Accelerating Leprosy Research: Q&A with Arielle Cavaliero

10 January, 2022 | Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy

Following the publication of the Zero Leprosy Research Agenda in 2019, the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy has prioritized the agenda topics, landscaped current research, and brought researchers together for a series of research workshops to identify key questions. We sat down with GPZL leadership team member and Global Business Director for Leprosy at Novartis, Arielle Cavaliero, to discuss the work that has been done and the next steps for the Partnership’s work to accelerate leprosy research.

Q: What is the Partnership’s role in leprosy research? 

GPZL envisions three zeros, but we cannot get there with our existing tools. GPZL convenes folks with specific areas of expertise and requires them to step back from their work and reflect on the big picture. No other entity has had that mandate.

Q: What did the prioritization and landscaping of the research agenda achieve?

We have made huge accomplishments in leprosy but we’re here to reflect on how we move to the very end. From the research agenda, we needed to identify our top priorities. Through the prioritization and landscaping processes, we examined core topics and looked at research that is currently underway. We learned which areas of our research agenda are not yet addressed.

Q: What will GPZL research workshops accomplish?

We are convening researchers to collaborate on topics from the research agenda. Through this process, we will bring research in place to fill gaps and bring new tools to light.

Q: What will follow these workshops in the coming year? What is the next step? 

We are hosting workshops where specific research topics will be developed. Ideally, these will be awarded for resource mobilization. From there, we will have new research underway that supports the priorities to achieve zero disease, zero disability, and zero discrimination or stigma.

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