Michael Cappello, MD

Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease), of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Chair, Council on African Studies, Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies; co-Director, Yale Africa Initiative

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Our research program is focused on the pathogenesis and epidemiology of globally important infectious diseases, with the ultimate goal of developing novel methods of diagnosis, treatment and prevention. For the past 20 years, our group has conducted laboratory and field based translational studies of the parasitic diseases hookworm and malaria, major causes of anemia and malnutrition in resource limited countries. Laboratory research has centered on identifying major virulence factors from globally important parasite pathogens, which has allowed for the development of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics aimed at reducing the risk of infection or modulating disease pathogenesis. In 2007 I co-founded a research and training program aimed at building capacity around the world. The Yale Partnerships for Global Health sponsors bi-directional exchanges of students and faculty with institutions from resource limited countries, creating opportunities to develop collaborative research projects and build a network of young scientists committed to biomedical research. To date, the Yale Partnerships program has sponsored the training of more than 70 students and post-doctoral fellows from Ghana, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, China, Singapore, Australia and the United States.

Since 2007, my research group has collaborated with Professor Michael Wilson (PI) and his colleagues at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) at the University of Ghana. These collaborative field based studies have focused on the epidemiology of hookworm, with a goal of identifying risk factors for infection, as well as predictors of treatment response and/or failure. Recent collaborations include a clinical study of deworming on fitness among women farmers in Congo, as well as a clinical trials agreement with PATH aimed at developing the drug tribendimidine for use in community based deworming programs. We are also collaborating with Professor Afzal Siddiqui at Texas Tech University on the clinical development of a novel vaccine against human schistosomiasis.