue.    
Partnership Hub Central
Researchers at Emory and MIT were introduced and had a productive discussion focused around technology developed by Sangeeta Bhatia (MIT). The two groups plan to follow-up to discuss collaborations in several areas of mutual interest.


Jennifer participated in the 2013 COHRED Colloquium on March 26-27 in Geneva. The colloquium focused on the monitoring and evaluation of investments in global health research. While in Switzerland, Jennifer met with Solomon Nwaka, Acting Director, African Network of Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI) together with Konji Sebati , Senior Director, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Solomon was impressed with the achievements of WIPO Re:Search to date and expressed interest in the capacity building arrangements where researchers from African Institutions will be hosted at Academic and Industry organizations in 2013. The WIPO Re:Search Annual Meeting was discussed along with plans to host that meeting alongside ANDI's annual meeting in October 2013.


Following the COHRED Colloquium, Jennifer and Tom Bombelles (WIPO) traveled to Lyon, France with Martin Bernhardt and Amandine Roux from Sanofi. Martin and Amandine organized a meeting with Sanofi and Sanofi Pasteur colleagues to increase awareness of WIPO Re:Search and how the Partnership Hub facilitates collaborations. Discussions were helpful for both sides to better understand partnering interests and opportunities. Sanofi Pasteur participants expressed their interest in engaging in WIPO Re:Search and exploring partnership opportunities through the consortium.


Man blinded by trachoma. CDC photo, Sonia Pelletreau
Highlighted Contributions

The U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) has contributed a vaccine composition that contains an immunologically effective amount of PmPD protein from Chlamydia trachomatis, the causative agent of trachoma. PmpD is an antigenically stable pan-neutralizing target that, in theory, would provide protection against all human chlamydial strains, thus allowing the development of a univalent vaccine that is efficacious against both blinding trachoma and sexually transmitted disease.     


The NIH's National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, and commercialize the PmpD vaccine. If you are interested in learning more contact Roopa Ramamoorthi.

Click here to view the WIPO Re:Search database entry for this contributi


Crane D.D. et. al. (2006) Chlamydia trachomatis polymorphic membrane protein D is a species-common pan-neutralizing antigen. PNAS 103(6): 1894-1899 PubMed Link

Research Request

Grace Murilla, Center Director and colleagues at the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Trypanosomiasis Research Center have created a unique device called the Infectra(TM)-kit. 

This device allows researchers to restrain mice and subsequently expose them to contained tsetse flies. The Infectra(TM)-kit allows for the simultaneous exposure of up to eight mice.

If you are interested in collaborations around using this device for studies involving vertebrate-invertebrate interactions contact
Roopa Ramamoorthi.



Ndung'u K. et. al. (2013) Infectra(TM)-kit: A device for restraining mice and confining tsetse flies during trypanosome infection transmission experiments. Acta Tropica 126:146-149. PubMed Link  

Roopa's Visit to India

Roopa Ramamoorthi, Associate Director of Partnering and Scientific Affairs, embarked on a month-long journey across India to meet with and recruit Indian organizations to WIPO Re:Search. She attended two scientific meetings, met with many researchers and organizations working in global health and neglected tropical diseases. Here are a few highlights from her journey.


During the "CTDDR-2013 : Drug Development for Orphan/Neglected Diseases" meeting in Lucknow, Roopa had the opportunity to speak with representatives from Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). Conversations focused on existing WIPO Re:Search collaborations and opened the door for new partnerships between consortia members. Roopa reached out to Samir Brahmahchari, Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Tushar Chakraborty, Director of the Central Drug Research Institute to inform them about WIPO Re:Search and encourage their participation in the consortium. She had a productive conversation with Seyed Hasnian, Professor from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and is following up to recruit IIT Delhi to WIPO Re:Search.


After the CTDDR conference, Roopa visited the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in Delhi. She met with Virander Chauhan, Director ICGEB and many faculty members to learn about their research and recruit ICGEB to WIPO Re:Search. She also discussed collaboration possibilities with Anmol Chandele, faculty member at the Emory-ICGEB center, presented WIPO Re:Search and met with Emory-ICGEB postdoctoral researchers.


In Delhi, Roopa met with Chandrima Shaha, Director of the National Institute of Immunology to present and discuss the process of joining WIPO Re:Search. The National Institute of Immunology (NII) is an institution supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, committed to advanced research addressing the basic mechanisms involved in body's defense, host-pathogen interactions and related areas.


At the IMAPAC Vaccine World Summit in Pune, Roopa spoke with Davinder Gill, CEO of Hilleman Laboratories about their collaboration interests. Hilleman Laboratories is a joint venture between Merck and the Wellcome Trust. The vaccines conference also provided an opportunity to meet with leaders from Indian vaccine manufacturers including Serum Institute, Indian Immunologicals and Bharat Biotech.


Roopa's meeting with Shrishendu Mukherjee, Senior Strategic Adviser at the Wellcome Trust was very informative and she learned more about the India Initiative on R&D for Affordable Healthcare.


After traveling from Pune to Bangalore, Roopa had productive conversations with Shridhar Narayanan, Vice President and Head Infection iSciences at AstraZeneca, Bangalore and Sunita DeSousa, Associate Director, External Collaborations. Finally near the end of her journey, Roopa spoke with Dhananjay Dendukuri, CEO of Achira labs and had the opportunity to see their microfluidics diagnostics platform. All told, it was a very successful trip to India. 
Photo Gallery
Enjoy a few photos from Roopa's journey through India! 
(see captions below photos for details)
Roopa at the ancient fortress, Sinhagad,
near Pune.

Welcome poster at the CTDDR meeting in Lucknow.
Roopa and Anmol Chandele, an Emory University faculty member at the Emory-ICGEB facility (Dehli).
Roopa and Davinder Gill from the Merck Hilleman
Labs (Dehli).
Archway at the Qutub complex in Delhi. 
Research staff at the Emory-ICGEB labs.

Roopa with Shridhar Nayayanan and Sunita DeSousa at
AstraZeneca's Bangalore facility.
The Bara Imambara mosque in Lucknow.
Coconut vendor in Mumbai.
The Residency in Lucknow.

Upcoming Global Health Events


Event Title


Web Link

10 May 

Keystone Symposium: The Innate Immune Response in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease 

Ouro Preto, Brazil


13 May 

5th World Congress on Leishmania

Ouro Preto, Brazil 


15-17 May 

GBCHealth Annual Conference 

New York, NY 





Are you attending a global health event?
Do you have a Research Request to highlight in the Snapshot?

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