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Fogarty International Center (FIC)

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Irene Edwards
(301) 496-2075

Sir David Weatherall Named Fogarty Scholar in Residence

Bethesda, Maryland — The Fogarty International Center announced today that Professor Sir David Weatherall, Emeritus Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, has been named a Fogarty Scholar in Residence. As such, he will spend an extended period on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda conferring with scientists from institutes sponsoring him — the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Human Genome Research Institute. The Fogarty Scholars in Residence Program supports eminent scientists from around the world to visit the NIH campus for extended periods of time to advance critical lines of medical research and to spark innovative thinking and approaches in priority research areas.

Sir David is one of the outstanding clinician scientists of his generation, and pioneered studies in molecular genetics, hematology, pathology and clinical medicine. The results of his laboratory and clinical work over the past decades in the area of thalassemia and other blood disorders helped to explain the molecular pathophysiology and causes of the phenotypic variability of these disorders. His findings provided the basis for ante-natal diagnosis and genetic counseling aimed at preventing abnormalities that affect millions around the world. His work has led to significant improvements in the clinical management of inherited blood disorders and has drawn attention to the challenge of caring for thalassemia sufferers who now survive beyond childhood.

During his stay at the NIH, Sir David will work closely with colleagues in the sponsoring NIH institutes and other NIH investigators to explore the opportunities for the global community offered by recent advances in genetic technology. "Sir David's long experience and vast insights into science as well as public health will be a major asset to the NIH as we work to address disparities in health between rich countries and poorer ones," said Gerald T. Keusch, M.D., Director of the Fogarty International Center, on behalf of the NIH sponsors. "We are particularly interested in discussing the potential follow-up to Sir David's landmark report to the World Health Organization, Genomics and World Health, published last year, and its focus on diminishing the great and increasing divide between investments in research focused on first world and third world diseases," he added.

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 is commemorating its 35th anniversary 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 and other FIC-related materials are available at www.fic.nih.gov.

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