Progress: the UC San Diego – Universidade Eduardo Mondlane Medical Education Partnership Initiative

In this official video, Dr. Emilia Noormahomed describes the goals and progress of the UC San Diego—Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program in Mozambique.

Map of Africa showing location of MozambiqueEmilia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, is UEM principal investigator of the MEPI project, which is intended to strengthen Mozambique’s medical education system by building infrastructure to support medical training, research and technology.

Noormahomed is associate professor in the Parasitology Section, Department of Microbiology, at UEM and associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego.

In their partnership, UEM receives the bulk of the grant funding and UC San Diego provides partners and mentors to help UEM meet its goals.  |  More about UC San Diego’s role

The UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program offers a global medicine elective in which residents rotate to the UEM’s Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique for a four-week period.  |  More about the elective

MEPI is a joint initiative of the United States National Institutes of Health and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

More Information:

Internal Medicine Residency Training Program

Medical Education Partnership Initiative

Dr. Helen King and Dr. Philipp Wiesner Present Mentored Research Study Results at Grand Rounds

Dr. Helen King

Dr. Helen King.

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Dr. Philipp Wiesner.

Helen King, MD, and Philipp Wiesner, MD, junior residents in the categorical track of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program, presented results of their elective mentored research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds on May 15.

The Internal Medicine Residency Training program offers trainees two months of elective time during their second or third year to undertake a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Dr. Helen King

Helen King, MD, Mercer University

King’s research project was “HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis: Barriers to Access for Men Who Have Sex With Men.” |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

“I have been interested in HIV medicine for some time now,” King said, “and since being a resident at UCSD have had the opportunity to have more exposure.

“I went to Dr. Davey Smith knowing that he might have some interesting projects, and he helped me get involved with the PrEPARE Study.”

Davey Smith, MD, MAS

Davey M. Smith, MD, MAS

Smith (at right), a translational research virologist, directs the Translational Virology Core of the UC San Diego Center for AIDS Research and is medical director of the Antiviral Research Center’s Early Intervention Program.

He is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

The PrEPARE study evaluates preexposure prophylaxis for HIV in men who have sex with men, an approach in which an HIV-negative individual who is at high risk for HIV infection takes a daily HIV medication to lower his risk of infection.

“It has been proven effective in high-risk men who have sex with men,” King said. “Our study was aimed at identifying real-life barriers to accessing the medication, such as cost.”

The study pinpointed several barriers including cost and concern about side effects.

Of her research experience, King said, “I was lucky enough to work on a project that was interesting to me and to work with a great mentor.”

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Philipp Wiesner
MD, Universität Regensburg

Philipp Wiesner presented the project “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis.” |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

“I started to work in the field of atherosclerosis in medical school,” Wiesner said. “I spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow and continued to work in this area during residency.

“My topic was a perfect fit, as I could continue to work in the same area in which I already had experience as well as continue to work with my previous mentors.”

Dr. Joseph Witztum

Joseph Witztum, MD

Wiesner’s primary mentor is Joseph Witztum, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism. Witztum leads the renowned atherosclerosis research laboratory that was established at UCSD by Dr. Daniel Steinberg.

Steinberg, emeritus professor of medicine and pioneering lipid researcher, was the founding head of the Division of Metabolic Diseases.

Dr. Yury Miller

Yury Miller, MD, PhD

Wiesner’s other mentors are lab members Yury Miller, MD, PhD, and Sotirios “Sam” Tsimikas, MD. Miller is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and Tsimikas is professor of clinical medicine and director of vascular medicine in the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Sotirios "Sam" Tsimikas

Sotirios “Sam” Tsimikas, MD

Some of Wiesner’s research work, not included in his Grand Rounds presentation, recently has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Lipid Research.

Said Wiesner, “I am really glad our program gives us the opportunity to take two months off to do research. Residency is busy as it is and without this, many residents would not have the chance to get exposed to clinical or laboratory based research.”

