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‘Cura Zika’ to Accelerate International Research on Devastating Epidemic

WHAT: The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will launch Cura Zika, an international alliance to perform much-needed research addressing the Zika epidemic, with a special symposium and live webinar featuring Pitt biomedical scientists and their Brazilian collaborators. 
• Donald S. Burke, M.D., dean, Pitt Public Health, who also holds the UPMC-Jonas Salk Chair in Global Health and serves as director, Pitt Center for Vaccine Research
• Celina Turchi Martelli, M.D., Ph.D., senior public health scientist, Brazilian Ministry of Health’s Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ)-Pernambuco, Brazil
• Jennifer Adibi, M.P.H., Sc.D., assistant professor, Pitt Public Health Department of Epidemiology and Pitt School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
• Yoel Sadovsky, M.D., Elsie Hilliard Hillman Professor of Women’s and Infants’ Health Research, Pitt School of Medicine; scientific director, Magee-Womens Research Institute
• Ernesto Marques, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Pitt Public Health Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology; member, Pitt Center for Vaccine Research
WHEN: Thursday, May 5
• 12:30 p.m., press availability 
• 1 to 3 p.m., symposium
WHERE: Pitt Public Health Auditorium (G23), 130 DeSoto St., Pittsburgh, 15261
WHY: Zika is a mosquito-borne and sexually transmitted virus that causes microcephaly in infants born to mothers infected with it while pregnant. It also is associated with increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome and other neurological disorders in people who contract it. The virus is widespread in South and Central America and has a likelihood of gaining sustained transmission in the southern U.S. this summer.  
Cura Zika builds on Pitt Public Health’s long-standing collaboration with FIOCRUZ, the most prominent science and technology health institution in Latin America.
Cura Zika—which means “Cure Zika” in both Portuguese and Spanish—will provide quick-access funding to scientists performing time-sensitive research on the virus. This support is designed to move early stage innovative research ideas into larger studies in an accelerated manner. 
Note to Media: To cover this event, prior arrangements must be made by contacting Allison Hydzik at 412-647-9975 or

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