Fogarty Grants Highlight U.S. Role in Combating HIV/AIDS

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The Fogarty International Center has awarded seven grants, totaling nearly $2.7 million, to train HIV/AIDS researchers in the developing world.

The grants are part of the Fogarty International Center’s AIDS International Training and Research Program, which has trained nearly 2,000 foreign researchers. Most of those scientists remain in their home countries to work on HIV/AIDS; they also go on to train other young scientists and some move into government health leadership, according to a Fogarty news release. Fogarty is part of the National Institutes of Health.

A new winner this year was the State University of New York at Buffalo, which will use the funds for postgraduate training in HIV/AIDS clinical pharmacology, working with the University of Zimbabwe and supporting HIV-funded HIV research networks in the country.

The six other grants highlight a bevy of vital work being done across the globe to cultivate health and science resources in countries burdened by the epidemic, from Rwanda to China to Cameroon.

For example, a grant to Emory University will fund established research training programs in Mexico, Georgia, Vietnam, Rwanda and Zambia, building capacity that allows trainees to help evaluate of a variety of interventions in their countries, including those supported through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Here’s the full news release and list of awardees:

NEW AIDS RESEARCH TRAINING GRANTS AWARDED FOR PROJECTS IN 15 COUNTRIES

Funds Support U.S. Universities in Collaboration With Low-and Middle-Income Countries

The Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health has awarded seven grants totaling almost $2.7 million to train HIV/AIDS researchers in 15 low- and middle-income countries.

The funds are awarded under the center’s 20-year-old signature AIDS International Training and Research Program, which has trained nearly 2,000 foreign researchers, most of whom remain in their countries to battle the epidemic, train young scientists and move into government health leadership.

“America has become the leader in advancing prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in developing countries,” said Fogarty director Roger I. Glass, M.D., Ph.D. “Training local researchers benefits their own countries and helps U.S. scientists develop new understanding and methods for combating the disease.”

A new award was made to the State University of New York at Buffalo, a first-time recipient, for postgraduate training in HIV/AIDS clinical pharmacology in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe and in support of NIH-funded HIV research networks in the country.

Recipients of renewed research training grants are Emory University, University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Vanderbilt University.

The award to Emory supports established research training programs in Mexico, Georgia, Vietnam, Rwanda and Zambia to build capacity that allows trainees to become involved in the evaluation of a variety of interventions in their countries, including those supported through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The University of North Carolina grant will continue successful training programs in China, Malawi and Cameroon, giving preference to trainees with guaranteed jobs in their home countries after they leave the program, and taking advantage of training opportunities between developing countries in the Southern Hemisphere such as Malawi and South Africa.

Likewise, the University of Pittsburgh is emphasizing “south-to-south” partnerships, adding a training site in Portuguese-speaking Mozambique, where researchers can work with researchers from the Pitt program in Brazil who speak the language. The university also will continue HIV research training in India.

The Vanderbilt award adds Mozambique to its training program, which also has sites in Zambia, Pakistan, India and China. Two planning grants were awarded to MU-JHU Care in Uganda (a partnership between Makerere University and Johns Hopkins University) and Investigaciones Médicas en Salud (Health Medical Research) in Peru.

The MU-JHU grant will support planning a research training program that focuses on building clinical trial capacity for research on prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission and treating pediatric and adult HIV infections.

The grant to Investigaciones Médicas en Salud will support planning a research training program to establishing a new Latin American AIDS Research and Training Program in Peru.

Graduates of the 28 grantee institutions under the AITRP program have become senior leaders at foreign universities, have applied successfully for grants from NIH and other science funding agencies and have formed the framework for effective public policymaking in their home countries. Many now work closely with the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a public-private organization that finances infectious disease control. Among the leaders who have received AITRP training are the current or former ministers of health in Rwanda, Uganda and Malawi.

NIH partners in the AITRP program include: the National Cancer Institute, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse and Office of AIDS Research.

The Fogarty International Center, the international component of the NIH, addresses global health challenges through innovative and collaborative research and training programs and supports and advances the NIH mission through international partnerships. For more information, visit www.fic.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation’s Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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