The St John's Research Institute (SJRI) in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India offers research opportunities in HIV, mental health and NCD research.
SJRI is a part of St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences. Its mission is to make a significant impact on health through basic and clinical research, promotion of evidence-based health care, and population health research initiatives. India has more than 2 million people living with HIV, with the highest numbers located in six “high prevalence” states, which include Karnataka.
In 2002, Drs. M. Ekstrand (UCSF) and T. Raj and S. Chandy (SJRI) obtained National Institute of Mental Health and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funding to examine correlates of antiretroviral adherence, including the impact of stigma and testing of innovative approaches to improve adherence and clinical outcomes.
The UCSF-SJRI collaboration includes research on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which have replaced infectious diseases as India's number one cause of mortality and disability. Ongoing research includes a clinical trial to improve the screening, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness among patients with a dual diagnosis of CVD or diabetes in rural primary health clinics. The collaboration's research explores the use of technology to solve health problems in resource-poor settings including: mHealth, remote bio-monitoring of neonatal temperature, and development of point-of-care diagnostic devices. The UCSF-SJRI collaboration has supported the training of medical students from UCSF, UC Berkeley predoctoral students, and GloCal fellows.
Founded in 2007, the Public Health Research Institute of India (PHRII) improves the health of Indian women through research and care on issues affecting women across the lifespan. PHRII provides training opportunities for Indian and UC trainees focused on HIV, maternal and child health, and reproductive health.
PHRII has a full-service laboratory with microbiological, serological, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) services for diagnosis of STI/HIV, and operates mobile clinics providing reproductive healthcare in a rural catchment of more than 144 rural villages in Mysore. The Institute also operates the Prerana Reproductive Health Clinic offering free outpatient services for family planning, reproductive health care, cervical cancer screening, and HIV prevention to low-income communities in and around Mysore.
Since its inception, PHRII has served as a mentoring and training site for National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and postdoctoral fellows in collaboration with several UC campuses, including UCSF, UC Berkeley and UCLA, producing two dozen peer-reviewed publications and pilot data for numerous NIH grant applications. Funding sources include UCLA's Center for AIDS Relief, Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services, and a T32 Global Health program.
Current research projects include:
- Reducing the transmission of HIV from mother-to-child among tribal populations
- Understanding social networks of HIV positive women
- Assessing barriers to cervical cancer screening.