NIH’s Fogarty Center celebrates a birthday with a global-health grant to Brown
PROVIDENCE [Sept. 2, 2008] As the world gets “smaller” due to travel and increased awareness of life in remote areas, global health is an increasingly important part of medical training, said Roger Glass, director of the National Institutes of Health’s John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences. Glass was at Brown today for a celebration of the Fogarty Center’s 40th anniversary and to participate in the announcement of a three-year, $410,000 grant, the latest installment in the center’s awards totaling nearly $7 million to the University over the past ten years.
The latest grant was awarded to Brown faculty members Susan Cu-Uvin, professor of obstetrics-gynecology and medicine, and Steve McGarvey, director of the Brown International Health Institute. It will fund courses and seminars taught by a multidisciplinary faculty to prepare students to work in lesser-developed countries, and it includes a global health internship with close mentoring from the faculty. The project’s approach to global health emphasizes the importance not only of biomedical factors but also of social, political, and economic issues affecting people’s health.
The noon event had significance for Rhode Islanders, as well. The Fogarty Center is named for the late Rep. John E. Fogarty, a onetime bricklayer who was elected to Congress from Rhode Island in 1941 and served – with a break for Navy service in World War 2 – until his death in 1967. Fogarty was a staunch advocate for funding medical research through the NIH and a champion of improving health for people around the world. President Lyndon Johnson established the Fogarty Center in 1968 to honor the congressman’s memory. Fogarty’s daughter, Mary, and his nephew, former Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty, attended the press conference on campus today.
Mayor David Cicilline ’83 was on hand to deliver a proclamation declaring September 2, 2008, "John E. Fogarty Center Day” in Providence. Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed also spoke, praising Fogarty as “the bricklayer who put together the ‘foundation’ of the NIH.”
Dean Edward Wing of Brown’s Alpert Medical School said that global health is one of the fastest-growing areas in the school’s curriculum. Some 70 faculty from 12 departments are currently active in 33 countries, he noted; their work has attracted $14 million in research funding to date.