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As part of the NIBIB Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network, the Johns Hopkins Center can offer many opportunities for training in STDs and public health.
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is dedicated to the education of a diverse group of research scientists and public health professionals, a process inseparably linked to the discovery and application of new knowledge, and through these activities, to the improvement of health and prevention of diseases and disability around the world. Advanced degrees are offered including the MPH, PhD, DrPH, and a variety of masters degrees. Over 400 courses are offered by over 350 full and part-time faculty in Departments of Biochemistry, Environmental Health, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, International Health, Epidemiology, Population and Maternal Health Sciences, Mental Hygiene, and Health Policy and Management. Course offerings are also available at satellite locations in suburban and downtown Washington, and through Distance Education over the Internet. The School currently has a T32 STD training grant which supports 4 predoctoral and 1 postdoctoral candidates annually. In addition, there are approximately 12 other PhD candidates pursuing STD-related research who are funded through other mechanisms. There are also CDC funded trainees in STD prevention research through the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. Students may pursue an STD research interests in one of three tracks -behavioral science, clinical epidemiology, or basic science.
Region III STD/HIV Prevention Training Center (PTC)
Since 1979, the Region III PTC has been supporting health care providers in the translation of new science-based programs into their practices. The PTC has offered training and technical assistance to practitioners and program managers in the areas of program development, medical management, intervention and evaluation. Primary evidence of the success of the PTC in its efforts is the adoption of the CDC Treatment Guidelines, a prime example of diffusion as these guidelines inform practice in the United States and throughout the World. The PTC has been involved in conducting site evaluations, preparing recommendations and developing plans to integrate services in family planning and STD clinics. Currently, the PTC, in partnership with TRAINING 3 and other sister agencies, has developed a curriculum and training package to support HIV care providers in the integration of services for STD and family planning in their practices. The PTC participated in the development of a summary algorithm for obstetricians, nurse midwives and other perinatal providers to be used as a guide for screening pregnant women to prevent perinatal infection. In addition, the PTC has been involved in developing and distributing a “Preventing Perinatal HIV Transmission” Tool Kit to assist perinatal providers with assuring that pregnant women are offered HIV testing, and, if infected, receive appropriate referrals. In 2006, the PTC conducted a comprehensive needs assessment with providers in the public sector (STD, HIV and family planning) and in selected private settings to determine their needs for training and technical support. Fully 75% indicated a need for ongoing skills-based training to implement behavior interventions.
Hopkins Population Center
The Hopkins Population Center (HPC) was established in 1971 with a mandate to stimulate and facilitate interdisciplinary population research throughout the Johns Hopkins University. The HPC is unique among NICHD-funded centers in having a large majority of its faculty associates from health institutions (Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing). From its inception, the vision underlying the HPC has been the highest quality research, resulting from interactions among population researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, aided by state-of-the-art research infrastructure. The Hopkins Population Center is administratively located in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and offers a wide variety of disciplines dealing with population related issues. The HPC currently has over 50 research associates (including Drs. Gaydos, Rompalo, Quinn, and Zenilman) representing 15 academic departments at the University. The STD diagnostic core was developed to provide support to the Population Center related to research projects for STD diagnostics, especially new non-invasive diagnostic tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea. The Population Center offers dedicated information and computer consultation/systems, which would be accessible by the investigators. Major new directions for the Population Center include efforts in family demography, sexual behavior and STDs, and family planning and reproductive sciences.
The Johns Hopkins University STD Research Collaborative
The Baltimore STD Center of Excellence is a collaborative effort of clinical facilities and investigators located at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the Baltimore City Health Department. Twenty-two faculty member associates of the Center are from the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Arts and Sciences. Included are Drs. Gaydos, Rompalo, and Zenilman.
The International Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), Respiratory, and Biothreat and Emerging Diseases Research Laboratory
The International Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), Respiratory, and Biothreat and Emerging Diseases Research Laboratory conducts research, but is also a clinical and diagnostic laboratory. Our laboratory is recognized internationally for expertise as a reference laboratory for STDs, especially Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Trichomonas vaginalis, Mycoplasma genitalium, HSV, HPV, and syphilis, as well as for respiratory diseases including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and viral respiratory infections. The laboratory has served as the Core Diagnostic Laboratory and as the Reference Laboratory for many national and international grants for collaborative studies of STDs. In collaboration with the University of Maryland and the Emergency Department of Johns Hopkins University, the laboratory has been performing and analyzing diagnostic PCRs of CSF, blood, joint, and peritioneal fluids for biothreat agents as well as for more common agents of bacteremia, meningitis, and infections of sterile body fluids. The laboratory is licensed by the State of Maryland, CAP accredited, and CLIA approved.
The International STD Laboratory is the home of the Johns Hopkins Center for Point-of-Care Tests for Sexually Transmitted Diseases whose mission is to conduct in-house clinical testing of point-of-care (POC) devices, collaborate with scientists and engineers on exploratory technology development projects, complete clinical needs assessments of STD public health care professionals, and provide training to technology developers on clinical issues related to the development of POC devices for STDs. We also create and test unique methods for the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases, including Internet recruitment for home collection of urogenital samples sent by mail for testing by the laboratory, including eventual delivery of over-the-counter (OTC) POC tests for STDs to end users via the Internet. We are developing novel approaches for measuring acceptability and accuracy of available POC-type assays, such as for HIV and trichomonas, in primary care settings with comparisons between trained and untrained users.