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Vol. LIX, No. 18
September 7, 2007
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Fogarty Scholars Urged to Establish Relationships to Advance Global Health

  Then-U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health John Agwunobi (in photo below) encourages the 2007 Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars to remain humble as they form critical relationships with foreign scientists, who share the common goal of improving global health.  
  Then-U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health John Agwunobi (in photo below) encourages the 2007 Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars to remain humble as they form critical relationships with foreign scientists, who share the common goal of improving global health.  
Relationships provide the single biggest contribution to the improvement of global health, according to Assistant Secretary for Health John Agwunobi. In remarks to the 2007 Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars at the conclusion of their orientation, Agwunobi-who has since taken a senior post with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.-urged them to remain humble in their dealings with their foreign peers.

"Your ability to sit with the less well-endowed as equals and to have honest conversations with them-that's what's going to change world health," he added. "Never be arrogant that it's about what we can do for them. It's about what we can do together."

Agwunobi's remarks concluded 3 weeks of intensive global health instruction on the NIH campus, designed to prepare the 49 awardees to assume their overseas research training posts. Fogarty director Dr. Roger Glass is a firm believer that an early experience in global health can inspire a lifetime of accomplishments. "It hits right on that element of idealism that you can actually identify a problem that is underserved and use your medical training to change the world," he said.

  U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health John Agwunobi
  Former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health John Agwunobi

In its fourth year, the program pairs U.S. graduate students with low- and middle-income- country students or recent graduates in the health sciences. The paired awardees receive a 1-year mentored clinical research training experience at a Fogarty collaborator site, working on NIH-funded clinical research.

"The matching of Americans with host-nation scholars is a pillar of this program," said FIC's Dr. Aron Primack, who oversees the scholars training initiative. "We're trying to develop a cadre of people who really understand global health from an overarching perspective."

Many of the previously selected scholars have already published work related to their experience abroad in peer-reviewed journals and have presented competitive papers at international meetings. The program is open to students in medicine, public health, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and other doctoral- level programs in the health sciences from which someone might aspire to a career in global health research.

The scholars program is funded by eight NIH components including Fogarty, NIAID, NIDA, NCI, NCMHD, NIDCR, NINR and NICHD. In addition, support for recruitment and review is provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of Schools of Public Health.

For more information about the scholars program, visit www.fic.nih.gov/programs/training_ grants/fic_ellison.htm. NIH Record Icon

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