Congressional Hearing Highlights Fogarty’s Role in Global Health Research

March - April, 2008  |  Volume 7, Issue 2

Mr. Jeff Miotke
Mr. Jeff Miotke
Photo: Dept. of State

Fogarty's role in fostering international collaborations was highlighted in a hearing held in April by the House Science & Technology's Subcommittee on Research and Science Education. The session explored how federal agencies prioritize and coordinate international science and technology programs.

"International scientific cooperation promotes good will, strengthens political relationships, helps foster democracy and civil society, and advances the frontiers of knowledge," according to written testimony submitted by Jeff Miotke, the State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space and Health.

Because the U.S. is a melting pot of immigrants from every continent, "we can make substantive gains in our own nation's health only through a better understanding of the predilection for diseases from ancestral populations abroad," suggested Mr. Miotke.

The State Department works closely with Fogarty to foster international biomedical collaborations, he noted. Yet many global health research questions remain unanswered partly due to Fogarty's small budget, which provides "a small fraction" of what is needed to support global health research and research training capacity worldwide. "This is particularly relevant given the increasing incidence of infectious and non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, where science diplomacy could be most helpful for the U.S.," he concluded.

The session--the second in a series of hearings aimed at exploring science diplomacy--was hosted by Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Brian Baird.

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