Dr. M. Hussein Gasem was born in Pekalongan, 23 September 1952.  He is one of NSC members of INA RESPOND who also become site PI at site 560, Dr. Kariadi Hospital, Semarang.  After gaining his degree in medicine from Diponegoro University in 1978, he worked as a medical doctor in community health center for 5 years where he was awarded “Best Performance Medical” doctor” twice. In 1993 he earned his Internal Medicine Specialist title and received his Consultant of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease in 2000.  A year later, he obtained his PhD from Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.  He also did a postdoctoral research in Leiden University about Community Acquired Pneumonia.  His passion in infectious disease and research is reflected by the numbers of research activities and published articles that he made and wrote.  Now, besides being the Head of Internal Medicine at Dr. Kariadi Hospital, he also has several positions such as the Head of Infectious Disease & TropMed Department, Dr. Kariadi Hospital, and Director of Center for Tropical and Infectious Diseases (CENTRID).  He is also a principal investigator of several studies, such as the AFIRE study and the Prevalence and Molecular Epidemiology of C. Difficile Infection in Central Java Hospital.

As a Steering Committee member, dr. Hussein realizes that there are a lot of things to do, such as coordinating all aspects of the study, working closely with all the networks member (NIHRD/SSS/INA-RESPOND Secretariat staff/investigators from sites), and of course developing recruitment strategies.

The challenges faced by site 560 at first were mostly related to difficulties in recruiting and enrolling subjects, but as time passed, site staffs learned how approach and give information to the patients better, and everything just fell into place.  As for challenges in the network level, the main challenge is how to sustain the collaboration that has been built.

At Dr. Kariadi Hospital, Semarang, INA-RESPOND through its study, AFIRE, provides good model on how research should be done.  INA-RESPOND study pays close attention to patients’ safety, specimen repository, and data management. Due to its excellence, the AFIRE research management is partially adopted by the hospital to be implemented in other research done at Kariadi. Indirectly, INA-RESPOND has helped Kariadi hospital to achieve JCI accreditation (the “human research” aspect was full match with JCI criteria).

Dr. Kariadi hospital has had a lot of international research collaborations since 1990.  That is why Dr. Hussein hopes that INA-RESPOND will build a good research niche for future research collaboration in Indonesia, which eventually will improve international research collaborations.