Improving health and reducing inequities worldwide


FIRST: Fighting Infections through Research, Science and Technology

Watch video about FIRST projects on ABC 7 News

The FIRST (Fighting Infections through Research, Science, and Technology) program, funded jointly by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carlos Slim Health Institute, aims to speed the development of new tools and technologies that will address three diseases that place a huge health and economic burden on neglected populations in Central and South America: Chagas' disease, dengue and onchocerciasis.

Led by scientists at UCSF Global Health Sciences, UC Berkeley and partner institutions, the two-year project will focus on the Latin American region known as Mesoamerica, which comprises the Southern states of Mexico and Central America from Guatemala to Panama. A significant population, mainly of indigenous descent, live in poverty in these countries, making them vulnerable to illness and death.

By developing and testing a set of affordable new tools, drugs, and prevention campaigns, the FIRST program will not only contribute to preventing, diagnosing and treating tropical diseases, but can also serve as a model for other regions of the world affected by the same ailments.

Press release: UCSF Global Health Sciences Receives $6 Million for Three Neglected Diseases

For more information, contact Program Manager: Solange Madriz, MA, MS