Faculty conversation: Reza Nassiri
Sitting in his office one day, Reza Nassiri received an invitation from the Chinese AIDS Society asking him to speak at BIT's Annual World AIDS Day Summit in Beijing.
Nassiri, the director of MSU's Institute of International Health, the associate dean of global health programs for the College of Osteopathic Medicine and a professor in clinical pharmacology, will present research at the conference in early December.
His presentation will focus on the work completed by the institute in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Caribbean region has the highest prevalence of HIV infection outside of sub-Saharan Africa, and nearly three-fourth of the region's AIDS cases occur in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Nassiri believes that treatment alone will not reverse the epidemics of HIV; instead there must be a focus on prevention as well.
"Since I've become the director of the institute, one of the early initiatives I had was: ‘Why not bring in doctors from low-income countries to Michigan State's College of Osteopathic Medicine and Institute of International Health and train them in HIV clinical care as well as prevention and control aspects?'" Nassiri said.
So far, the institute has worked with two doctors from the Dominican Republic. Nassiri believes the program has become very successful because these physicians go back and teach their colleagues, nurses and other health care professionals about how to prevent HIV and also how to appropriate and go about the care of patients.