Department of Global Health Where We Work

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic (DR) is a middle-income country located on the island of Hispaniola. As one of the most popular tourism destinations in the Caribbean, the DR receives millions of visitors to the island from around the world. As a result of its tropical climate, rainfall, and other environmental factors, the DR has experienced outbreaks of arboviral pathogens, including Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika. It is also a country that has experienced significant socioeconomic and epidemiological transitions over the past few decades. UTMB has established long-term partnerships with academic, governmental, and non-governmental institutions in the Dominican Republic to improve health and equity in health by advancing mutual interests in research, education, policy, and practice. The principal areas of programmatic collaboration include:

  • Research capacity strengthening and laboratory biosafety
  • Emerging infectious diseases and arboviruses
  • Violence prevention policy and implementation research

Key Personnel:

  • Dr. Matthew Dacso
  • Dr. Heidi Luft

GHED - Dominican Republic

  • Instituto de Investigación Colaborativa (INDEICOL)

    The Instituto de Investigación Colaborativa is a Dominican-based non-profit organization that was founded in 2018 with a mission to lead multidisciplinary scientific research efforts bringing together local and international researchers, to improve health and well-being in the eastern region of the DR.  UTMB’s global health program collaborates with INDEICOL to strengthen research capacity by supporting research infrastructure, facilitating training, and scientific events that bring together regional, national, and international collaborators.

  • Clinica de Familia La Romana

    Clínica de Familia La Romana is a Dominican nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to promoting well-being through comprehensive health services in La Romana, Dominican Republic (DR). The organization was founded in 1999 in order to prevent HIV vertical transmission in the eastern DR, and has since expanded to provide comprehensive clinical services to the broader community. Clínica de Familia also serves as a hub for research and training for both Dominican health professions trainees as well as hosting international rotations for visiting students. Since 2013, UTMB’s global health program has been working together with the Clínica de Familia leadership on efforts to strengthen research capacity in the eastern region of the DR. 

  • Hospital Buen Samaritano

    Hospital El Buen Samaritano is a Dominican-based private nonprofit hospital in La Romana. In addition to multiple primary, specialty, surgical, and odontological clinical services, HBS has been providing long-term volunteer services and community engagement opportunities for international organizations. UTMB’s global health program has been working with HBS and other community coalitions in La Romana to improve the health of underserved communities through outreach, training, and community-oriented research initiatives.

  • Instituto de Salud Mental y Telepsicología (ISAMT)

    The ISAMT is a team of professionals from Psychology, Psychiatry, Public Health and Bioethics backgrounds who develop and implement innovative programs to support the development of mental health at an individual and social level.  They aim to bring well-being to people and communities in the Dominican Republic by raising quality of life through innovation in mental health.  Alongside the DR Ministry for Higher Education, UTMB’s Center for Violence Prevention and School of Nursing are collaborating with ISAMT to address violence prevention at all levels, from community engagement to policy and implementation. 

  • Instituto de Medicina Tropical y Salud Global, Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE)

    The IMTSAG is a world-class research and training program based at the Universidad Iberoamericana, a leading academic health science center in Santo Domingo.  The IMTSAG laboratory is certified to perform molecular diagnostics for emerging pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, Dengue, and Zika, and has worked collaboratively with the Ministerio de Salud Publica throughout the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to augment testing capacity.  UTMB’s global health program has worked with the IMTSAG to strengthen capacity to respond to emerging diseases by supporting biosafety and field entomology training.  The IMTSAG forms part of the Global Infectious Diseases Research Network (GIDRN) and has contributed actively to scientific writing workshops. 

  • Universidad Central del Este (UCE)

    Universidad Central del Este (UCE) - UCE is a private, non-profit university based in San Pedro de Macorís.  It is the largest University in the eastern region of the DR and offers undergraduate as well as graduate programs in medicine, public health, veterinary medicine, odontology, and pharmacology, among other areas. 

    In 2019, the UTMB Center for Tropical Diseases and the Houston-based non-profit Institute for Collaboration in Health inaugurated the first molecular diagnostics laboratory in the eastern region of the DR. The Laboratorio de Investigación de Enfermedades Emergentes currently collaborates with UTMB faculty and trainees to identify the epidemiology, etiology, and clinical feaures of acute undifferentiated febrile illnesses, focused largely on emerging and re-emerging arthropod-borne viruses.  The UCE-UTMB laboratory is part of the Global Infectious Disease Research Network and supports collaborative research projects with regional and international partners.


    add photos

  • Etikos

    Etikos is a non-profit organization in the Dominican Republic that seeks to promote the application of bioethical norms and policies in human subjects research in Central America and the Dominican Republic, with a focus on addressing conditions of vulnerability. Specific activities include generating knowledge in research ethics, promoting dialogue on public policies on ethics of research for health, connecting various key actors in research governance, and teaching communities about ethical issues in health research. Alongside faculty from the Institute for Bioethics and Health Humanities, UTMB is collaborating with Etikos to strengthen ethics infrastructure and develop novel bidirectional research ethics training programs.

  • Gallery

    Collecting mosquitos.

    Lab workers

    Working in the lab, viewing mosquitos under the microscope.

    Working in the lab.