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Tuberculosis in the United States soared to unprecedented levels during the early 1990s because of neglect. In response to this resurgence, the New Jersey Medical School National Tuberculosis Center was established in 1993. Under the direction of Lee B. Reichman, MD, MPH, it achieved federal designation as a national Model Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Center in 1994, indicating its success in delivering state-of-the-art treatment, providing education and training and conducting cutting-edge research. The mission of the Global Tuberculosis Institute (GTBI), located at the International Center for Public Health, has always been to advance tuberculosis care through excellence in practice, research and teaching and marks its 25th year this year. GTBI is an integral part of the New Jersey Medical School and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine with Drs. Lardizabal and Patrawalla in its leadership positions.
The Institute re-competed and received designation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018 as one of four TB Centers of Excellence nationally. The other 3 centers and located at the University of California/San Francisco, University of Texas/San Antonio, and University of Florida/Gainesville. GTBI is the northeastern CoE overseeing education and training, and provides expert TB medical consultation for 20 state and big city project sites from Maine to Indiana and south to Virginia.
Much of the Institute’s success in the domestic and global arena stems from excellence in TB clinical care and control services at the Lattimore Practice. Its best practices inform the Institute’s educational programs, products, as well as research activities. The clinic has been in existence since 1975 and has always been integral to the lung health of Newark. Today, it provides TB care for adults and children of Essex and Union Counties, NJ and serves as a state referral chest clinic for the Department of Health. Over the years, Lattimore has decreased tuberculosis morbidity through state-of-the-art diagnostic, treatment and prevention programs.
Research has always been an integral component of GTBI’s structure with the goal of fostering a cadre of interacting clinical and research scientists with a prime interest in the intersection of basic science, clinical and epidemiological aspects of tuberculosis. It has been a part of CDC’s TB Trials Consortium contributing to current advances in TB diagnostics (QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test) and treatment (12-dose rifapentine + INH for latent TB). Today, GTBI is fostering collaborations with scientists at the Public Health Research Institute to understand TB immunology in the hopes of contributing to future TB vaccine development.
The Global Tuberculosis Institute at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is a leader in the effort to conquer and cure tuberculosis worldwide. The Institute's work has no borders. Battling TB on the front lines, it has a proven track record in building the political will and international cooperation needed to relegate this disease to the history books, where it belongs.
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