Contact: Jennifer Cabe
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will fund 14 research and training projects focused on non-communicable conditions through its new International Clinical, Operational, and Health Services Research and Training Award (ICOHRTA). FIC spearheaded the development of the ICOHRTA, working closely with five co-sponsors at the NIH: the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Aging, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The combined financial commitment from FIC and the ICOHRTA partners is approximately $2.7 million for the first year. Total financial support for the program will be approximately $14.6 million over the next five years.
The ICOHRTA is an innovative program to support integrated multidisciplinary, clinical, operational, and health services research and training collaborations between U.S. institutions and those in developing countries, as well as between U.S. institutions and those in emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union. "This new program will build much-needed capacity in low- and middle-income countries to translate research advances into care and treatment in many non-communicable disease areas," said FIC Director Gerald T. Keusch, M.D. on behalf of the NIH partners. According to "The Global Burden of Disease" (the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Harvard University), by the year 2020 non-communicable diseases will be the cause of up to 60 percent of the world's burden of disease.
The ICOHRTA provides opportunities for health professionals to train at the Ph.D., masters, and post-doctoral levels while working on international research projects related to a variety of non-communicable conditions.
"Shortages of trained researchers and health care workers, use of inappropriate therapies, and lack of access to effective treatments currently lead to neglect of health crises such as depression, suicide, substance abuse, violence, breakdown of the family, disintegration of communities, and the stigmatization of the afflicted further isolating those who need help the most," Keusch said. "Unique opportunities exist for international partnerships to confront the changing burdens of disease and health disparities. To be successful, a well-trained cadre of scientists in developing nations will be needed to plan, design, and conduct investigations; then to operationalize and implement health care services. The training of international scientists and health professionals alongside U.S. partners will help to produce this cadre of experts and will facilitate development of health care strategies and tools that will benefit individuals, families, and societies in developed and developing nations."
Eleven of the 14 initial ICOHRTA awards are full five-year grants, and three are three-year planning grants intended to support further development of the programs.
The following researchers are the first recipients of five-year ICOHRTA awards:
Dr. James C. Anthony of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore will collaborate with Dr. Raul Leon-Barua of Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru on a training program to enhance the capacity of researchers in Peru to undertake epidemiologic studies of substance abuse and its prevention.
Dr. Eric D. Caine of the University of Rochester Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide will collaborate with Dr. Helen Chiu of the Chinese University of Hong Kong to develop a China-Rochester Suicide Research Center (CRSRC). The CRSRC will train scientists in suicide prevention research. The focus on suicide is highly significant because it is a major public health concern in China about which little systematic research has been conducted.
Dr. Roger Detels of the University of California Los Angeles will collaborate with Dr. Hien Tran Nguyen of Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam to launch a project to provide long-term post-doctoral training at UCLA and short-term training in Vietnam in research on the prevention of drug use and HIV transmission. The research component involves developing a community intervention to decrease initiation of drug use and HIV-risk behaviors among young men.
Dr. Byron J. Good of Harvard University Medical School will collaborate with Dr. Sing Lee of the Chinese University of Hong Kong on a training program in international mental health with the goal of training Chinese researchers to develop and evaluate mental health services. The program is associated with Harvard's long-standing training program in Culture and Mental Health Services.
Dr. Michael H. Merson of the Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS and Dr. Mary Crewe of the University of Pretoria (UP) Centre for the Study of AIDS will focus on improving the capacity for HIV prevention and care research in South Africa. Their program will provide training for post-doctoral students in psychology, anthropology, medicine, and law, as well as training for faculty in methodologies in HIV prevention andcare research.
Dr. Kerim Munir of Children's Hospital Boston and Dr. Nese Erol of Ankara University in Turkey will establish a training program in clinical, epidemiological, and prevention science with a focus on developmental disorders and the mental health of children.
Dr. Theodore Reich of Washington University in St. Louis and Dr. Sanjeev Jain of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences of Bangalore, India will collaborate on a training program in psychiatric epidemiology, nosology, services research, and genetics in New Dehli, Bangalore, Calcutta, and at Washington University. The major themes of the program are alcoholism, substance abuse, and genetics, and its goal is to bring evidence-based psychiatry to India.
Dr. George W. Rutherford of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Dr. Mauro Ramos of Centro de Estudos de AIDS do Rio Grande do Sul of Pôrte Alegre, Brazil will provide training for AIDS intervention research studies by Brazilian visiting scientists at UCSF's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, which is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Dr. Richard M. Scheffler of the University of California Berkeley and Dr. Martin Potucek of the Institute of Sociological Studies at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic will bring advanced multidisciplinary research training and education to clinicians, economists, sociologists, and public policy and mental health professionals focused on improving mental health care and service delivery in the Czech Republic.
Dr. Sten H. Vermund of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the National Development and Research Institute in New York City, and Dr. Vasyl Moroz of the Pirogov Medical University in Ukraine will collaborate on a project to provide training for clinical, operational, and health services research focused on substance abuse treatment and prevention, and prevention and control of related health problems. The research goals are to better understand the injection drug use epidemic in Ukraine in order to guide treatment and control strategies, as well as to upgrade evidence-based approaches to the closely related epidemics of HIV infection, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis.
Dr. Robert A. Zucker of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Dr. Jan Czeslaw Czabala at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw, Poland will collaborate on a research training program emphasizing multi-disciplinary approaches to the problems of substance abuse. The program is broadly aimed at substance abuse and mental health research, with a focus on alcoholism, a key public health problem in Poland and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The following researchers are recipients of three-year ICOHRTA awards to further develop their programs:
Dr. Alan M. Garber of Stanford University and Dr. Zhengzhong Zhang of the China National Health Economics Institute in Beijing will develop a China-U.S. Health and Aging Research Program to improve the quality of health care delivery in China. China's aging population has caused a shift in the most common medical problems from infectious to chronic degenerative diseases. This program will focus on developing the health service research skills of physician trainees so that they can study and inform health care policy to improve the quality of health care in China, particularly for its elderly population.
Dr. Judy Garber and faculty at Vanderbilt University will collaborate with Dr. Hoang Cam Tu at the National Institute of Pediatrics inVietnam to develop a training program plan for Vietnamese investigators to conduct intervention research in the area of childhood mental disorders.
Dr. Larry W. Moreland of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Dr. V. Mohan of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in Chennai, India will develop a research training program to investigate the high rate of coronary heart disease in India. Asian Indians have a strikingly high rate of coronary artery disease despite low rates of traditional risk factors other than diabetes. The proposed training will help to increase the MRDF's abilities to conduct longitudinal epidemiological studies and clinical trials.
FIC plans to launch a second ICOHRTA later in 2001 to address similar issues resulting from new and re-emerging infectious diseases.
"The Global Burden of Disease" is available at http://www.who.int/msa/mnh/ems/dalys/intro.
FIC is the international component of the NIH. FIC promotes and supports scientific discovery internationally to reduce disparities in global health. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fact sheets, press releases, and other FIC-related materials are available at http://www.nih.gov/fic.
The Fogarty International Center is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.