Pathways to Global Health Research
The Fogarty International Center's strategic plan advocates an increased focus on chronic non-communicable diseases while continuing to address the unfinished infectious diseases agenda.
The plan, which will direct the Center's activities until 2012, also encourages implementation science to address the "know-do" gap, and calls for expanding research training opportunities for U.S. and foreign scientists to foster a sustainable research environment in low- and middle-income countries and building strategic partnerships to further global health.
Fogarty’s priorities are organized into five strategic areas:
Address the growing epidemic of chronic, non-communicable diseases
The plan's first goal is to mobilize the scientific community to address the growing epidemic of chronic, non-communicable diseases related to increased longevity and changing lifestyles in the developing world. To accomplish this, Fogarty plans to address investment in this area, while continuing to invest in the critical infectious diseases agenda. The Center recently announced a new $1.5 million a year program to support non-communicable diseases research training, with seven awards expected annually. In addition, the Center is working with other NIH components and private partners to develop further chronic disease initiatives.
Bridge the implementation research training gap
Secondly, Fogarty plans to foster implementation research training in order to help reduce the "know-do" gap, which prevents discoveries from being put into practice, particularly in resource-poor countries. The Center plans to expand its International Clinical, Operational and Health Services Research Training Award program for AIDS and TB and has reinforced the initiative's support for implementation research.
Fogarty also will encourage implementation science to be applied to the recommendations from the Disease Control Priorities Project, which proposed cost-effective interventions that could significantly reduce the burden of disease in developing countries. DCPP is a joint effort of Fogarty, the WHO, the World Bank and the Population Reference Bureau.
Develop human capital in developing world
Because Fogarty's impact has historically been most significant in developing the pipeline of U.S. and foreign research talent, its third goal reinforces that ongoing need. The Center intends to expand the number of overseas research experiences available for young U.S. scientists in order to encourage them to adopt careers in global health. Fogarty will also continue its research training partnerships between U.S. and foreign institutions and strive to enhance research opportunities for foreign scientists when they return home.
Foster a sustainable research environment in low- and middle-income countries
The plan's fourth goal stresses the need to continue to build and sustain the local research enterprise in low- and middle-income countries so that scientists will have the support necessary to conduct their research. Key strategic priorities include establishing linkages or hubs for sharing resources and knowledge across sites and encouraging the adoption of information technology to advance research progress. Fogarty is holding a series of consultations with IT experts to guide these efforts.
Build strategic alliances and funding partnerships
Under the final goal, the Center seeks to capitalize on the rising tide of private and public funding devoted to global health by building new strategic alliances and partnerships. Fogarty will work to maintain and strengthen existing partnerships with other NIH components, U.S. government agencies and private collaborators while forging ties with the many new private sector organizations in the global health arena.
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