Information on The Post-doctoral Programme of The National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (NIPD), China CDC

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1. General information about the institute (NIPD) – including the existing post-doctoral programme(s)

NIPD was established in 1950. As the only national professional institute on parasitic diseases, it is responsible for the scientific research, education, international cooperation on control of parasitic diseases and tropical diseases. At present,  5 national committees and societies affiliated with NIPD, e.g. the National Expert Advisory Committee on Schistosomiasis and Parasitic Diseases, Chinese MOH. A total of 15 high level professionals have been worked as chairs/co-chairs or committee members in the aforementioned associations. Now, 195 staffs are working for NIPD, among them 171 are professionals, of which 63 are senior professionals, 44 are holding doctorial degree and 58 holding master degree. A total of 17 professors are capable to be supervisors for degree and postdoctoral study. Up to now, a total of 24 postdoctoral fellows including 7 African fellows have recruited in NIPD.

In 1980, NIPD was designated as WHO Collaborating Center for Malaria, Schistosomiasis and Filariasis(WHO CC), which was one of the earliest WHO collaborating centers in China. NIPD was also appointed as WHO WPRO Reference Laboratory for Helminthosis Diagnosis and Malaria Diagnosis. NIPD aims to build a comprehensive International Center for Research on Tropical Diseases to inosculate the activities on control and research, education and training, as well as clinical diagnosis and treatment of tropical diseases, which has been endorsed and joint-supported by Ministry of Health and the Shanghai Municipal Government since 2010. Four domestic and international journals/newsletter are published in NIPD, such as Chinese Journal of Parasitology and Parasitic DiseasesInfectious Diseases of Poverty.

NIPD has established a strong relationship with provincial institutes such as Shandong Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Jiangsu Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Yunnan Institute for Parasitic Diseases to cooperate in the field of epidemiology, health economics and pathology,etc. At the same time, there are five bases at the county level which provide the fields for the implemental research on malaria, eccoccosiasis, schistosomiasis and other soil-transmitted parasitic diseases. For the field bases at abroad, there are several institutes/ centers which are located in Tanzania, the Laos and Cambodia.

More detail information is able to find at website: .

2. Research infrastructure available for implementation research (IR)

Research infrastructure available for implementation research in NIPD includes the following items: (i) the Key Laboratory of Parasites and Vector Biology in the institute with more than 100 sets of equipment value of over 100, 000 USD, such as gene sequence machine, confocal microscope, Real Time PCR cycler, HPLC system, Electrophysiology equipment, 2-GelElectrophoresis system, Spectrophotometer, DNA Chip spotter and reader. (ii) There are special laboratories to be used for experiments to ensure bio-safety issues and quality of experiments, such as SPF animal laboratory, PII biosafety laboratory. (iii) NIPD’s Library has been operated over 60 years with more than 50,000 books and journals since 1896. (iv) The Parasite and Vector Museum has been opened for over 10 years with more than 30,000 specimens of parasites and vectors. (v) The Parasite Screening Platform has been running for more than 20 years, with more than 20 animal models for the anti-parasite drug screening.

3. The research projects and achievements of the institute which are germane to IR

In the past decades, about 90 scientific and technical achievements have been awarded to NIPD. Among them, 14 are National Awards, e.g.: Study on strategy and technical measures for transmission interruption of lymphatic filariasis in China (the first prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award), Prevention of the infection of Schistosoma japonicum, S. mansoni and S. haematobium by artemether and New antimalarial drug - pynonaridine phosphate (the second prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award).

In recent 5 years, a total of 79 research projects with 145,970,000 RMB funds were undertaken (listed in Annex b). In average, there are about 40 on-going research projects each year, e.g.: The National Science and Technology Key Project on Major Infectious Diseases, the National Research and Development Programme of China, Specific Research Project for Health Public Sector, Science and Technology Support Program, the National Natural Science Fund, etc.

4. Facilities available at the Institute

Various research platforms that secure the research projects running smoothly are equipped in NIPD. Key Laboratory of Parasite and Vector Biology, MOH has been affiliated with NIPD since 1990. This laboratory has conducted important research projects on basic and operational research, which had contributed to science and new technology, as well as national diseases control programmes. The aim of the Laboratory is to research on the variation and evolution of the parasites, the relationships between the parasites and hosts, the functions and resistance mechanisms of drugs by applying the methods of cell biology, molecular biology and immunology.

NIPD is an important base providing services for the high level scientific research in the field of parasitology, gathering and cultivation the talents, carrying out academic exchanges and cooperation. At the same time, they have played important roles in the capacity building at home and abroad.