Wiesner said it has always been his plan to have a career as an academic physician-scientist.

Presenting Grand Rounds on May 15: Dr. Helen King and Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Dr. Helen King

Dr. Helen King
MD, Mercer University

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Dr. Philipp Wiesner
MD, Universität Regensburg

Helen King, MD, and Philipp Wiesner, MD, junior residents in the categorical track of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program, will present results of their elective mentored research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds on May 15.

King’s research project is “HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis: Barriers to Access for Men Who Have Sex With Men.”  Philipp Wiesner will present the project “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis.”

The Internal Medicine Residency Training program offers trainees two months of elective time during their second or third year to undertake a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Drs. Felipe Nascimento Kazmirczak and Stephen Vampola Present Their Research at Grand Rounds

Drs. Nascimento Kazmirczak and Stephen Vampola

Drs. Nascimento Kazmirczak (left) and Vampola field questions after their presentations.

Felipe Nascimento Kazmirczak, MD, and Stephen Vampola, MD, junior residents in the categorical track of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program, presented results of their elective mentored research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds on March 20.

The Internal Medicine Residency Training program offers trainees two months of elective time during their second or third year to undertake a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Dr. David Krummen

The mentor for both residents was UCSD cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. David Krummen, right, who watched from front row center in the auditorium as they made their presentations.

Krummen, a ventricular fibrillation researcher, is associate professor of medicine with UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and associate director of electrophysiology at the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Stephen Vampola

Vampola’s research project was “Mechanistic Implications of Tissue Rate Gradients in Human Ventricular Fibrillation.” He described the research experience as “fulfilling and formative.”

He said his longstanding goal has been to merge his interest in engineering — he studied electrical engineering as an undergraduate and biomedical engineering in graduate school — with his interest in medicine. He earned his MD degree at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“Now that I have a clinical background,” he said, “I was eager to participate in research that would allow me to combine my unique skill set. The field of cardiac electrophysiology, which by its very nature is analytical and mathematical, is just that.”

Dr. KazmirczakA career in academic medical research has been Nascimento Kazmirczak’s plan for many years.

He came to the United States from Brazil after he earned his MD degree at Universidade Lut Brasil because he was seeking the high-level academic investigators and research opportunities found at major American institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard or UC San Diego.

The project he presented at Grand Rounds was “Identification of Human VF Mechanism Using Surface ECG.”

As he designed his elective research rotation this year, Nascimento Kazmirczak’s interest in cardiology and his strong interest in cardiac electrophysiology led him to Drs. Krummen and Sanjiv M. Narayan and into the ventricular fibrillation research group.

Narayan, professor of medicine in cardiology, is director of electrophysiology at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

“It was very interesting, and challenging too,” Nascimento Kazmirczak said. “A lot is not known about the mechanism of ventricular fibrillation. If you identify the mechanism, you can prevent it.”

Drs. Felipe Nascimento Kazmirczak and Wolfgang Dillmann.

Dr. Wolfgang Dillmann, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, comments on Dr. Felipe Nascimento Kazmirczak’s presentation.

Nascimento Kazmirczak and the other researchers devised a way to induce and study VF in humans rather than in explanted hearts or animal models. Theirs is one of the largest human VF studies now in existence.

Vampola described David Krummen as an outstanding mentor. Nascimento Kazmirczak said, “He dedicated a huge amount of time to helping us.”

Krummen also worked with the two residents to prepare and fine-tune their Grand Rounds presentations in technical detail and in overall clarity.

“This has been a very fulfilling experience,” Vampola said. “One of the unique features of being a physician is the ability to have a highly multifaceted career. I would strongly recommend that anyone with the opportunity to do so, at some point in their career, participate in research in a field that interests them.

“As a resident with access to the vast pool of research efforts at UCSD, it is hard for me to imagine a better place to do this.”

Asked whether he envisions a career as an academic physician-scientist, Vampola says it has been an evolving question for him. His mentored research experience has nudged him toward the affirmative.

