Salvatore, Mirella : Seed Grant, 2013-2014


Mirella Salvatore (Weill Cornell Medical College)

Weill Cornell Medical College
Weill Cornell Medical College
Project Title: 
Development of a Research Network with Singapore for the study of Chikungunya and other emerging viral infections
Project Abstract: 
This project will establish a new collaboration between Weill Cornell Medical College and the National University of Singapore to pursue research on Chikungunya and other emerging viral infections in humans. Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infested mosquitoes and has become a major public health concern for more than 40 countries in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and southern Europe, and has recently spread to the Caribbean islands. Due to the widespread presence of the mosquito vector of the disease, there is the concern that CHIKV will also spread to the American mainland. The pathogenesis of the disease is largely unknown and there is no available therapy or vaccine. Accordingly, the objectives of this project are 1) to create of a joint research team between Weill Cornell University and the National University of Singapore in order to share samples and expertise for studying CHIKV infection and 2) to perform pilot experiments that will be critical for obtaining preliminary data to use for future grant applications. Ultimately our collaboration will allow the study of the global host responses to CHIKV infection, and possibly help in the identification of new therapeutic target. The newly created research network also will also be instrumental as a research infrastructure for future study of other emerging viral infections and to facilitate students and faculty connections between the two institutions.