Fogarty awards $13 million in Recovery Act funds

November - December, 2009 | Volume 8, Issue 6

LOGO: Recovery Act recovery.gov

Fogarty International Center has allocated about $13.3 million of its Recovery Act funds for 65 awards that support research on diverse topics from brain disorders to biodiversity, and provide research training for college students and post-docs. Also, three successful Challenge Grant proposals submitted to NIH in response to Fogarty's topic areas received an additional $3 million in total from the agency's central Recovery Act fund. Under ARRA, projects are supported for up to two years.

Fogarty has nearly $3 million in remaining funds it plans to award during the second year of the stimulus program. Several initiatives are being planned and will be announced soon.

"We are grateful for this opportunity to preserve and create jobs in the biomedical research arena, that is so important to our country's economic recovery," said Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass. "We are especially pleased to nurture the careers of young people interested in working to improve global health."

In addition to three centrally funded Challenge Grants, Fogarty also supported two additional proposals. Topics range from conducting research on childhood illnesses using hand-held electronic communication devices, developing distance-based learning initiatives, studying the effect of climate change on cholera, measuring cultural perceptions related to diet, and describing the link between heart disease and diabetes.

Through Fogarty's Brain Disorders program, five ARRA-supported grants are investigating neuro-infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS-related dementias, Batten's Disease, and the neurological consequences of cerebrovascular disease.

Possible new candidates for drugs that will combat cancer, HIV/AIDS and central nervous system disorders are being explored with a stimulus grant awarded by the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups program.

Research to improve scientists' ability to forecast potential sites for river blindness outbreaks in remote areas of West Africa using satellite data and other information is being supported by an Ecology of Infectious Disease program award.

ARRA funds disbursed through the Frameworks for Global Health program are helping develop new curricula, establish multidisciplinary networks, and create global health degree programs on 16 U.S. campuses, including four that are new to the program.

To keep pace with advances in information technology, ARRA funds are being invested through 23 awards that train personnel to use IT in their research projects, develop innovative methodologies to tackle research challenges and facilitate distance learning.

To encourage scientists to pursue a career track in global health, Fogarty is using stimulus funds for supplements to existing grants to support U.S. post doctoral researchers, creating or preserving 13 jobs. Topics under investigation include highly pathogenic avian influenza, HIV/AIDS, and others. In addition, stimulus funds are supporting four post-docs through International Research Scientist Development Awards. An award to Vanderbilt University will finance more than 20 one-year mentored research fellowships at foreign sites through the Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellows and Scholars program. Finally, several undergraduates were funded through NIH's central stimulus fund to assist in research projects over the summer.

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