“Having identified a field of research that suits my talents and interests well, I find it fulfilling and addictive,” he said. “Looking at my current trajectory and extrapolating to the future, I can definitely envision myself as a physician-scientist with a strong bent towards research.”

New Global Medicine Program at Work in Mozambique

UCSD internal medicine resident Seth Goldman, M.D., with Dr. Sam Patel of UEM on the wards at Maputo Central Hospital.

UCSD internal medicine resident Seth Goldman, M.D., with Dr. Sam Patel of UEM on the wards at Maputo Central Hospital. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

At Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique, the patients suffer from diseases that a doctor might never see in the U.S.: malaria, cholera, or drug resistant tuberculosis, for example. Important research takes place despite limited resources. Internal medicine residents divide their time between their clinical duties and the moonlighting jobs that finance their medical education.

Beginning this month, UCSD internal medicine doctors are working side by side with their counterparts in Maputo. The new Global Medicine elective rotation in the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is underway.

It’s a bilateral exchange of faculty and residents between UCSD and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) School of Medicine in Maputo. The purpose is to enrich the training programs and the research efforts at both institutions.

Dr. Seth Goldman, a third-year resident in internal medicine, is the first UCSD trainee to take part. He’ll spend almost 4 weeks in Maputo, departing as the next resident arrives from UCSD to take his place.

Dr. Preziosi with Mozambican residents

Global Medicine Program Clinical Director Mike Preziosi, MD (center), with Mozambican internal medicine residents Lucia Chambal (left) and Manuel Tomas (right).

Supervising the residents in Maputo is Michael Preziosi, MD, who graduated from the Internal Medicine Residency Program in June. He’ll spend a full year in Maputo as Assistant Professor of Medicine, and clinical director for the UCSD residents.

“Our research and education presence in Maputo will equip us to prepare our next generation of internal medicine specialists and researchers,” says Ken Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Kaushansky directs the Global Medicine program for UCSD.

Drs. Marisa Magaña and Emilia Noormahomed

Dr. Marisa Magaña, former UCSD internal medicine resident, with Dr. Emilia Noormahomed of UEM.

UCSD’s Global Medicine faculty leaders include Robert (Chip) Schooley, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and colleague Professor Constance Benson, MD, who directs the Fellowship Training Program in Infectious Diseases.

This is an exciting opportunity for UCSD and for UEM,” says Dr. Schooley.

He and Dr. Benson have collaborated with researchers in Mozambique and other African nations since the mid-1990s.

It was their interest in doing research work with Dr. Emilia Noormahomed that brought UEM to the foreground when the UCSD Department of Medicine began its search for potential Global Medicine rotation sites.

Emilia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, a gifted parasitology researcher, is a former dean of the UEM School of Medicine.

She and Sam Patel, MD, Professor of Medicine and, until recently, Chair of the Department of Medicine, are UEM’s participating faculty who have worked closely with Dr. Kaushansky to design this unique partnership.

Both have accepted faculty appointments in UCSD’s Department of Medicine.


“Our long-term goal is to play a critical role in developing sustainable local capacity to lead programs in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in southeast Africa.”
— Dr. Schooley


City of Maputo

The city of Maputo is a major port on the Indian Ocean.
Photo by Robert Schooley, MD.

For UCSD, the Global Medicine program reflects the Department of Medicine’s commitment to enlarge its efforts in the field of global medicine. The new elective will broaden the program offered to internal medicine residency trainees.

“Our faculty, residents, and fellows will have the opportunity to see diseases such as TB and malaria that we see much less often here in the U.S.,” Dr. Schooley says, “and actually to take part in revitalizing postgraduate medical education in Moçambique.”

A generation after a civil war that drove all but a few doctors from the country, the government of Moçambique is striving to build a sustainable healthcare system that can meet the nation’s urgent need for physicians and medical leaders.

Children in cane village outside Maputo.

Children in cane village outside Maputo. Photo by Kenneth Kaushansky, MD.

