IRD-CMU Collaboration is an international collaborative research program between the Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences at Chiang Mai University, and the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) in France. Initiated in 1996 in Chiang Mai, the epicenter of the HIV epidemic in Thailand at that time, its overall goal is to help improve HIV prevention and care at the family level through clinical research, focusing primarily on prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
Led by experienced investigators, the IRD-CMU network of Clinical Research Sites has involved paediatricians, obstetricians, and internists in more than 50 public hospitals throughout Thailand and Lao PDR, in collaboration with public health specialists at the ministries of health. The IRD-CMU Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), located in Chiang Mai, coordinates the research network activities. It is the centre for logistics, administration, monitoring, study drug supply management, data entry, data management, statistical analysis, community advisory board (CAB) meetings, and trainings. Moreover, the quality management system at the CTU for these activities is ISO:9001 certified. To support the studies undertaken, IRD-CMU has also established virology and pharmacology laboratories at the Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University. These laboratories are responsible for testing samples for several international research networks. They contain state-of-the art equipment and are ISO:15189 and ISO:17025 accredited.
IRD-CMU has worked closely with Penta since 2006 and its network sites have enrolled HIV-infected children in various Penta studies, the most recent being ODYSSEY (PENTA 20). IRD-CMU has also been providing clinical data from its paediatric cohort study for pooled analyses in the EPPICC cohort and ARV pharmacovigilance studies.
Over the last 5 years IRD-CMU has been building upon its experience to expand its research activities to other infectious diseases of major public health concern in Southeast Asia, in particular hepatitis B, human Papilloma virus infection and antimicrobial resistance. More recently, the IRD-CMU research team has joined Penta in working on antimicrobial research studies as part of the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership network (GARDP). IRD-CMU also provides training, mentoring and support for health professionals and advanced students in health and social sciences. Moreover, IRD-CMU researchers are active members of the Penta scientific committee and are Faculty members of the Penta sponsored training courses.
The Public Health Promotion, Research and Training Foundation (PHPT) was established in Chiang Mai in September 2018. The objectives of the foundation are to:
(i) empower and train individuals and groups who want to challenge diseases that have major impact on global Public Health through research;
(ii) foster the implementation and monitoring of cutting-edge research studies for the prevention and treatment of global diseases whose outcomes can be integrated into Thailand’s and international’s existing healthcare systems and
(iii) strengthen collaboration between domestic and international research networks through the establishment of research partnerships.