FIC announces first awards for international collaborative genetics research and training program

October 23, 2002

Bethesda, Maryland -- The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and seven partners announce six new research and training grants to support international collaborations in human genetic sciences. FIC led the development of the International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program in close collaboration with six NIH institutes and the World Health Organization. In addition to FIC, the NIH partners are the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The combined financial commitment from FIC and its NIH partners is approximately $2.3 million for the first year of these five-year awards. Total support will be approximately $11.5 million over the next five years.

"The International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program will help reduce health disparities between developed and developing countries through the use of genetic sciences," said FIC Director Gerald T. Keusch, M.D. on behalf of the partners. "Through the program's partnerships, we will advance human genetics research while enhancing the limited but growing technical capacity in genetic science in developing regions of the world."

In addition to training in genetic sciences, each of the six new projects will address the ethical, social, and legal implications of performing genetics research in low- and middle-income countries.

The projects will provide educational opportunities at the Master's, Ph.D., and post-doctoral levels and will contribute to the capacity of developing country scientists and institutions to conduct human genetics research relevant to the health needs of developing countries. Scientists and health professionals from low- and middle-income countries were consulted at all stages of the program's development. Keusch noted, "Our consultation with scientists from the developing world was crucial in helping us understand where the needs are most critical as we consider the nexus between genetic technology and public health."

FIC led the development of the program as part of its ongoing approach to supporting and promoting partnerships among research institutions in developed and developing countries.

The successful applicants for the first International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program awards are:
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FIC is the international component of the NIH. It promotes and supports scientific discovery internationally and mobilizes resources to reduce disparities in global health. FIC will commemorate its thirty-fifth anniversary in 2003 with a year-long lecture series on global health issues and a scientific symposium on May 20-21, 2003. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Press releases, fact sheets, and other FIC-related materials are available at www.nih.gov/fic.

NIH/Fogarty International Center

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