The Laboratory has established 7 advanced research groups led by 7 Principal Investigators (PI), who are the experts on immunology, pathogen biology, vector biology, vaccine development, drug screen and development, diagnostics development, and epidemiology. The Laboratory enrolled 64 training personnel and holding the training for helminth diagnosis for 7 national reference laboratories from 5 Asian countries, under the support from WHO WPRO Office.

In 2007, 16 young researchers from NIPD were granted talent training project. Three talent teams were listed as cultivation team, including pathogen identification team, vector identification team, and monitoring and early warning team, which provided a good platform for the carrier development of the young scientists in NIPD.

5.International collaborations for research and training

In the past 6 decades, NIPD has established extensive partnership with national and international research institutions, actively participated in global health in 3 aspects: such as being embodied in the education training activities, undertaking international cooperation projects, and establishing international partnerships with institutions worldwide.

5.1 Cooperation through WHO Collaborating Centre for Malaria, Schistosomiasis and Filariasis: NIPD has been actively performing its duties and obligations at the region and global levels, and providing necessary technical guidance and assistances to neighboring countries. E.g.: external assessments of the quality national laboratory of NTDs in West Pacific region of WHO have been held in NIPD for three years. More than 40 participants from 7 national reference laboratories of 6 countries in West Pacific region have been trained in NIPD since 2012.

5.2 Bi- and Multi-lateral cooperation activities: In recent 10 years, NIPD has undertaken 34 international cooperation programs and cooperated with experts from the United States, Australia, Japan, Britain, Thailand, South Korea, Canada, etc. The collaborative programmes include Chinas schistosomiasis prevention and control programme of the World Bank loans, 4 rounds of China Global Fund Programs for Malaria, Sino-South Korea Programmes for Intestinal Parasitic Disease Control, 2 rounds’ of NIH Programmes "Tropical Medicine Research Center" and the projects from International Development Research Centre(IDRC) and 2 projects from Global Health Support Programme (GHSP).

During the last decade, NIPD has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with various international institutions for long-term bi- or multi-lateral cooperation. These international partners include the WHO/TDR, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Duke Global Health Institute, Ifakara Health Institute, Blue Nile National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, Cambodia and so on. All those cooperation have produced great success in researches, such as schistosomiasis diagnosis and treatment, malaria epidemiology and surveillance, as well as in capacity building, such as training courses on application of geographic information systems, etc.

5.3 South-South cooperation: Over the last decades, NIPD organized 16 international training programmes supported by Chinese Ministry of Health, Chinese Ministry of Commerce and WHO, in the fields of parasitic disease immunology, diagnostic technology, remote sensing/geographic information systems, data management, estimation for the burden of disease, parasites reference laboratory establishment, malaria microscopy training capacity, etc. Over 60,413 participants attended the courses, who were from Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, Ecuador, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Uganda, Malawi, Antigua-Barbuda and Grenada, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Egypt, Madagascar, Guinea, etc.

6. The structure of the postdoctoral programmes of NIPD and its work scope

6.1 The structure of the postdoctoral programmes:

The post-doctoral programme at NIPD is run for each post-doctoral fellow for 2 years in average. The programme is supervised and monitored by the different committees/ departments of NIPD according to the following framework.

6.1.1 Proposal examination: the Academic Committee of NIPD is responsible for the examination of the proposals of post-doctoral cooperative research program to guarantee the higher academic level and value in actual application.

6.1.2 Quality control: the Scientific and Technology Department of NIPD is responsible for the daily management to improve the whole process of the programme, including the organization of dissertation presentation, medium evaluation and the defense of final scientific researches.

6.1.3 Communications: the International Cooperation Department of NIPD is responsible for the communication to international postdoctoral fellows before and after whose entry into China, to help international post-doctoral fellows proactively involved in the research activities during the post-doctoral training programme.

6.2 Study Areas

 The study areas of post-doctoral research covered two fields: epidemiology and pathogenic biology.

6.2.1 In epidemiology, there are two study areas: disease control strategy, monitoring and predicating technology.

First, studies on disease control strategy related to intervention evaluation, including (i) elimination strategy related the optimized interventions in various environmental settings in malaria, schistosomiasis and filariasis, (ii) cost-effective analysis in various intervention strategies on national control programme of malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), (iii) evaluation approaches in changes of the transmission patterns of tropical diseases after different interventions, (iv) transmission determinants of the tropical diseases with the changes of environment, socioeconomic factor by using bio-socio-ecosystem approaches, and (iv) correlation between mobile population and tropical disease transmission in specific regions, such as in border areas, new engineering project areas, re-settlement areas, etc.

