April 4, 2012

UW leads NIH-funded consortium to train global health researchers

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Trainees will receive support to launch their global health research careers.

The Fogarty Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars program is building a network of U.S. academic institutions to provide early career physicians, veterinarians, dentists and scientists with a significant mentored research experience in a developing country.

About $20.3 million in total will be awarded over the next five years to support 400 early-career health scientists on nearly year-long research fellowships in 27 low- and middle-income countries.

The UW is the leader of a consortium, including University of Hawaii, University of Michigan and University of Minnesota that will receive about $4 million over five years to support the training activities of fellows.

Joseph Zunt, associate professor in global health and the principal investigator for the UW-led consortium, said the grant will provide new opportunities for training 12-15 U.S. and international doctoral students and post-doctoral trainees each year in international settings.

“The fellows will have outstanding binational mentoring,” he said.

Zunt said this program will also serve to globalize the NIH T32 postdoctoral training program.  Currently, the University of Washington has 65 T32 training programs, said Zunt.  T32 grants prepare qualified individuals for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the nation. The grants pay stipend, travel and other expenses of doctoral students and/or postdocs.

Applications are due May 14.

Each consortium will develop and support global health research training programs that provide focused mentoring for participants and diverse clinical research experiences at approximately 80 established research sites in low-resource settings.  Program trainees will study the traditional global health problems such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and maternal and child health, and will address the chronic non-communicable diseases that cause a majority of deaths in developing countries, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“In combining the enthusiasm of todays young scientists with the knowledge and wisdom of Americas global health leaders, we are forming a powerful network to produce a new generation of stellar researchers capable of working in the global arena,” said. Roger I. Glass, Fogartys director.

Eighty percent of the programs trainees will be postdoctoral fellows, with 20 percent entering as doctoral students.

Participating institutions were required to demonstrate they possess the capacity to provide outstanding mentored global health research education experiences, existing robust research and trainingactivities at a developing country site, and established relationships among consortia members.

“This grant award emphasizes the NIH’s confidence in the University of Washington as a national leader in global health research and training,” said King Holmes, chair of theUW  Department of Global Health.

Since 2004, Fogarty has supported more than 500 fellows and scholars for significant hands-on, clinical research training experiences in low- and middle-income countries.  The program was most recently managed by a coordinating center at Vanderbilt University.

The 2012 Fogarty Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars awards:

University of California, Berkeley— Consortium lead

Florida International University, Miami

Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

University of California Global Health Institute— Consortium lead

University of California, Davis

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, San Diego

University of California, San Francisco

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill—Consortium lead

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Morehouse University, Atlanta

Tulane University, New Orleans

University of Washington, Seattle—Consortium lead

University of Hawaii, Honolulu

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.—Consortium lead

Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

Duke University, Durham, N.C.

Emory University, Atlanta.

For more information on applications, email NPGH-Fellowship@fogartyfellows.org.

NIH entities supporting the program include:  Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , National Cancer Institute , National Eye Institute , National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases , National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research , National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , National Institute on Drug Abuse , National Institute of General Medical Sciences ,  National Institute of Mental Health , National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , National Institute of Nursing Research , Office of Research on Women’s Health  and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

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