UCSD’s involvement at UEM is part of this effort, as is funding for the UEM departments of parasitology and medicine by the Gilead Foundation, a nonprofit organization of the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, LLC.

The Gilead Foundation contributed along with the UCSD Center for AIDS Research to the refurbishing of Dr. Noormahomed’s laboratory at UEM. It’s also a key sponsor of the UCSD Global Medicine rotation.

It’s hoped that additional philanthropic gifts from other sources will continue to support the Global Medicine exchange and other collaborative projects between UCSD and UEM.

UCSD’s presence at UEM will nourish medical research programs and promote the use of evidence-based medicine and epidemiological methods in patient care.

Maputo Central Hospital

Maputo Central Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for UEM.
Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

During the early months of this inaugural year, Dr. Preziosi is focusing on establishing relationships, learning the language, and determining the needs of the UEM medical trainees and researchers.

“I’m really excited,” he says. “It’s clear to me how important my job is as a continuous presence in Maputo.”

He and his UCSD colleagues will work with UEM to establish a more academic day in the medical training program. They’ll also develop a number of research studies.

“We’ll work with their residents and investigators,” he says, “to do the projects that really matter.”

Dr. Preziosi hopes to have launched the first group of new research projects by the end of the year. In June 2010, he will return to UCSD to begin his fellowship training in infectious diseases.

Mozambique shown on map of Africa.

The republic of Mozambique.
Map from CIA: The World Factbook.

The Global Medicine elective rotation is open to second- and third-year residents. During the 2009-2010 academic year, over 20 UCSD internal medicine trainees will complete the Global Medicine rotation in Maputo.

Additional UCSD Department of Medicine faculty will rotate through Maputo for 3-4 week periods over the course of the year, working alongside their Mozambican colleagues to augment the Internal Medicine training program at Maputo Central Hospital. Dr. Randy Taplitz, Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, will join Dr. Preziosi in early August.

Department of Medicine faculty rotating through Maputo live in an apartment, located several blocks from the medical school complex, with Dr. Preziosi and the UCSD residents.

Starting later this year, UEM residents will travel to UCSD to spend 2-3-month periods in research and clinical work here.

“Our long-term goal,” says Dr. Schooley, “is to play a critical role in developing sustainable local capacity to lead programs in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in southeast Africa.”


Join With Us

We’re building practical, sustainable programs here at home and in our partner nations.

Your gift in any amount will go directly to help train a doctor, continue a key research project, or equip a community with the knowledge it needs to fight the spread of a preventable disease.

For more information about philanthropy and the Department of Medicine’s international programs, please contact Dan Otto, Senior Executive Director of Development, at 858-246-1563.

Give Now

UCSD Faculty Volunteers Welcomed

UCSD Department of Medicine faculty volunteers of all specialties are welcome to participate in the Global Medicine program in Maputo.

To make your interests known or to find out more, please contact:

Jesus Vera
Global Medicine Program Coordinator
Telephone 619-543-2896
Email jevera@ucsd.edu

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Internal Medicine Residents’ Research Highlighted in Symposiums

On topics ranging from the genetics of cardiac conduction to the delivery of healthcare for Iraqi refugees, UC San Diego internal medicine residents are presenting their research in two symposiums on campus this month.

The Medical Resident Research Symposiums are an annual event that highlights the residents’ work for their fellow trainees, the faculty, and the general academic community.This year, 16 residents are presenting.Residents develop and conduct their research under the guidance of faculty mentors.

The work takes place during a two-month research rotation, an elective offered in the second and third years of the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky initiated the annual symposiums when he came to UC San Diego to head the Department of Medicine in 2002.

Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the department, is a physician-scientist.

The first of this year’s two research symposiums convened on May 20.

The second will be offered on Thursday, May 28, at 6:00 pm in the Leichtag Biomedical Research Building, Room 107, on the UC San Diego main campus.

For reservations, which are required, please contact Allison Reinhardt.

Symposium flyers (PDF):

More Information: