Gaetano is associate professor in Global Health, employed at the Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and at the Department of Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm County Council. Gaetano has a PhD in Public Health (2010) from the University of Pavia (Italy), and a Master degree in Statistical and Economical Sciences (Faculty of Economics, University of Bari, Italy).
His main areas of research are HIV/AIDS epidemiology and antibiotic use and resistance. He has extensive collaborations with Public Health England, Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, ECDC (European Center for Disease Control), AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) Kenya, AMREF Tanziania, R.D. Gardi Medical College (Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai, India), Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda) and National Centre for AIDS and STD Control (Kathmandu, Nepal).
Since 2009 he is the course leader for the Research Methodology course, Master in Global Health, and since 2012 also lecturer for KI’s Master in Public Health track Epidemiology. The topics of these courses include epidemiology, study design, sampling methods, data management and biostatistics. Moreover, he has organised several data management training courses in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. He has published more than 50 scientific papers.
I am the Principal Investigator of a project regarding Incidence and risk factors of cardiovascular diseases amongst people living with HIV in Sweden: a retrospective cohort study.
I am also involved in on-going collaborative projects in India, China, Uganda, Nepal, Ethiopia and Sweden. Being a biostatistican by training, I focus mainly on the research methodology part (study design, sampling methods, sample size calculation, statistical analysis, scientific writing and manuscript revisions).
In India, I am involved in the Antibiotics prescription part of APRIAM study. The aim is to analyze the antibiotic prescribing in two tertiary care, private sector hospitals, one teaching and one non-teaching.
It is an ongoing study where the antibiotics prescribed to the patients admitted in two Indian tertiary care hospitals is being followed since 2007.
In China, I am involved in two main projects:
- IMPACT: a One Health project investigating antibiotic use and resistance in a rural area of China, and finding ways to improve the situation. It is a joint collaboration between institutions in China and Sweden, and has received five years of funding from the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China and the Swedish Research Council
- Collaboration between Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine and Karolinska Institutet under the theme ’Prevention, control and treatment of infections and other diseases’. The planned research topics are:
1) Evaluation of an exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program for patients with chronic heart failure in China. 2) Infection-related hospitalizations in Chinese patients with chronic disease. Efficacy and Safety of Sanfu Herbal Patch at Acupuncture points for Persistent Allergic Rhinitis (SPAR): a randomized controlled clinical trial. 3) Efficacy and costs of Chinese herbal medicine for flu A H1N1.
In Uganda, I am involved in a project on Innovations in the health system and interventions for improved treatment of infectious diseases in children in rural Uganda. The aim is to find better diagnostics and algorithms for increased quality of care, rational use of medicines and minimized antimicrobial resistance.
In Nepal, I am involved in a projects studying effectiveness of HIV preventive interventions at population-level among vulnerable young populations (men who have sex with men, female sex workers, people who inject drugs and migrants).
In Ethiopia, I am involved in two projects:
1) Developing & evaluating a predictive model from routinely used immunological, hematological, & clinical parameters to be used as a screening tool for Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) failure.
2) Molecular evolution of HIV-1 subtype C and its impact in therapeutic response.
I am also involved in a number of other projects in Sweden, about:
- Antibiotics use, knowledge and attitude - Patients´ treatment satisfaction with health and care within the Swedish Cohort InfCareHIV - Incidence of HPV induced cancer in HIV infected patients in Sweden. - Assigning probable country of HIV acquisition among adults born abroad based on estimation CD4 cell decline and CD4 cell count at HIV sero-conversion among HIV sero-convertors.
Since 2009 I am the course leader for the Research Methodology course, Master in Global Health, and since 2012 also lecturer for KI’s Master in Public Health track Epidemiology.
Typically, my learning activities include lectures, group work and practical sessions.
Morning lectures are generally theoretical lectures of 3.5 hours with the use of power point presentations and white board, with the main aim of providing at least factual knowledge while in the afternoon students are required to apply and interpret the concepts taught during the morning session, with practical exercises and the use of the statistical software SPSS (3 hours). Moreover, I use to arrange group activities dividing the students in 6 groups of around 6-7 students each. Groups are based according to the free choice of the students on reading published papers on qualitative, cross-sectional, case-control, cohort, and ecological or randomized controlled trial design. Towards the end of the course each group prepares a presentation where they summarize the study and try to critically discuss with me the paper they have chosen (strengths and limitations, what they would have done different if they were the PI of the project etc). The audience participate actively as well commenting and asking questions. This is a good way to practically show the students how much now they are able to read, understand, interpret and even criticize others pieces of work.
Even though the group work is not evaluated officially, it creates the basis for me for a self-assessment of what the students have learned during the course.
The examination consists in a written exam with 24 questions, some with multiple choices, some open-ended questions and some questions were calculations are needed. While preparing the official assessment, I try to align it to the course content and the syllabus and to use the assessment to evaluate the course content. At the end of the course students are asked to evaluate the course and how they feel the course have been useful for them. They are also asked what they have liked and not liked, and what their recommendations are in order to improve the course in the future.
I dedicate around 20% of my full-time employment to teaching activities. I have been teaching statistics the first cycle education outside KI (Bachelor degree in Medicine and Bachelor degree in Biotechnology, Medical University of Pavia, Italy); I have been teaching Research methodology within second-cycle education (Master´s) at KI (mainly Masters´programme in Global Health and Public Health Sciences), and within second-cycle education (Master´s) in another HEI (Course in Biostatistics, Master in Medicine, Medical University of Pavia). Moreover, I have been involved in several workshops and teaching exchange programs in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and China. I am also involved extensively in supervision of master thesis and evaluation of master thesis: so far, more than MSc students have completed their thesis under my supervision and I have evaluated around 10 master theses.