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VNI is a potent inhibitor of CYP51 and was recently shown to achieve a parasitological cure of mice infected with T. cruzi in both acute and chronic stages of infection. T. cruzi is the causative parasite of Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease. The first enantioselective chemical synthesis of VNI (at a materials cost of less than $0.10/mg) is described. Furthermore, the key enantioselective step is performed at the 10 g scale.
In 1995, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) adopted defined criteria for accreditation of clinical training programs in tropical diseases. The first data on the development, enrollment, and outcomes of such a program are presented. A nine-week Diploma course, the Gorgas Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine, given on-site in the tropics (Lima, Cusco, and Iquitos, Peru) has trained 157 individuals from 38 countries from 1996 through 2001. The average age of participants was 38.3 with 11.3 years since graduation. Graduates were 44.5% primary care physicians, 22.2% infectious diseases specialists, 12.7% emergency medicine specialists, 13.5% other specialists, and 7.1% nurses. Residents and fellows accounted for 32.8% and full-time academic faculty for 11.0%. Approximately half of all eligible Gorgas graduates have taken the ASTMH certification examination. In response to the enrollees' profiles and needs, adult learning theory has been extensively used in course design. Stable professional relationships between multiple educational partners are required for an endeavor of this scope.