Fogarty honored by health leaders

September - October, 2008  |  Volume 7, Issue 5

The Fogarty International Center's 40th anniversary gala brought together leaders from Congress, federal agencies, science, advocacy groups, the diplomatic corps and businesses with interest in global health issues.

Sen. Richard Lugar greets Dr. Charles Sanders of the NIH Foundation at the Fogarty dinner while Dr. Roger Glass looks on.
Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., right, and Fogarty
Director Dr. Roger I. Glass, greet Dr. Charles A.
Sanders, head of the Foundation for the NIH.

As the Center enters its fifth decade, its achievements were celebrated: training more than 5,000 individuals, operating programs in more than 100 countries, representing the NIH in international affairs and using its prestige and resources to leverage a small budget into a powerful force - first for combating infectious disease and now the epidemic of chronic diseases facing poor countries as well as the rich.

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health hosted the Oct. 15 dinner and honored Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., and Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., for their global health leadership in Congress.

Lugar, ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has used his influence to make prevention and control of infectious diseases part of U.S. diplomacy and was instrumental in reauthorizing the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Krista Pfaendler speaks to dinner audience about her training in Zambia. An African woman is seen on the screen just behind her.
Krista Pfaendler, a former
Fogarty Scholar and now
medical student at the
University of Pittsburgh, tells
the gala audience what training
in Zambia meant to her.

In the keynote address, Director Roger I. Glass stressed that the relatively small amount of funding Fogarty receives is some of the most wisely spent in government because it seeds research training in the United States and abroad for global health practitioners who leverage their grants into productive careers in their home countries.

"Smart investments can move the world," he declared, borrowing Archimedes' dictum, "Give me a lever and a place to stand and I can move the world." Glass cited the Center's successful research training programs in AIDS, TB, malaria and chronic disease, for example, as a catalyst for young grantees to establish themselves and attract funding for their work from other sources.

"In Washington, Fogarty may be the best kept secret, but the name resonates around the world," said Glass. "Grantees tell me that Fogarty provides the best grants--most strategic; not large, but well placed--like Archimedes' lever," Glass said, calling the Center "a jewel in the crown, a small cog with a special role that can make large investments yield even greater rewards."

John Fogarty's granddaughter Mercedes McAndrew speaking to someone at the gala.
Mercedes McAndrew, grand-
daughter of the late Rep.
John E. Fogarty, was among
10 family members attending
the gala.

The Fogarty International Center was named for the late Rep. John E. Fogarty of Rhode Island, who as chairman of the House Appropriations health subcommittee championed the value of international research. His daughter, Mary McAndrew, three granddaughters and their spouses were among the guests.

"Congressman Fogarty understood that good health is not only good for its own sake. It's also good for prosperity, for promoting friendship among nations and for global security. It is in all of our best interest to finish his work," said Dr. Charles A. Sanders, chairman of the Foundation.

The dinner was held in the atrium of the ornate Italian embassy, and sponsored by Lilly, the Abbott Fund, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, ExxonMobil, Pepsico, Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Merck, Pfizer, Tibotec and the United Nations Foundation.

Another component of the anniversary commemoration is a symposium Nov. 12 at the Georgetown University Law Center on "The Role of Science in Advancing Global Health Diplomacy".

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