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Haiti Research Lab

The University of Florida established the Haiti Public Health Laboratory in 2011. The goal is to do research primarily on ecology, epidemiology, genetics and genomics of microbial pathogens, including the viral origins responsible for cholera and chronic diarrheal illness.

The Emerging Pathogens Institute fuses key disciplines to develop research, education and outreach capabilities designed to preserve Florida’s health and economy. While working to prevent or contain re-emerging diseases, EPI also works globally in order to understand the processes of new diseases before they reach Florida’s shores. Our investigators can be found in several different countries all over the world, including Bangladesh, Haiti and India.

The goal of our researchers is to understand evolutionary changes that lead to the emergence of new pathogens. They aim to use data they find to develop and implement interventions to minimize the risk of disease transmission. The institute hopes to train the next generation of investigators in emerging diseases within an interdisciplinary setting, while disseminating information about emerging pathogens and their control to help those all over the globe.

Our renowned research facility was created to investigate and track new and re-emerging infectious diseases that affect people, plants, animals and our foods. The institute collaborates with Christianville Foundation, Inc., which is located in Gressier, Haiti. We have created a biosafety level-2 (BSL-2) and a biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratories that strives toward a goal of research, education and service. With partners like Christianville, we are able to provide service to the schools and the community in the area, while allowing our partners to have the capacity to perform their own lab work on a routine basis. With Haiti, EPI researchers have access to a very valuable international partner. They are able to collaborate on projects that are very relevant to the Haitians, who have the highest rates of Tuberculosis in the western hemisphere. The new laboratory, which is not only cost effective, but very mobile, can hopefully be a model for similar countries around the world.