Grant to provide training for scientists in Europe and Latin America

December 07, 1999

CHEVY CHASE, Md., December 8, 1999 – A program that has helped train biomedical scientists in Latin America will expand to parts of Europe through a new $1.05 million grant by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

The four-year award will give students and young scientists in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Baltics the opportunity to participate in specialized symposia, laboratory courses and visiting lectureships in their own region. It also will provide continued support for a similar series in Latin America.

Previous HHMI grants to NAS and the Mexican Academy of Sciences, in 1991 and 1995, have enabled more than 500 participants to learn new developments in diverse fields of biomedical research. This month, for example, scientists will gather in Santiago, Chile, for a course on "Molecular Aspects of Microbial Pathogenesis" that HHMI is sponsoring with the American Society for Microbiology and the University of Chile. In July, HHMI joined with the MacArthur Foundation, Brazil's Fiocruz Foundation and the World Health Organization to sponsor a course on "Biology of Disease Vectors" in Manaus, Brazil – a course that will be offered in Central Europe in 2001 and again in Latin America in 2003.

"These courses and activities strengthen the ties among scientists around the world," said Purnell W. Choppin, HHMI's president. "They also speed the pace of research by helping scientists learn about the latest techniques and findings from other laboratories."

Since 1990, HHMI has awarded or announced competitions for $82 million through its international program, mainly to support the research of selected biomedical scientists around the world. The Institute's primary activity is to carry out biomedical research directly with its own scientists at 71 locations across the United States. It employs more than 300 HHMI investigators and their teams, who carry out research in cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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