Bridges to the Future: Building Partnerships in Clinical Research on Global Health Challenges
Bethesda, Maryland The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the first recipients
of the Fogarty-Ellison Fellowship in Global Health and Clinical
Research. This new program provides early career opportunities for
U.S. and developing country graduate students in the health professions
to participate in one year of mentored clinical research at an NIH-funded
research center in a developing country. It pairs the U.S. students
with students from the host country, creating partnerships and contributing
to building a new international community of research scholars.
FIC, The Ellison Medical Foundation and NIH's National Center on
Minority Health and Health Disparities support the fellowship program
jointly. The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association
of Schools of Public Health provide critical support for the effort
at all stages of recruitment, review and matching.
Twenty fellows from 16 U.S. medical schools and one school of public
health were selected from a pool of 77 highly qualified U.S. applicants
in the first annual competition. Six are pursuing dual degree programs
(MPH or Ph.D.). Sixteen foreign fellows at similar points in their
careers have been identified. Selection of fellows was based on
academic excellence, aptitude for clinical research, career interest
in global health, and personal qualities.
In commending the new fellows, the Secretary for Health and Human
Services, Tommy G. Thompson, said, "I am so proud of the commitment
that these young people are making, and I am delighted that my Department
has played a critical role in bringing this program into existence.
It is my hope and expectation that these talented young people will
use this opportunity not only to gain experience in clinical research
but also to build lasting professional relationships and friendships."
Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, Acting Director of the Fogarty International
Center, added, "The needs for training in clinical research
in the United States and developing countries are significant. We
hope that hands-on experience in conducting research in a developing
country, and a first hand knowledge of the conditions and challenges
facing those who live in parts of the world where disease burdens
are highest, will encourage these young people to pursue careers
in clinical research in areas related to global health."
The 14 institutions that met stringent criteria for research training
and were selected for the initial fellowship year are located in:
Botswana, Brazil, Haiti, India (2), Kenya, Mali, Peru (2), South
Africa (2), Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia. Additional sites will
be added in the coming years.
"As we work to engage the best and brightest minds to address
global health challenges facing all of us, we see clearly that U.S.
minority students and other under-represented groups need to be
part of the process," said John Ruffin, Ph.D, Director of the
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD).
With that, NCMHD and FIC have agreed to partner, on a two-year pilot
basis, on key initiatives of joint interest.
"I am pleased that the Fogarty-Ellison Fellowship Program is
one of these initiatives."
"At a time of great international stress, programs that foster
international cooperation are increasingly important," said
Dr. Richard Sprott, Executive Director of The Ellison Medical Foundation.
"The Foundation is pleased to contribute to the development
of partnerships among U.S. students and their counterparts in developing
countries. The leadership provided by the Fogarty International
Center in making this important program possible exemplifies the
type of response needed to overcome the current challenges to global
All of the students will participate in a 3-week orientation on
the NIH campus this July 6-23. The fellows will participate in seminars
related to biostatistics, epidemiology, global diseases including
malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tropical parasites. In addition, they will
learn about the structure of clinical trials, the bioethical concerns
related to research in developed and developing countries, and will
have seminars related to their own health and safety while working
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 www.fic.nih.gov.
The Ellison Medical Foundation, a non-profit corporation established
and supported by Lawrence J. Ellison, funds biomedical research,
training and related scientific activities, through programs on
the biology of aging and on infectious diseases of global health
The mission of the National Center on Minority Health and Health
Disparities (NCMHD) is to promote minority health and to lead, coordinate,
support, and assess the NIH effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate
health disparities. In this effort NCMHD will conduct and support
basic, clinical, social, and behavioral research, promote research
infrastructure and training, foster emerging programs, disseminate
information, and reach out to minority and other health disparity
Attachment: Successful U.S applicants and developing country partners