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Maunank Shah Receives NTCA Robert Koch Award
October 8, 2020—On September 30, 2020, Dr. Maunank Shah, Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins, and Medical Director of the Baltimore City Health Department’s TB Program, was honored with the National TB Controllers Association’s Robert Koch Award, presented for “outstanding contributions to clinical, epidemiological or academic focus by a TB researcher or TB research organization working to eliminate TB.”
As medical director for the Baltimore City Health Dept TB program, Dr. Shah is keenly interested in reducing TB incidence and prevalence locally. He and his team conduct epidemiological studies to understand the changing face of TB in the United States, and have evaluated the cost-effectiveness of new strategies for diagnosis of both latent and active TB.
Shah has devoted his clinical research career to TB elimination. He evaluates new TB diagnostic strategies in resource-limited settings, performs infectious disease modeling, and analyzes health economics. His research projects have ranged from evaluating performance of innovative new TB diagnostics to determining cost-effectiveness of new TB diagnosis algorithms, including evaluation of programmatic impact of implementing emerging diagnostics. He has studied platforms including IGRAs, Xpert MTB/RIF, Urine LAM-ELISA, and lateral-flow urine LAM assays.
With the teams at emocha Mobile Health and the Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education, Dr. Shah developed an innovative platform to enable video-based Directly Observed Therapy (vDOT) of TB treatment. He has conducted research to assess the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of vDOT in TB control activities. Health departments around the country are now using the platform to perform vDOT with difficult to treat patients and to reach marginalized groups with whom in-person DOT is not logistically feasible or affordable.
“Amidst the attention garnered by emerging infectious diseases, tuberculosis remains a stubborn and serious public health issue, particularly among people in low and middle income countries and marginalized populations here in the U.S.,” said Shah. “It’s a great honor to receive this recognition.”