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

Congratulations to Cura Zika's Celina Martelli Turchi on being named a "scientist who mattered" in 2016

NATURE - In its " Nature' s 10" list of ten scientists who mattered this year, the international weekly journal of science recognized Cura Zika advisor, CELINA MARTELLI TURCHI for her work as the 'Zika detective' who raced to make sense of a medical mystery in northeast Brazil.  

Microcephaly Found in Babies of Zika-Infected Mothers Months After Birth

NEW YORK TIMES - Dr. Ernesto T. A. Marques Jr., an infectious disease specialist at the University of Pittsburgh and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, who was not involved in either study, said it could be that because of the initial fetal brain damage, “the necessary pathways and hormones that organize growth of the neonatal brain are not there anymore and the brain doesn’t grow.” 

Lowery conducts West Nile Virus surveillance with ACHD

Joel Lowery (IDM ’17) assisted the ACHD in conducting its annual surveillance of West Nile Virus (WNV) in order to make informed decisions on vector control related to mosquitoes. In addition to WNV, the team monitored Aedes albopictus , a possible mosquito vector for the Zika virus. Lowery was responsible for setting traps, entering data, and shipping samples to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for testing. He took awa... 

Pitt’s Cura Zika Projects Focus On Disease Development, Detection And Vaccines

WESA-FM - The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has announced the recipients of the first round of funding for its Cura Zika initiative. Six research projects that interrogate three different approaches were chosen to receive the $400,000 in funding. Two researchers are looking at ways to diagnose the virus, two are trying to understand how the virus causes disease, and two are pursuing vaccine technologies.  

Pitt teaming up with Brazil's health ministry on Zika research

Reacting to “an emerging human disaster,” the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will match a $200,000 private donation in efforts to raise $1 million for a research collaboration with a Brazilian counterpart to address the Zika virus epidemic. …  

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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