On May 20th, GINGER virtually celebrated the graduation of the first cohort of Research Fellows after they completed three years of research education, which included over 126 hours of virtual classroom education and 160 in-person workshop hours. The 17 Research Fellows were joined during the graduation by over 50 individuals logging on from 7 different countries, all of whom have supported the fellows throughout their time in the program. This included Stanley Center leadership, GINGER collaborating Principal Investigators, as well as broader members of the GINGER community, including members of the NeuroGAP, NeuroDEV and NeuroGenE programs. Individual mentors of the fellows and community members from collaborating institutions were also present, along with several GINGER Teaching Fellows. Remarks were provided by Drs. Karestan Koenen and Steve Hyman, as well as Dr. Alicia Martin, who spoke about her time as a Teaching Fellow, and reflections on their time in the program were provided by fellows Abebe Hailu, Dr. Nastassja Koen, Dr. Emmanuel Mwesiga, and Dr. Linnet Ongeri, who spoke on behalf of their country cohorts. The GINGER Program would like to thank all of those who have supported the program since its inception in 2017!
GINGER and the NeuroMex project recently collaborated to provide a research skills training course for NeuroMex study team members. The goal of the training was to begin providing the project’s clinical researchers with research skills needed to work with and analyze NeuroMex study data. Led by GINGER & NeuroMex Team Members Courtney White, Kristi Post, Brena Sena and Dr. Pamela Morales, the training took place from January 27 – 31st in Campeche, Mexico and focused on biostatistical analysis and R programming skills. GINGER Teaching Fellows, Dr. Carla Márquez-Luna [(Mt. Sinai), Aarón Sonabend [Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health), and Dr. Alejandro Reyes (Dana-Farber, Harvard-Chan & the Broad Institute), adapted GINGER curriculum and led all training instruction in Spanish.
The training kicked off with opening remarks by Dr. José Luis González Pinzón, the Campeche State Secretary of Health, Dr. Saúl Arroyo, Director of the Campeche Psychiatric Hospital, and study PI Dr. Beatriz Camarena. Highlights of the week included NeuroMex team members working in R with their own study data, a cross-sharing discussion of lessons learned in study implementation and team building outside of teaching hours. The training was supported by a Mexico Innovation Fund grant from the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, with support from the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research.
GINGER held the program’s 4th on-site training from November 18-22, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry at Addis Ababa University. The one-week workshop focused on introductory biostatistics and the use of R programming for statistical analysis. The workshop was led by GINGER’S PI, Dr. Lori Chibnik in collaboration with NeuroGAP-Psychosis Ethiopia PI Dr. Solomon Teferra. Dr. Laurent Francioli (Broad Institute), Dr. Isabel Fulcher (Harvard Medical School), and Dr. Katrina Devick (Mayo Clinic) joined as Teaching Fellows, and Dr. Girmay Medhin from AAU supported teaching efforts. GINGER Research Fellows Melkam Kebede and Abebe Hailu led sections on introductory biostatistics and Rprogramming using the knowledge they had learned throughout the GINGER Virtual Classrooms.
GINGER hosted its 4th on-site training in Durban, South Africa from February 4-16, 2019. The training was run in collaboration with the Discipline of Psychiatry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, led by Department Head Prof. Bonga Chiliza, who also serves as the Chair of the NeuroGAP Advisory Board, and Senior Specialist and Lecturer Dr. Saeeda Paruk. Topics included research methods and analysis in biostatistics and epidemiology, R programming, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and data management. The course was led by GINGER’s Director and Associate Director, Drs. Lori Chibnik and Bizu Gelaye, who were joined by GINGER Teaching Fellows Dr. Sali Farhan of the Broad Institute, and Drs. Zachary McCaw and Katrina Devick of the Harvard-Chan School.
From November 19-23, GINGER held its third on-site training of 2018 in Mthatha, South Africa in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry at Walter Sisulu University. The one-week course covered introductory biostatistics and epidemiology, as well as the basics of genomics research, and the ethics of conducting mental health research, and was led by GINGER’s Director, Dr. Lori Chibnik, and GINGER Teaching Fellows Drs. Duncan Palmer and Carla Marquez Luna. Lerato Majara, one of GINGER’s Research Fellows, also took part in facilitating the training, along with three members of local faculty, including Dr. Zukiswa Zingela, NeuroGAP-Psychosis site PI at WSU.
GINGER completed its second on-site training of 2018 in Kilifi, Kenya in collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) and the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL). Held from September 20-26, the intensive course focused heavily on bioinformatics and genetic data analysis. Ten individuals from the KEMRI-WTRP were selected to participated in the program, and GINGER Teaching Fellows Elizabeth Atkinson, Laurent Francioli, Konrad Karczewski, and Alicia Martin led curriculum development and teaching for the training.
GINGER’s first on-site training was hosted in partnership with the Department of Psychiatry at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Courses in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Systematic Reviews, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, amongst others, were led by GINGER’s Director, Dr. Lori Chibnik, and Associate Director, Dr. Bizu Gelaye, in collaboration with local faculty. GINGER Research Fellows Dr. Benedict Akimana, Dr. Emmanuel Mwesiga, and Allan Kalungi, took part in leading the training, as well as five GINGER Teaching Fellows: Dr. Dan Felsky from Columbia University, Dr. Andrea Ganna from the Broad Institute, and Drs. Katrina Devick, Carla Marquez Luna, Emily Slade, and Reem Waziry from the Harvard Chan School.
In March 2018, GINGER Program Director, Dr. Lori Chibnik, and Associate Director, Dr. Bizu Gelaye, traveled to Durban, South Africa to meet with faculty from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in preparation for a planned forthcoming GINGER on-site training. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Bonginkosa Chiliza, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr. Lori Chibnik, Dr. Saeeda Paruk, a specialist in child psychiatry at UKZN, and Dr. Bizu Gelaye.
The Global Initiative for Neuropsychiatric Genetics Education in Research (GINGER) welcomed the inaugural cohort of 17 Research Fellows from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda to the Broad Institute in July and August. The two week workshop kicked off with a keynote welcome and lecture by Stanley Center Director, Dr. Steve Hyman, and followed with a number of research skills-based training sessions and lectures by experts in the field of neuropsychiatric genetics and global mental health including Drs. Atalay Alem, Bonga Chiliza, Charles Rotimi, and Pamela Collins.
The GINGER team visited two Stanley Global sites in East Africa: Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The purpose of the trip was to conduct a needs assessment to determine training priorities for each site as GINGER continues to build curriculum for the research education program. GINGER’s Director, Dr. Lori Chibnik, Associate Director, Dr. Bizu Gelaye, and Program Manager, Kristi Post met with Stanley Center collaborating Principal Investigators at each site, as well as university faculty, students, and GINGER Research Fellows. The photo shows Director Lori Chibnik presenting to a group of Makerere University post-graduate students.