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Vol. LX, No. 23
November 14, 2008

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Italian Embassy Hosts Fogarty Anniversary Gala

Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-NJ) Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN)
At left, Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-NJ) was cited for his global health leadership in Congress. At right, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) was a guest at FIC’s 40th anniversary gala at the Italian Embassy.

The Fogarty International Center’s 40th anniversary gala at the Italian Embassy brought together leaders from Congress, federal agencies, science, advocacy groups, the diplomatic corps and businesses with interest in global health issues.

As FIC enters its fifth decade, its achievements were celebrated: training more than 5,000 individuals, operating programs in more than 100 countries, representing NIH in international affairs and using its prestige and resources to leverage a small budget into a powerful force—first for combating infectious disease and now the epidemic of chronic diseases facing poor countries as well as the rich.

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health hosted the Oct. 15 dinner and honored Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) for their global health leadership in Congress.

Lugar, ranking minority member of the Senate foreign relations committee, has used his influence to make prevention and control of infectious diseases part of U.S. diplomacy. Payne, chairman of the House foreign affairs subcommittee on Africa and global health, has been a champion of health-related water and sanitation issues around the world. Both were instrumental in reauthorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

In the keynote address, FIC director Dr. Roger Glass stressed that the relatively small amount of funding Fogarty receives is some of the most wisely spent in government because it seeds research training in the U.S. and abroad for global health practitioners who leverage their grants into productive careers in their home countries.

“Smart investments can move the world,” he declared, borrowing Archimedes’ dictum, “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I can move the world.” Glass cited the center’s successful research training programs in AIDS, TB, malaria and chronic disease, for example, as a catalyst for young grantees to establish themselves and attract funding for their work from a variety of sources.

“In Washington, Fogarty may be the best kept secret, but the name resonates around the world,” said Glass. “Grantees tell me that Fogarty provides the best grants—most strategic; not large, but well placed—like Archimedes’ lever.” He called FIC “a jewel in the crown, a small cog with a special role that can make large investments yield even greater rewards.”

The center was named for the late Rep. John Fogarty of Rhode Island, who as chairman of the House appropriations health subcommittee championed the value of international research. His daughter, Mary McAndrew, three granddaughters and their spouses were among the guests.

“Congressman Fogarty understood that good health is not only good for its own sake. It’s also good for prosperity, for promoting friendship among nations and for global security. It is in all of our best interest to finish his work,” said FNIH chairman Dr. Charles Sanders.

Another component of Fogarty’s 40th anniversary commemoration was a symposium Nov. 12 at Georgetown University Law Center on “The Role of Science in Advancing Global Health Diplomacy.” NIHRecord Icon

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