Scientific solutions to today’s health problems require innovation and collaboration. We partner with institutions around the world on interdisciplinary research to address the most pressing health issues facing the world today. We also want our science to translate into action so that it can make a difference. We conduct policy research and convene stakeholders to ensure the highest quality science and research translates into the best possible action on the ground.

Please visit our EXPLORE database for a comprehensive view of the global research being conducted by faculty at the David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Health in collaboration with international partners.


Information on global health and international pilot/seed grant opportunities available to UCLA faculty.






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  • It is our great pleasure to present to you the UCLA Center for World Health (CWH) 2016-2017 annual report.

    The UCLA Center for World Health (CWH) was established in 2012 as a joint initiative of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Health to produce leaders who will meet the changing health needs of our planet and optimize health care through community partnerships.

    UCLA attracts extraordinary minds – both faculty and students – that strive towards a culture of innovation and are dedicated to strengthening human capital. We have exceptional intellectual capacity and a robust history of generating research that benefits millions worldwide.

    We are committed to transform the practice of world health to close the gaps and make a sustainable difference by providing clinical experiences, innovative research opportunities as well as humanitarian training.

    This report summarizes the highlights of our programs, and describes the expansion of our educational, research, capacity building and health systems strengthening projects that support our vision of a world in which all people achieve their right to high-quality, compassionate, and affordable health care. We develop major collaborations in global pediatric care that will have a lasting impact on the well-being of all children. We work with people around the world to develop the skills they need to solve problems where they live. We work with them to develop educational and health systems that make a difference. We train them to leverage the science and technology necessary to understand how best to improve health locally. We partner with them to educate their next generation of leaders, and we strive toward clinical excellence for everyone, everywhere.

    We are also very proud to feature our Global Health Education Program and the accomplishments of some of the students and faculty of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

    Our website provides additional information on the projects of our many global faculty and partners that we weren’t able to feature in this report.

    The UCLA Center for World Health would like to thank you all for your continued interest and support. Please sign up for our email newsletter if you would like to receive updates on our events, programs, and other activities.

    Please feel free to contact us should you be interested in learning more about the Center.
    Photograph: Drs. Luis Javier Gonzalez and Manuel Raices present to UCLA faculty and students on Cuba’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

    Monday, June 5, 2017

    Despite the economic consequences of a decades-long U.S. embargo, Cuba has developed a robust pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Because the embargo limited Cuba’s ability to import pharmaceuticals and health technology, the country invested heavily in medical research as a necessity to address the health needs of their population. Today, Cuba boasts a sophisticated pharmaceutical sector that presents a largely untapped market for both commercial prospects and non-commercial medical research. Regulatory changes made under the Obama administration have relaxed economic sanctions against Cuba, creating the opportunity for increased collaboration between the U.S. and Cuba in the medical sphere.

    In May 2017, the UCLA Center for World Health hosted Drs. Luis Javier Gonzalez and Manuel Raices from the Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) to discuss Cuba’s increasing prevalence in the international biotechnology and pharmaceutical market.

    CIGB is a part of the larger group BioCubaFarma, a biotechnological and pharmaceutical group comprised of over 30 enterprises, 64 manufacturing facilities, and over 20,000 employees. BioCubaFarma was established in 2012 and integrates Cuban companies dedicated to scientific development, research, production and marketing of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment to supply to domestic and international markets. BioCubaFarma’s products are marketed in 49 countries and are in clinical trials in 18 countries.

    Today, BioCubaFarma hopes to break into U.S. markets with a variety of medicines, including Heberprot-P, a promising treatment for foot ulcers in diabetic patients. The medicine, created by a team of researchers from CIGB (including Dr. Raices), has proven very effective, reducing the relative risk of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) amputation in more than 71% of cases in pilot studies. So far, more than 250,000 DFU patients from 26 countries have been treated with Heberprot-P in Cuba.

    While at UCLA, Drs. Gonzalez and Raices hosted a roundtable discussion highlighting Cuba’s contributions to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Attended by faculty and students from the David Geffen School of Medicine, Fielding School of Public Health, and School of Nursing, Drs. Gonzalez and Raices stressed the importance of continuing the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations. The doctors argued that because the U.S. and Cuba face similar disease burdens, such as the high prevalence of diabetes and lung cancer, a collaborative approach would be beneficial for both countries. For example, in the U.S., where 9.3% of the population has diabetes, Cuban-developed Heberprot-P could have a tremendous impact.

    More information on BioCubaFarma
    More information on the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
    For 25 years, the UCLA/Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (UCLA/Fogarty AITRP) has provided education and training that enables international healthcare professionals to complete M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS. Through partnerships with leading universities and HIV/AIDS control programs in partner countries, UCLA/Fogarty AITRP aims to provide training for local healthcare professionals and technical staff to assist with the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. The program has collaborated with institutions and professionals in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    Trainees in the M.S. program typically spend between fifteen and twenty-one months in formal course work at UCLA and three to six months completing their fieldwork and thesis. Ph.D. trainees usually spend three years in academic studies at UCLA and twelve to eighteen months completing their dissertation. The UCLA/Fogarty AITRP also offers in-country courses, as well as a three-month postdoctoral training course at UCLA. To be considered for participation, health professionals must guarantee that they will return to their home country after completion of the program.

    In 2014, the Fogarty International Center, a division of the National Institutes of Health, announced plans to award five-year grants to three HIV/AIDS prevention projects headed by UCLA faculty. Dr. Roger Detels and Dr. Sung-Jae Lee, faculty in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology, received two awards of $1.4 million and $1.5 million for their ongoing efforts to provide effective HIV/AIDS education and training in Myanmar and Thailand. Additionally, Dr. Pamina Gorbach, also a professor in the Department of Epidemiology, received $1.4 million for her work training Cambodian public health professionals in the analysis and use of HIV/AIDS data collected by the Cambodian government.

    Through partnerships with the Myanmar University of Public Health (UPH), the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and the Cambodian University of Health Sciences (UHS), the three programs are giving M.S. and Ph.D. candidates, as well as postdoctoral scholars, the chance to train in advanced research methodologies both at UCLA and in their home countries. These training opportunities will enable professionals to better identify critical health trends, epidemiologic shifts, and use their knowledge to inform HIV/AIDS policies and program improvements.

    The UCLA/Fogarty AITRP also operates in Vietnam, in partnership with Hanoi Medical University (HMU). Led by Dr. Li Li, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, the program provides training in advanced research methodology and HIV/AIDS to trainees from Vietnam. In addition to holding courses at UCLA for M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, the program also provides in-country summer workshops on community-based interventions, program monitoring and evaluation, research ethics, advanced study design and evaluation, and grant writing and management. The training strategy builds curriculum development capacities for HMU, strengthening the institution’s research capabilities.

    Read more about Dr. Detel’s work
    Read more about Dr. Lee’s work
    Read more about Dr. Gorbach’s work
    Read more about Dr. Li’s work