Cura Zika

Cura Zika mark



The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health is proud to launch Cura Zika, an international alliance to perform much-needed research addressing the Zika epidemic by uniting  Pitt biomedical scientists and their Brazilian collaborators.

Zika is a mosquito-borne and sexually transmitted virus which causes microcephaly in infants born to mothers infected with it. It is also associated with increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome and other neurological disorders in people who contract it. The virus is widespread in Southern and Central America and has a likelihood of gaining sustained transmission in the Southern U.S.

Cura Zika builds on Pitt Public Health’s long-standing collaboration with FIOCRUZ , the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the most prominent science and technology health institution in Latin America. Cura Zika—which means ‘Cure Zika’ in both Portuguese and Spanish—will provide quick access funding to scientists performing time-sensitive research on the virus. This support is designed to move early-stage innovative research ideas into larger studies in an accelerated manner.

An initial startup grant of $200,000 is being equally matched by funds from the Graduate School of Public Health and from the University of Pittsburgh schools of the health sciences. Already, an additional $800,000 in pledges has been received towards the alliance's efforts to fund research to stop the disease.

Cura Zika Symposium

If you missed the live event, you may still view the Cura Zika symposium video to get a look at some of the related research already underway at the University of Pittsburgh.

Cura Zika Pilot project presentations

Find out more about the research currently under way at this Pitt Public Health event: Cura Zika Pilot Research Grant Presentations.

Zika News

Cura Zika's Turchi named to Time's 100 Most Influential People

TIME - An infectious-disease specialist in Recife, Brazil—the epicenter of the first major outbreak of Zika-associated microcephaly—CELINA TURCHI understood that local infections presented a crisis requiring global collaboration. Collaborating with the Brazilian Ministry of Health, IDM's ERNESTO MARQUES, and experts from around the world, she facilitated their work and openly shared what they were finding. Turchi is passionate, driven, and a mode... 

Work by Cura Zika's Sadovsky leads to confirmation that the human placenta is most vulnerable to Zika in first trimester

MEDICALRESEARCH.COM - Work by collaborator YOEL SADOVSKY, scientific board advisor for our CURA ZIKA initiative, finds that the mature placenta was likely to be resistant to infection. His work led to recent research confirmation that the greatest vulnerability to Zika is in the first trimester. 

Cura Zika initiative helps Brazilians coping with complications of the disease

NEW YORK TIMES - To help families impacted by the devastating consequences of the Zika virus, consider donating to Pitt Public Health's CuraZika initiative, which collaborates with several clinics in Brazil, including the Altino Ventura Foundation and the Association for the Assistance of Disabled Children, supporting efforts like treatment, therapy, and legal assistance. 

IDM's Ernesto Marques knows Brazil's Zika families suffer a life of struggle and scares

NEW YORK TIMES - In the impoverished northeast, devoted parents live around the needs of children whose grave disabilities are only beginning to be understood. “These babies, most of them or all of them, they’re going to live very long lives, you can keep them alive a long time, and they will need assistance from someone 24 hours a day,” said ERNESTO MARQUES, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pittsburgh and the Oswaldo Cruz Founda... 

Ernesto Marques on how the response to Zika failed millions

NEW YORK TIMES - Infectious disease specialist with IDM and at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil, ERNESTO MARQUES JR. said Brazilian scientists felt let down when they looked for outside help—at first from European donors and health agencies. “The local researchers’ role was mainly to collect samples,” Marques said bitterly.  

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Help address the Zika epidemic by providing critical, quick-access funding to scientists with innovative, early-stage research ideas.

Click to donate online, or contact David Tye at 412-624-3608 or

Zika News


Zika and travel: Marques tells you what you need to know 

Zika and travel: Marques tells you what you need to know

THE NEW YORK TIMES - The virus has been out of the headlines, but that doesn't mean it is gone. The World Health Organization just updated guideines for travelling to the Zika zone. "Summer in the north is winter in the south and vice versa, so you have to consider that," said IDM's Ernesto Marques... (07/10/2019)

The Zika virus is still a threat. Here's what Marques, other experts know 

The Zika virus is still a threat. Here's what Marques, other experts know

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Remember Zika? With measles and Ebola grabbing headlines, it is easy to forget the health panic of 2016, when Zika was linked to severe birth defects in thousands of Brazilian newborns whose mothers were infected while pregnant, striking fear across the country and much of the ... (07/03/2019)

Marques finds that previous exposure to Dengue Fever protects against Zika 

Marques finds that previous exposure to Dengue Fever protects against Zika

90.5 WESA - Pitt researchers have found that previous exposure to Dengue Fever lowers the risk of infection from the Zika virus. “If we use currently approved Dengue vaccines or vaccines that are already close to become approved, you could boost Dengue responses... and could provide some degree of ... (03/07/2019)

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Send questions about the Cura Zika initiative, an international alliance to perform much-needed research addressing the Zika epidemic, to

Cura Zika mark

Media Contact

Allison Hydzik,
manager of media relations 

Cura Zika Advisory Board

Program director
Donald Burke

Scientific director
Ernesto T. A. Marques

Scientific advisors 
Fernando Bozza   
Lee Harrison 
Cecilia Lo 
Celina Martelli 
Yoel Sadovsky