University of Virginia and VDH TB Control win national research award
At the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association awards ceremony (April 20, 2017), Suzanne Keller accepted the Robert Koch Award on behalf of the University of Virginia (Dr. Scott Heysell and Dr. Eric Houpt, TB clinical consultants) and the VDH Division of Tuberculosis and Newcomer Health (TB Epidemiologist – Suzanne Keller MA; TB nurse consultants – Denise Dodge RN, Jane Moore RN, and Debbie Staley RN). The Robert Koch Award recognizes an outstanding contribution with a clinical, epidemiological or academic focus by a TB researcher or TB research organization in the quest for eliminating TB. The UVA/VDH therapeutic drug monitoring collaboration was recognized for its groundbreaking research (cited below) on the association between diabetes and low serum TB drug levels and the adoption of routine monitoring of serum drug levels for all diabetic patients with TB in the Commonwealth. Due to the work of the UVA/VDH partnership, blood sugar control screening among TB patients followed by TB drug level monitoring for those with abnormal screening values is becoming a standard of care across the United States.
Early Therapeutic Drug Monitoring for Isoniazid and Rifampin among Diabetics with Newly Diagnosed Tuberculosis in Virginia, USA (Tuberculosis Research and Treatment)
Therapeutic Drug Monitoring for Slow Response to Tuberculosis Treatment in a State Control Program, Virginia, USA (Emerging Infectious Diseases)