Fogarty program aids study of chronic illnesses

July - August, 2009 | Volume 8, Issue 4

The first awards in Fogarty's new Millennium Promise Awards: Non-communicable Chronic Diseases Research Training program to study chronic diseases in developing countries will train researchers in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Seven awards totaling $7.3 million over five years will create capacity for local scientists and institutions to develop long-term training programs to deal with looming crises in the development of chronic diseases. In addition, two planning grants will provide $108,000 for two years.

Each project will be conducted in partnership between a U.S. university and institutions in the countries where training occurs.

Photo: A Sri Lankan woman has her blood pressure checked by a health education nurse in a crowded clinic
Photo by Sari Dominic Sansoni, World Bank

A Sri Lankan woman has her blood pressure
checked by a health education nurse. Heart
disease is increasing in countries once thought
of as burdened only infectious diseases.

  • Vanderbilt University is establishing a program to build expertise in cancer, heart disease and diabetes research in China.
  • Yale University is training scientists to handle the burgeoning rate of chronic diseases in China, emphasizing cancer epidemiology and biostatistics.
  • The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio is training researchers in Costa Rica to investigate the genetics of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and progressive dementias.
  • The University of Pittsburgh is working with counterparts in India and Egypt to train doctoral students to use data from a combined population of more than 1 billion to map genes involved in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • The Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York is training scientists in environmental health in Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain.
  • The University of Michigan is training lung disease researchers in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
  • Emory University is helping build a cadre of young health scientists in India by offering interdisciplinary training in epidemiology and biostatistics to benefit future research in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Fogarty also awarded two planning grants for training in cancer research in Morocco and stroke prevention in Uganda.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) are partners with Fogarty in the grants.

The program seeks proposals from scientists with backgrounds and experience in working across disciplines, such as nutrition, business, behavioral health, health law, economics, environmental health and urban planning. The deadline for applying for 2010 awards is Sept. 29, 2009.

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