On June 10th, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) honored BOTSOGO (Botswana Oncology Global Outreach program) as part of the MGH 100 awards. The event, hosted by actor and Cambridge native Matt Damon, recognized 100 individuals and organizations that are leading the fight against cancer. BOTSOGO is a collaboration among the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP), MGH, and medical and government institutions in Botswana. The group works together to improve cancer…

Strengthening Efforts in Africa

African academics and public health leaders met with Harvard colleagues for two days in June to work out details for a collaborative research and training network. The workshop, “Advancing Collaborative Education and Research in Africa,” was held in Boston and brought together participants from Botswana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Fast, Cheap & Sensitive: HAI Researchers Invent Improved Drug Resistance Test

By Martha Henry Over 12 million people are currently taking antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV. That number is expected to rise to 15 million by 2015. An unfortunate consequence of the global scale up of treatment is an increase in drug resistance, which can render a drug regimen ineffective. About 10% of people fail treatment ever year. In areas like southern Africa, where the burden of HIV is greatest, the…

HAI Hosts Treatment as Prevention Workshop

  How do your define ‘household’ in a culture where extended families split time between town, the farm, and a cattle post? Who else has had trouble enrolling men? What happens if several large, expensive clinical trials deliver completely different results several years from now? These were some of the important questions asked at the Treatment as Prevention in Africa (TasP Africa) workshop held this May in Gaborone, Botswana.

Dr. Mosepele Mosepele: Coming of Age with the Epidemic

By Martha Henry It started in preschool for Mosepele Mosepele. His mother was an Operating Room (OR) nurse in the Mahalapye District Hospital in Botswana. In the morning, she dropped her son off at school on her way to work. If she had an early operation, young Mosepele would sit in an office with a window overlooking the OR. Though only five years old, the boy would watch the surgical…

Q&A with Iain MacLeod & David Raiser

Iain MacLeod and David Raiser

Martha Henry, Editor of Spotlight, sat down with MacLeod and Raiser to discuss their recent biotech start-up. You recently won the grand prize of $40,000 for the Deans’ Health & Life Sciences Challenge hosted by the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab). What is your product? MACLEOD: Our product is a rapid HIV drug-resistance test focusing on six drug-resistance mutations that are most likely to impact antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited areas.