• Consortium Universities: University of Washington, University of Hawai’i, and University of Minnesota
  • Partner Institutions: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Association Civil Impacta Salud y Educacion, and the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
  • Collaborating Research Grants: 8
  • Training Grants: 6
  • Research Themes: infectious disease, neurologic disorders, pulmonary disease, and veterinary medicine

International Institutional Partner Director:
Silvia M. Montano, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Neurology UNMSM and Affiliate Assistant Professor in the UW Department of Neurology

Program Contact:
Joe Zunt, M.D., M.P.H
University of Washington

For a list of available projects in Peru: click here


Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia:

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) is a private non-profit university founded in 1961 with 8 schools providing undergraduate and post-graduate education in medicine, dentistry, public health, nursing, sciences and philosophy, veterinary medicine and zoology, psychology, and education. The School of Public Health (FASPA) at UPCH was founded in 1998 and is the only School of Public Health in Peru. Dr. Patty Garcia, a prior UW AIRTP trainee, was elected Dean of this School earlier this year (see letter of support). FASPA’s mission is to generate, apply and disseminate knowledge relevant to health promotion, disease prevention and treatment in human populations. FASPA has played a prominent role in training public health officers of the Peruvian Ministry of Health and other official institutions that develop and implement public health policy. The School provides a series of master’s degree programs, diploma and certificate courses and continuing education in health and health administration in Lima and several provinces.

PeruUPCH currently has more than 140 active projects funded by national and international agencies, with 18 new projects funded in 2009 (Figure 3). Peru (and Mexico) rank second only to Brazil as the Latin American countries receiving the most NIH funding. This long-standing history of success reflects strong collaborations with other countries and institutions. In the embedded figure, we present the history of NIH-grants funded at UPCH, demonstrating an upward trend in number and types of grants UPCH has received.

The UW and UPCH have successfully competed for research and training grants in areas of communicable and noncommunicable diseases – contributing to the emergence of many health scientists. In the past 15 years, 91 Peruvian Trainees have received public health and biomedical ethics training at the UW, including 21 MPH or PhD degrees, with over 100 joint publications. All have returned to work in Peru in academia, governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Reciprocally, UPCH has trained more than 30 UW medical and public health students through the Fogarty Multidisciplinary International Research Training (MIRT) program and Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows Program. These training collaborations have resulted in the development of joint UW-UPCH research projects on HIV, STIs, TB, HPV and reproductive tract infections (RTI), and research training grants – including an ICOHRTA-AIDS/TB award, a FIRCA award, an NIH CIPRA award, two Frameworks in Global Health awards, a Bioinformatics award, a GRIP award and a Wellcome Trust-funded urban community randomized trial in 20 Peruvian cities.

Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos:

The Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM) was founded in 1551 and is the oldest and largest public university in South America. The University offers 76 Masters degree and 21 Doctoral degree programs in five academic areas: Health Sciences, Humanities, Basic Sciences, Engineering and Business; there are 46 Schools within these five academic areas. The Health Sciences area includes Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Midwifery, Nutrition, Veterinary Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Dentistry, Psychology, Biologic Sciences and Medical Technology; in 2008, there were 1,048 postgraduates enrolled in these Schools. The School of Medicine has 50 postgraduate residency programs with 35 affiliated training hospital, institutes and clinical sites. Other relevant Schools include: Social Work, Law and Anthropology.

PeruFunded in part by the Fogarty International Scholar infrastructure awards, Dr. Jorge Alarcón, past Dean of the School of Public Health and current Director of UNMSM’s Insituto de Medicina Tropical (IMT), has developed a multimedia classroom and epidemiology website that serves as a repository for educational materials for clinical research methods and analysis, a point for training and communication for epidemiologists throughout Peru, and a data collection site for studies of HIV and STD in pregnant women (see letter of support) . The renovated wing includes working space for the UW-Peru Global Health Fellows and Scholars and Peruvian epidemiology students. In addition to the Epidemiology Section, the IMT has laboratories and clinical space for research and clinical studies in parasitology, bacteriology, virology retrovirology, and immunology.

UNMSM has hosted a UW Fogarty International Scholar each year since 2004. San Marcos has a long history of training the nation’s epidemiologists and has continuing education programs for epidemiologists working for the Ministry of Health in all departments of Peru. In addition, UNMSM receives funding from the Global Fund for prevention of maternal-child transmission of HIV and is the major site for an NIH-funded study of HTLV infection in blood donors. With the largest Peruvian network of medical subspecialty training programs, and as the largest public university in Peru, UNMSM offers a wide variety of mentoring and clinical research training opportunities in multiple potential disciplines. UMN has an NIH-funded multi-center study on the pulmonary complications of HIV in Peru. Partner centers include ACISE, HNERM, and HNGAI.

Asociacion Civil Impacta Salud y Educacion:

The Asociacion Civil Impacta Salud y Educacion (IMPACTA) was established in 2000. IMPACTA is an NGO founded by former UW AIRTP trainee, Dr. Jorge Sanchez, to perform HIV and STD research in Peru. 2006, Dr. Sanchez received NIH funding to establish an IMPACTA Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) with 9 Clinical Research Sites in Peru. These sites are supported by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). IMPACTA also collaborates on the Fogarty-funded Andean CIPRA, the ICOHRTA-AIDS/TB, INSIGHT, and several other NIH-funded projects. The IMPACTA Laboratory has over 2,400 square feet and is equipped to serve both HVTU and HPTU projects, with capacity to perform cultures, HIV and HSV-2 screening by ELISA, HIV detuned ELISA, Western blot confirmation, CD4 count and viral load.


The interests of our prior trainees have been quite varied. We believe that an integrated team provides the most effective form of mentoring. Dr. Silvia Montano (based in Lima) and Dr. Zunt will provide overall guidance to each trainee, assisting with arranging clinical and research opportunities, developing research protocols and IRB applications, and serving as resources for any questions or problems that may arise. After determining individual’s research interests, we introduce the trainee to potential mentors at UPCH, UNMSM and INMENSA and at clinical sites.

Meetings with UW PI: At the beginning of the year, Dr. Zunt will schedule virtual meetings with each trainee on a weekly basis via Skype. These meetings serve to discuss transition to life in Lima, choice of clinical sites for research and training, development of research protocols and IRB applications. As the year progresses and trainees develop relationships with Peruvian colleagues, Skype meetings occur less frequently. Dr. Zunt travels to Peru four times per year and meets with each trainee individually while in Lima, and in a group for a social event – including dinner.

Meeting with international program site director Dr. Silvia Montano also meets with trainees in Lima on a regular basis. During the first weeks in Lima, Dr. Montano introduces the trainees to site mentors at their assigned institution (UNMSM, UPCH, INMNESA/IMPACTA) as well as potential mentors in their areas of interest. Trainees typically receive mentoring from Drs. Zunt and Montano, the site mentor and 1-2 clinical research mentors at the clinic or hospital where research is performed.