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Freedom of Information Act Office

IC Directors' Meeting Highlights

October 31, 2011

To: IC Directors
Subject: IC Directors' Meeting Highlights — April 14, 2011

Focus on Africa to advance global health: Francis Collins

While global health is a National priority, the NIH can do more particularly in Africa. Scientific advances give us the opportunity to tackle and push beyond AIDS, TB, and malaria into another realm of neglected tropical diseases or chronic noncommunicable diseases. Of the several global health initiatives in place, few are awarded to African institutions and of those that are awarded they are for mostly training and communicable disease.

The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) programs are potential resources to build upon. Both initiatives are discussed in more detail below.

Update on H3Africa Project: Eric Green

African researchers and populations are substantially underrepresented within the global research endeavor. The NIH (through the Common Fund) and the Wellcome trust have joined in this effort to create H3Africa with the aim to facilitate a contemporary research approach to the study of genomics and environmental determinants of diseases with the goal of improving the health of African populations.

The goals of H3Africa are to increase the number of African scientists that are international competitive in genomics and population-based research, the establishment of collaborative networks of African investigators, and to create and expand on genomics research infrastructure. Awards would be made to African PIs based at African institutions with an emphasis on the study of genomics and environmental determinants of common diseases. The goal is to enable African scientists to apply genomics to improve African health and empower them to be competitive while building collaborations among theAfrican researchers on the African continent.

Medical Education Partnership Initiative: Michael Johnson

This initiative is a network of both African and US academic institutions with grants awarded directly to the African institutions and PIs. The programmatic areas go beyond HIV/AIDS to include maternal and child health, mental health, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Currently, the NIH supports MEPI from 18 various offices, centers, and institutes and has participates on the NIH-MEPI Partners Group.

Partnerships have common needs in terms of infrastructure, training, and other forms of capacity-building. MEPI institutions are engaging in community-based research, multidisciplinary research, and innovative programs in addition to a large percentage of mentored research and fellowship programs.

FY11 Budget Discussion: Neil Shapiro

Competing and non-competing RPG awards were looked at under the FY11 Continuing Resolution estimate and the FY12 Presidentís Budget estimate in terms of the number of awards that could be given and the annual cost. The numbers for each fiscal year will change when the actual data is received. Stipend increases were agreed to be 2% across all ICs.

This page last reviewed on May 29, 2012

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