Second, studies on monitoring and predicating technology to be used in risk assessment and prediction of transmission patterns of tropical diseases, including (i) risk assessment approaches supported by epidemic data from diseases monitoring system at three-levels (township, district and national levels) , (ii) correlation between temperospatial distribution and transmission intensity of tropical diseases, such as malaria, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, food-borne trematode infections, (iii) prediction of transmission patterns by modeling supported by data from disease reporting system of malaria, schistosomiasis, food-borne parasitic diseases (Angiostrongyliasis, liver fluke disease, lung fluke disease, cryptosporidiosis, etc.),  and (iv) establishment and evaluation of risk model for the spread patterns of tropical diseases using spatial analysis techniques, like GIS, RS and GPS, etc.

6.2.2 In the pathogenic biology, three research areas are included:

First, studies on the interaction between parasites and hosts by using modern biological technology based on the platform of cell biology, nucleic acid, protein, immunology and bioinformatics. These studies including (i) parasitic infection mechanisms integrated with hosts, (ii) pathogenic evaluation in the course of parasitic infections in different hosts, (iii) screening and purification antigens to be used in the candidates for the diagnostics, (iv) protein purification and gene recombinant preparation of parasites, such as Plasmodium spp., Schistosoma japonicum, etc., (v) the phenotype and functional analysis of host immunological cell relevant to susceptibility of parasites, and (vi) mechanism of parasitic invasion to susceptible hosts.

Second, studies on diagnostics and its application in the field, including (i) population screening approach for detection of infected cases in malaria, schistosomiasis, leshimaniasis, etc., (ii) application and evaluation of rapid tests in detection of tropical diseases, (iii) evaluation strategy for the diagnostics in certification of different stages of tropical diseases control programmes, (iv) application of PCR detection technology in diagnosing parasitic infections, and (v) application of pathogen nucleic acid detection tools in detecting infected vectors, such as infected mosquitoes, snails, ticks, sun flies, etc.

Third, studies on application of anti-parasite drugs in the control programmes, including (i) field evaluation approaches on mess-chemotherapy strategy, (ii) assessment of new therapeutic formulation for control of malaria, echinocccosis, clonorchiasis, schistosomiasis and echinocccosis, etc., (iii) monitoring the formulation transformation and drug resistant strain of parasites, and (iv) clinical evaluation of new drugs for malaria, hydatid disease, babesiosis and clonorchiasis disease.

7.What will be required to initiate a new postdoctoral programme focused on IR by the end of November 2015

7.1 Requirements before registration

In order to recruit the international post-doctoral fellows focused on IR by the end of November 2015, the following two actions need to be taken:

7.1.1 Submission of application: Submission of applications for post-doctoral programme by applicant, and the qualified applicant should submit the application form by 1 August 2015, with the following support documents: 1. A PhD certificate; 2. The outlines of the potential post-doctoral research project, which should be in line with the IR direction of NIPD; 3. Selection of and communication with cooperative supervisor.

7.1.2. Pre-interview: Once confirmed the qualified candidate, a pre-interview will be arranged during September 2015, either through teleconference or face-to-face meeting. During the pre-interview, a presentation including a full curriculum vitae, Ph.D. thesis presentation, and potential post-doctoral research plan will be given by the candidate.

7.1.3. Enrollment: The enrollment procedures include: (i) legislation of the post-doctoral programme through registration on the national post-doctoral committee stint system, and (ii) completing the online submission of the application form.

This step is able to do after arrive at NIPD in November 2015. Post-doctoral profile is required with following documents: two experts’ recommendation letters from a post-doctoral supervisor and a well-known expert, doctorate certificate; medical report; copies of personal documents.

7.2 Requirements after registration

After the initiation of the post-doctoral programme after the post-doctoral fellow arrive at NIPD, the following activities need to be followed up, which including:

7.2.1 Development of IR proposal: the post-doctoral fellow is necessary to complete the proposal including the research workplan within the first three months after legislation at NIPD, which will be reviewed by an expert group before the research project initiated.

7.2.2 Mid-term evaluation: The mid-term evaluation for the post-doctoral programme by an expert group will be arranged at the end of the first year.

7.2.3 Final evaluation: The final evaluation for the post-doctoral programme will be examined by an expert group that consisting of seven experts at the end of the second year. The post-doctoral certificate will be obtained after end of the post-doctoral programme.