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May 19, 2017
Vol. LXIX, No. 10

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JOINT EFFORT
NIH, Indian Council of Medical Research Staff Meet

On Apr. 11, representatives from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), along with visiting scientists, joined staff from NIDDK, FIC and NIAID to discuss the converging epidemics of diabetes and tuberculosis. FIC director Dr. Roger Glass, secretary of the Department of Health Research and ICMR director general Dr. Soumya Swaminathan and NIDDK director Dr. Griffin Rodgers led discussions.

Attending the meeting were (from l) FIC director Dr. Roger Glass, secretary of the Department of Health Research and ICMR director general Dr. Soumya Swaminathan and NIDDK director Dr. Griffin Rodgers.
Attending the meeting were (from l) FIC director Dr. Roger Glass, secretary of the Department of Health Research and ICMR director general Dr. Soumya Swaminathan and NIDDK director Dr. Griffin Rodgers.

In 2012, the U.S. and Indian governments initiated a formal research relationship in diabetes. This collaboration is spearheaded by NIDDK and ICMR. Afterward, in response to joint efforts of the two agencies, researchers from both countries began working together on projects that could provide unique insights into diabetes and help lead to improved health for people with or at risk for diabetes in both countries. “We are taking research where the opportunities really lie,” Glass said.

The idea to explore the convergence of diabetes and tuberculosis stemmed from discussions in 2016 by the joint steering committee for the Indo-U.S. diabetes research collaboration, which also held its sixth meeting the day before the scientific session. Both diabetes and tuberculosis worsen outcomes for the other.

Swaminathan said there was a need to identify strategies to solve the growing problems of diabetes and tuberculosis. “It is the right time to really think about [these] research questions,” she said.

Rodgers concurred, saying, “With each meeting and collaboration, we have been able to capitalize on our shared goals with projects that advance public health, at a scale beyond which we could achieve alone.”—Amy F. Reiter

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