The Kuvin Centre for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases was founded at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1976 through the efforts of Dr. Sanford Kuvin. The center’s mission is to study the cause and effect of vector-borne diseases in an attempt to find and implement strategies to reduce or eliminate the impact these diseases. To achieve these goals, the Kuvin center's researchers effectively combine the disciplines of biochemistry, medical entomology, molecular biology, genetics and immunology.
Currently, the Kuvin Center includes 15 senior researchers, supervising 25 students towards Ph.D. and MSc degrees, two post doctoral trainees, and three visiting scientists, who conduct research on the most prevalent tropical and infectious diseases, which have high impact on public health worldwide. This includes malaria, leishmaniasis, helmintic diseases, and bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis. Today, malaria is still responsible for unparalleled morbidity and mortality in the tropical subtropical parts of the World. 300 million people are infected with malaria every year and 2-3 million of them, mostly African children, die as a result. Rough estimates of WHO indicate that some 350 million people in the world are at risk of acquiring leishmaniasis and that approximately 12 million are currently infected. Many cases of the leishmaniases go unreported, or undiagnosed, therefore official statistics are of little value in determining the actual number of cases. Parasitic helminths afflict almost a billion people globally. Schistosomiasis, or bilharzia, infects over 200 million people in the tropics and sub-tropics, including Egypt and other Mid-Eastern countries. Lymphatic filariasis afflicts about 100 million people in the tropics (including foci of infection in Egypt). Cystic echinococcosis, which inflicts severe (sometimes life threatening) morbidity in man and livestock animals, is a cosmopolitan disease, very widespread in the Mediterranean basin.
Research at the Kuvin Centre is in the forefront of the battle against these vector borne diseases. By combining a broad range of approaches, from the practical that can be applied by the community to advanced laboratory research, it is making major strides in the alleviation of the suffering and damage caused by these diseases.