Bethesda, Maryland The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces a new research program to
support international collaborations to study brain disorders in developing
countries. FIC, with nine NIH partners*, the Institute
of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction of the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research (CIHR), and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
(CONACYT), has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for the first phase
of a new program, Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across
the Lifespan. For the first time, FIC is joining with the major biomedical
research agencies of both its North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico.
The current combined financial commitment from FIC and its partners for the
first phase of the program is approximately $4 million to support up
to 20 two-year planning grants, subject to availability of funds.
This new program grew out of the recognition of the enormous global burden
of disease posed by mental illness and brain disorders, and the increase expected
in this burden over the next two decades. In the design phase, FIC convened
a consultation of experts, led by Nobel Laureate Torsten Wiesel, to discuss
challenges and opportunities for scientific advances in this field. Areas
considered, that are now integral to the program, included research, research
capacity building and training.
"Brain disorders and mental illness and the social and economic demands associated
with cognitive disorders, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia,
and stroke as well as the stigma associated with these conditions
strain entire families, diminishing productivity and quality of life for all
members," said FIC Director Dr. Gerald Keusch, on behalf of the partners.
"While cost-effective treatments to reduce the burden of certain brain disorders
are available in the developed world, this is not the case in the developing
world. This program will support research on these disorders and efforts to
develop new interventions that will benefit low-income populations around
the world, and particularly in developing countries."
Applicants in the competition for planning grants are invited to develop
research programs that will assess needs, develop collaborations and necessary
resources, carry out feasibility and pilot studies, and put the necessary
elements in place to create a strong collaborative research project that will
contribute to the long-term goal of building sustainable research capacity
in neurological/neurodevelopmental impairment. FIC anticipates that at the
end of two years, an RFA will be issued to solicit applications for R01 research
projects, which will be open to all applicants. Applications are encouraged
from developed country principal investigators working with partners in the
developing world as well as from developing country principal investigators
working with partners in developed nations.
Applications for the Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across
the Lifespan Program are due by March 11, 2003. Letters of intent are due
by February 11, 2003. The Request for Applications for this program may be
found at http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TW-03-007.html.
Additional information can be found at the FIC Website, http://www.fic.nih.gov.
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.fic.nih.gov.
*NIH partners are the National Institute
on Aging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Eye Institute, National
Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke and the Office of Dietary Supplements.