Global WACh

HIV and Co-Infections

February 27, 2024

MIND collaborators convene in Nairobi to advance childhood development and mental health research in Kenya

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MIND Program collaborators at the Palacina Suites Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo: Mugo Mureithi)

In January, nearly 40 collaborators affiliated with the Drug, microbiome, and immune determinants of birth and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children with exposure to HIV infection (MIND) grant attended a two-day convening in Nairobi, Kenya. Launched in early 2023, the project leverages three ongoing childhood development studies in Kenya and supports two core groups that provide access to technologies, services, training, and consultation to successfully execute the studies. The meeting provided a forum to share progress and discuss future directions of research collaborations from UW/Global WACh, Kenyatta National Hospital, University of Nairobi, Emory University, Fred Hutch, and Makerere University. (more…)

Collaborators gather in Nairobi for annual meeting on STD, HIV, and SRH research in Kenya


In January, collaborators from Global WACh and its long-time partner institutions, the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta National Hospital, and Kenya Medical Research Institute, gathered at the Nairobi Serena Hotel in Kenya for an annual meeting centered on STD, HIV, and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) research. The week-long University of Nairobi STD/HIV/SRH Research Group Meeting provided an opportunity to learn about each other’s work and scientific findings, build community within study teams, meet new people across teams, and engage in meaningful discussions to steer future directions of this collaborative research.

Continue reading below for a few presentation highlights and photos. (more…)

January 24, 2024

Announcing New Global WACh Faculty Directors

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In late 2023, Global WACh embarked on a search to identify three new Faculty Directors — two internally at Global WACh and one externally among our global partners — to provide key leadership and input on Center-level priorities. They will join the Staff Directors, Kate Rankin and Alyson Shumays. Dr. Grace John-Stewart, the Founding Director, will continue in her role to mentor the new faculty leadership. Together, they will work towards advancing priorities, including social justice initiatives, investing in local and global partnerships, and financial sustainability. We are thrilled to begin the new year with an announcement of the new Faculty Directors: (more…)

December 14, 2023

Book Talk – “Enough: Because We Can Stop Cervical Cancer”

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On December 7th, Global WACh hosted an engaging book talk around Dr. Linda Eckert’s upcoming book, Enough: Because We Can Stop Cervical Cancer.  The book is a passionate call to action to eliminate needless deaths from cervical cancer, by combatting healthcare inequities women face.  The book is available to pre-order where ever one gets books.

If you missed the event, watch it here:

Learn about other opportunities to learn about the book and discuss cervical cancer:

August 29, 2023

Global WACh PhD trainees defend dissertations in Summer 2023

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This Summer Quarter, three doctoral students who have spent their PhD journeys with Global WACh, defended their dissertations leveraging research conducted in collaboration with partner institutions around the world. We are thankful for their contributions to advance our science and for the privilege to provide them with mentorship and training support. Congratulations to all! (more…)

March 9, 2023

Researchers attend the 2023 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle

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This year, the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) was held in Global WACh’s hometown of Seattle, WA from February 19-22, 2023. CROI is the premier annual scientific conference for the epidemiology and biology of human retroviruses and associated diseases. For the past 30 years, CROI has been a global convening of leading scientists, clinicians, public health experts, among others, where discoveries have been presented that have helped to accelerate progress in HIV/AIDS research.

We’ve compiled a list of 12 accepted poster abstracts with contributions by Global WACh researchers and collaborators. Click on the titles to read the poster. (more…)

March 3, 2023

Researchers convene in Nairobi, Kenya on future childhood development research

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Group photo of several investigators from Kenyatta National Hospital, University of Nairobi, and University of Washington.

A two-day convening in January in Nairobi, Kenya brought together over 30 investigators from a variety of Kenyatta National Hospital, University of Nairobi, and University of Washington studies that include components of assessing childhood neurodevelopment and mental health. This meeting provided a forum to understand how to leverage the recently awarded Impact of Microbiome, Immune Activation and Drug on Neurodevelopment (MIND) Program for ongoing and future childhood development research. Over the course of the meeting, attendees discussed and prioritized the activities for a new MIND Center of Excellence (CoE) that builds off the program. To briefly summarize, the activities include: (more…)

December 30, 2022

Researchers receive $6.6 million award to generate evidence on biological factors influencing health outcomes in HIV-exposed children

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A researcher and a child demonstrating a cognitive assessment. Credit: Sarah Benki-Nugent

Global WACh researchers and collaborators received a milestone National Institutes of Health grant award, totaling nearly $6.7 million, to generate evidence on biological factors that may cause adverse birth and neurodevelopmental outcomes in young children exposed to but uninfected with HIV (HEU). Research shows that HEU children have compromised growth, neurodevelopmental delays, and increased morbidity and mortality compared to that of unexposed, uninfected children (HUU) and Global WACh is currently involved in several studies that are examining pathways that influence these outcomes to help inform future health interventions. (more…)

June 29, 2022

New publication in the Lancet Microbe on CRISPR detection of tuberculosis in adults and children with HIV.

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) remains a major factor in global morbidity and mortality, especially for adults and children with HIV. Coinfection of HIV and tuberculosis is uniquely dangerous, as the depression of normal immune response to infection in persons with HIV can lead to both severe illness and the underdiagnosis of TB when using sputum-based assays. Collecting sputum from young children presents further issues. A new molecular diagnostics study by UW Global WACh in collaboration with Tulane University and other partners including Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor Children’s Foundation-Eswatini, University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya, to study the effectiveness of CRISPR-based assay detection of M. tuberculosis cell-free DNA (Mtb-cfDNA) in seropositive adults and children was published in The Lancet Microbe May 2022 edition.  (more…)

August 2, 2021

Dr. Erica Lokken receives ‘First Prize Oral Presentation – Young Investigator’ Award at HIV & STI 2021 World Congress

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Dr. Erica Lokken, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Global Health, received the ‘First Prize Oral Presentation – Young Investigator’ Award at the STI & HIV 2021 World Congress for her talk titled, “Vaginal washing behavior and fecundability in Kenyan women planning pregnancies.”


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