The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and Otsuka announced the winner of the 2014 Young Innovator in TB Research Award during the Inaugural Session of the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Julian Villalba from Venezuela (left) was recognized for his work against childhood tuberculosis (TB) among the Warao community in Venezuela's rural Orinoco Delta region.
The award is open to young clinicians who have significant documented achievements in the formulation and implementation of clinical and operational research in the field of TB or MDR-TB control and clinical management. For more information and to apply for the 2015 award, visit www.tbinnovators.org
Discovering that none of the Warao children were receiving TB chemoprophylaxis, Dr. Villalba's research focused on analyzing the diagnostic systems for childhood TB. Using a "ruling out" instead of "ruling in" approach allowed him to more effectively identify TB-exposed children who would benefit from preventive therapy. The Venezuelan National TB program is currently evaluating the possibility of applying this approach to other areas of Venezuela.
The Young Innovator in TB Research Award was established through a global partnership between Otsuka and The Union. The aim of the award is to stimulate the advancement of new thinking and approaches in TB control and patient management and care.