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Upstate gets VIP visit at Ecuador site

Upstate Medical University’s research and education outpost in Machala, Ecuador, received some significant attention July 14, when Ecuador’s Minister of Health, Dr Jose Ruales, visited the site to learn more about Upstate’s work and to express support for its research in dengue and respiratory syncytial virus, which represent two highly active areas of investigation at the site.

During this visit, Ruales met with staff and learned about Upstate’s work first-hand.

During his visit, he reinforced the Ministry of Health’s commitment to sustain and strengthen institutional partnerships like the one with Upstate. The work in Machala brings Upstate students and faculty to this South American country for collaborative engagement in research and education. The Upstate work is supported by Upstate’s Institute for Global Health and Translational Science.

“We greatly appreciate Minister Ruales’s visit, said Stephen Thomas, MD, director of the Institute for Global Health and Translational Sciences. "Upstate’s partnership with Ecuador has been very productive over the past decade and we are looking forward to continuing a mutually beneficial and enduring collaboration.”

The Institute for Global Health and Translational Science has been supporting a vibrant research program on emerging infectious diseases and public health interventions in Machala, a city in southern coastal Ecuador since 2012, in partnership with Ecuadorian and U.S. universities and the Ministry of Health.

Upstate has established a diagnostic laboratory in the central hospital, an entomology laboratory at the Technical University of Machala, including administrative offices across both sites. Machala is a key site to study emerging tropical infectious diseases and the effects of climate on health. Ongoing projects span disease surveillance, epidemiology, virology and immunology, clinical research, entomology, spatial modeling, nutrition, household-level economy, disaster risk management, and climatology.

Caption: Dr Jose Ruales, Ecuador's health minister, hears firsthand about Upstate's health research being conducted in Machala, Ecuador.