TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler was awarded a near $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Health for tuberculosis research.
The research is being conducted in India to help ensure that a TB outbreak does not occur in America, according to the health center’s Instagram page. The research is being led by Dr. Rama Vankayalapati.
“Our research helps to ensure that the United States continues to maintain a low incidence rate,” explained Dr. Vankayalapati. “As we come to understand more about TB, we are able to take preventive actions to ensure that we do not have a mass tuberculosis outbreak.”
The CDC still considers TB to be one of the world’s deadliest diseases, despite being less common in the United States. In 2018, there were only 2.8 cases per 100,000 people, the lowest level ever recorded in America.
Dr. Vankayalapati’s team consists of Drs. Julie Philley, Buka Samten, Deepak Tripathi, Karan Singh, and Richard Idell. Dr. Richard Idell, son of renowned researcher Dr. Steven Idell, is a psychiatrist with UT Health Science Center at Tyler and offers a different research approach for the team. Dr. Idell is examining the psychological effects taking place to understand often-developed depression with TB patients and those surrounding them.
The grant renewal of approximately $1.4 million is slated for the next five years to continue this research.