Tufts Ramnath Subbaraman selected to receive Doris Duke Charitable Foundation award

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Credit: Alonso Nichols/Tufts University

BOSTON (July 31, 2018)–Ramnath Subbaraman, M.D., a Tufts University School of Medicine assistant professor of public health and community medicine, is one of 18 early-career physician scientists selected to receive a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation 2018 Clinical Scientist Development Award. Subbaraman researches tuberculosis and social determinants of health in India.

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious cause of death globally. In 2016, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), India accounted for one-quarter of new TB cases, and one-third of the 1.4 million global TB deaths. The WHO also reports that 40 percent of TB patients globally are "missing," which means they are either undiagnosed or their diagnosis is not reported to national TB programs.

Subbaraman's work aims to find and retain India's "missing" TB patients through analyses of the care cascade and geospatial mapping. The care cascade for TB includes patient access to a means of diagnosis and treatment, the initiation of treatment after a TB diagnosis, retention during treatment, and recurrence-free survival following completion of treatment.

Subbaraman's previous research on the TB care cascade has contributed to a decision to use this monitoring framework as part of India's National Strategic Plan for TB, which aims to achieve a rapid decline in TB burden and mortality in India by 2025. For his upcoming work, Subbaraman expects to collaborate closely with colleagues at the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) South-East Asia Office, a scientific organization with a mission to improve health among people living in poverty.

"I am humbled to have received this award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and I hope that this research will guide strategies for improving the identification and treatment of people living with TB in India, which has the world's largest TB epidemic. I especially look forward to collaborating with, and learning from, a world-class team of TB experts in Delhi at the The Union's South-East Asia Office," said Subbaraman.

Subbaraman is also an attending physician in the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Tufts Medical Center.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation CSDA supports early-career physician scientists in their first faculty appointment transition to careers as independent clinical researchers, providing each with $495,000 over a three-year period. Since 1998, 304 physician scientists have been awarded more than $136 million, helping them dedicate more professional time to research despite high demand for their clinical care. This year, the projects cover a breadth of health issues that impose major clinical burden, such as cancer, HIV, kidney transplantation, obesity and tuberculous.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, child well-being and medical research, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. The foundation's Medical Research Program supports clinical research that advances the translation of biomedical discoveries into new preventions, diagnoses and treatments for human diseases. To learn more about the program, visit http://www.ddcf.org.

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About Tufts University School of Medicine

Tufts University School of Medicine is an international leader in medical and population health education and advanced research. It emphasizes rigorous fundamentals in a dynamic learning environment to educate physicians, scientists, and public health professionals to become leaders in their fields. The School of Medicine is renowned for excellence in education in general medicine, the biomedical sciences, and public health, as well as for research at the cellular, molecular, and population health level. It is affiliated with more than 20 teaching hospitals and health care facilities. Tufts University School of Medicine undertakes research that is rated among the highest in the nation for its effect on the advancement of medical and prevention science.

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