Managua, Nicaragua

Site Institution
Ministry of Health

Sustainable Sciences Institute

U.S. Institution
School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

U.S. Based Mentors

Eva Harris, PhD
Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology

Director, Center for Global Public Health



Local mentor

Angel L. Balmaseda, MD
Director, National Virology Laboratory
Centro Nacional de Diagnóstico y Referencia
Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, Managua
Director, Nicaragua Virology Program
Sustainable Sciences Institute


Research focus
Vector-borne diseases: Dengue, Influenza, Chikungunya, Zika transmission

Site and Background

The program includes the National Virology Laboratory at the Centro Nacional de Diagnóstico y Referencia, directed by Dr. Angel Balmaseda; the Infectious Diseases Unit of the National Pediatric Reference Hospital, Hospital Infantil Manuel de Jesús Rivera (HIMJR) directed by Dr. Federico Narvaez; and the Centro de Salud Sócrates Flores Vivas (HCSFV), directed by Dr. Guillermina Kuan. A new study of Zika in Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP), part of a large multinational study sponsored by the US NIH and FIOCRUZ in Brazil, is starting in fall of 2016, and in addition to the above sites, will include the Hospital de la Mujer Bertha Calderon Roque, the leading maternal hospital in Nicaragua, and three additional health centers in Managua. All are part of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, with which Dr. Eva Harris has been collaborating for over 28 years. The HIMJR is the site of an 18-year ongoing hospital-based study of biological, immunological, and clinical aspects of severe dengue, as well as chikungunya and Zika, and the HCSFV is the site of the 13-year Pediatric Dengue Cohort Study following 3,500 children and the 10-year influenza cohort study, both of which are ongoing and have been expanded to include chikungunya and Zika. All studies are supported by NIH, including a Program Project Grant (P01) and a Human Immunology Project Consortium (HIPC U19) grant (both of which Dr. Harris is the PI/PD), an R01 grant to Nicaragua of which Dr. Balmseda is the PI, and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud, among others.  The site is also supported by the NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) Program for an influenza cohort study and household transmission study.