April 3, 2003
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has selected the first eight research units for the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research, an international research network to improve the health of women and children throughout the world.
The Network was initiated in 2001 with $15 million each in funding from both major partners, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NICHD. Each unit in the network consists of a scientific team that includes a U.S. principal investigator and a senior scientist at an institution in a developing country. Each team will receive approximately $500,000 per year over five years, in addition to funding for the data coordinating center and special projects.
Research Triangle Institute International (RTI) will serve as the data coordinating center for the Global Network. RTI staff will work closely with NICHD scientific staff to provide communications support, as well as technical and statistical assistance to each research unit.
"Collaboration between U.S. and international experts in women's and children's health is critical to understanding and reducing global problems such as infant mortality, childhood illnesses, and complications of pregnancy," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD.
"The Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring that mothers and children in developing countries have the same chance for health as those in other parts of the world," said Richard Klausner, M.D., Executive Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's global health program. "We hope that research supported by the Global Network will lead to important advances against leading causes of maternal and infant mortality."
NICHD is also co-funding a complementary research training program managed and supported by NIH's Fogarty International Center (FIC). The FIC International Maternal and Child Health Research and Training Program provides research training to strengthen maternal and child health biomedical and behavioral research centers in low- and middle-income nations. Three of the new Global Network research units have companion FIC research training grants.
The eight research units of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research are:
New Global Network research units in Africa will be added later this year.
In addition to the funds provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the NICHD, other NIH Institutes are providing financial, technical, scientific, training and administrative support. These include the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Fogarty International Center (FIC).
The NICHD is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the biomedical research arm of the federal government. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. NICHD celebrates its fortieth anniversary in 2003. NICHD publications, as well as information about the Institute, are available from the NICHD Web site, http://www.nichd.nih.gov, or from the NICHD Information Resource Center, 1-800-370-2943; e-mail NICHDInformationResourceCenter@mail.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. Press releases, fact sheets, and other FIC-related materials are available at www.fic.nih.gov.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is building upon the unprecedented opportunities of the 21st century to improve equity in global health and learning. Led by Bill Gates' father, William H. Gates, Sr., and Patty Stonesifer, the Seattle based foundation has an endowment of approximately $24 billion.