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Video Text Alternative: Inside the NICHD: Launching a New International Research Effort

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Inside the NICHD
Launching an international research partnership

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Video fades to camera view on Dr. Yvonne Maddox.

Banner Text: Yvonne Maddox, Ph.D.
Dr. Yvonne Maddox: I was approached by Dr. Donna Shalala, who was the Secretary of HHS at the time. And she called me to say that she had some old rupee fund money. I don't know if you know much about the P.L. 480 rupee fund, but the rupee fund is a fund that the U.S. government had had in place for some years during the days of Indira Gandhi. The debt that India owed to the U.S. was paid in rupees. And, you know, we couldn't spend rupees here, so we just sort of held onto these rupees, and there was a rupee fund. So she told me that she had what amounted to about 1 million in U.S. dollars of rupees and that she thought that it would be important for NICHD maybe to have those funds to launch some program in the international arena—starting with India, of course, but focusing on young girls and their wellness.

So that money was used actually to help me seed sort of the beginnings of the NICH[D] official international office. That led to two U.S.–India Joint Working Groups, which I chaired with our staff here at the Institute—actually co-chaired with an Indian PI [principal investigator]. These two Joint Working Groups, as we call them, focus on research that could benefit both countries. So that was sort of the beginning of how I got this international office off the ground.
Video camera view on Dr. Maddox. Dr. Maddox: But we went on to work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the first global network for maternal and child health with a focus on women's and children's health research with Bill and Melinda Gates' funding. In fact, NICHD was the first federal entity within the U.S. to get Bill and Melinda Gates' money, so I was very, very pleased with that.
Last Updated Date: 07/29/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 07/29/2014
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