Contact: Jennifer Cabe
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces a new research training program to support international collaborations in human genetic sciences. FIC, with seven NIH partners and the World Health Organization, issued a call for proposals for the new International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program. The NIH partners are the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The current combined financial commitment from FIC and the partners is approximately $15 million over the next five years.
"Our goal in the International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program is to help reduce the disparities in health status between developed and developing countries through the use of genetic sciences," said FIC Director Gerald T. Keusch, M.D. on behalf of the NIH partners. He added, "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 science, the program will address the ethical, social, and legal implications of performing genetics research in low- and middle-income countries.
The program will provide educational opportunities at the Ph.D. and Master's level and will contribute to the capacity of developing country scientists and institutions to conduct human genetics research that is 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 use of genetic tools and bioinformatics, and a firm knowledge base in ethical issues and clinical and operational health research form the core of our approach to building strong scientific partnerships with relevancy in the 21st century," said Keusch.
Applications for the International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program are due by March 25, 2002. The Request for Applications for this program may be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TW-02-001.html.
FIC is the international component of the NIH. It promotes and supports scientific discovery internationally and mobilizes resources to reduce disparities in global health. 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 http://www.nih.gov/fic.