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Examples of International Scientific Collaboration

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Fogarty International Center

Three Fogarty International Center (FIC) programs provide scientific education and training on an international basis to undergraduate students as well as to graduate scientists; a Web site is provided for each program.  Please contact Dr. Ken Bridbord of the Division of International Training and Research at 301-496-1653 if you need additional information.

Minority International Research Training Grant (MIRT):  Since 1993, the FIC and the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health of the NIH have jointly supported scientific training through the MIRT grant program.  MIRT grants offer international research training opportunities to qualified minority undergraduates and graduate and medical students who are under-represented in biomedical and behavioral research careers.  For more information visit http://www.nih.gov/fic/opportunities/mirt.html.

International Training in Medical Informatics Program (ITMI):  The ITMI program provides training for developing country scientists in computer-assisted data analysis and management for biomedical research applications, as well as practical and applied short-term training targeted to specific needs in support of disease control and prevention research.  For more information visit http://www.nih.gov/fic/opportunities/itmi.html.

International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG):  Since 1993 over 1,400 individuals from 12 countries have received formal training through the ICBG program.  Over 90 percent of these trainees represent developing country participants, including Bachelor's, Master's, doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows, as well as technicians and nonscientific community residents.  Training topics include plant collection and drying in the field, extraction, testing, compound isolation, identification and modifications, database development and maintenance, use of Geographic Information Systems, contract development, and understanding of intellectual property rights.  For more information see http://www.nih.gov/fic/opportunities/icbg.html.

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently produced slide lectures intended to allow educators to clarify key concepts related to cancer.  These are:  Understanding Cancer; Understanding Gene Testing; and Understanding the Immune System.  All are scripted color slide presentations that are available on the World Wide Web (http://cancer.gov/behindthenews).  The NCI also participated in the production of a curriculum supplement for high school students entitled Cell Biology and Cancer.  This supplement, which includes a CD-ROM with experiments and a Teacher Guide to facilitate discovery activities, was presented at the last meeting of the National Biology Teachers Association.
In collaboration with the American Health Foundation of New York and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), NCI is cosponsoring the development of a Spanish edition of the elementary school (kindergarten through grade 6) health education program Know Your Body, for use both in U.S. Latino schools and in foreign schools where Spanish is spoken.  A translation into Polish is in process, and translations into other languages are planned.  NCI previously supported an Israeli Health Education Scholar at the American Health Foundation, thus facilitating the introduction of a Hebrew and an Arabic version of Know Your Body into Israeli and Palestinian schools.

The NCI produces a number of print publications aimed at young people.  These include Chew or Snuff is Real Bad Stuff, a brochure aimed at seventh and eighth graders on the health and social effects of smokeless tobacco products.  An additional resource on this topic is provided a kit for educators entitled Dangerous Game that is intended to assist intermediate and high school teachers in educating teenagers about the addictive nature and health risks of smokeless tobacco.  A smoking cessation booklet in Spanish entitled Rompa con el vicio:  Una guía para dejar de fumar was developed by the University of California, San Francisco, under an NCI grant.  Smoking Facts and Quitting Tips for African Americans is another NCI brochure aimed at smoking cessation.  The NCI publication When Someone in Your Family Has Cancer provides
information for young people dealing with cancer in a parent or sibling.  In addition, material for parents dealing with cancer in their children is produced by the NCI.  These include publications entitled Young People with Cancer:  A Handbook for Parents and Talking With Your Child About Cancer.

With the American Cancer Society and PAHO, NCI cosponsored the production of a Spanish-language edition of the American Cancer Society Textbook of Clinical Oncology, which is being distributed free to many of the major medical libraries in Spanish-speaking countries and is being sold at a subsidized rate to medical practitioners there.  NCI is providing memberships in its Information Associates Program to approximately 45 libraries in foreign cancer centers or medical schools in Africa; Asia, including the Near East; the Caribbean; Central and Eastern Europe; and Latin America.  This program provides subscriptions to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) and JNCI Monographs; access to the PDQ database and to CancerLit digests of citations and abstracts via electronic bulletin board or Internet connection; and a variety of other cancer information services.  Distribution of a Cancer Seminars series on videotape is continuing to libraries of 110 foreign cancer institutes, giving young foreign scientists the opportunity to access the latest findings in cancer research.

National Human Genome Research Institute

The NIH Office of Science Education in cooperation with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) developed Human Genetic Variation.  Human Genetic Variation is part of a curriculum supplement series that complies with the National Science Education Standards.  Human Genetic Variation is designed for use in senior high school science classrooms to introduce students to major concepts related to human genetic variation and to convey to students the relationship between biomedical research and the improvement of personal and public health.  The supplement contains several activities that may be used in sequence or as individual activities designed to fit into 45 minutes of classroom time.  The printed materials may be used in isolation or in conjunction with the CD-ROMs, which offer scenarios, simulations, animations, and videos.  Human Genetic Variation is being distributed to teachers around the country free of charge.  The supplement may be copied for classroom use but may not be sold.  The following Web site provides continuing updates on the curriculum series:

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), through its Office of Prevention, Education, and Control, has developed an interactive Web site, the Asthma Management Model System (AMMS)  (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/asthma/index.html) that allows visitors from across the globe to access a variety of science-based resources on effective asthma management.   The AMMS  has three major features:  1) a Research Mode that allows the user to retrieve information resources based on a search strategy that queries several scientific databases, including PUBMED, CRISP, and other databases that store information on asthma developed by agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration; 2) an Education Mode that provides access to educational materials for patients and the general public, slides, and clinical practice guidelines; and 3) a Communication Mode that allows users to become a part of the NHLBI health information network, provides online continuing medical education (CME) credits for physicians, and links to the NHLBI's  National Asthma Education and Prevention Program's (NAEPP) Coalition Exchange, which promotes networking among more than 60 U.S. asthma coalitions.  The NHLBI also partners with the World Health Organization in promoting its annual World Asthma Day observance, which is designed to 1) increase awareness of asthma as a global health problem, 2) communicate progress in treatment and in patient education programs, and 3) involve public authorities, professional organizations and patient groups in implementation of effective asthma management programs.  The theme of World Asthma Day 2000, on May 3, 2000, is “Let Every Person Breathe.”  Throughout the world, health professionals, medical and patient organizations, health authorities, patients, and the public will highlight the need for every person with asthma to obtain a timely diagnosis, receive appropriate treatment, learn to manage their asthma in partnership with a health professional, and reduce exposure to environmental factors that make their asthma worse.  The NHLBI's NAEPP will host a press conference in collaboration with the Mayor's Office in the District of Columbia, the City's schools, the D.C. Asthma Coalition, and the National Library of Medicine.  The press event, to be held at Tyler Elementary School in Washington, D.C., will provide an opportunity to show how local and Federal groups can work together to address asthma.  Children who have learned how to manage their asthma through the Open Airways for Schools Program will also participate.  More information on U.S. World Asthma Day efforts can be found at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/lung/asthma/wad_2/index.htm.

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Civilian Research and Development Foundation, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and two Russian investigators are collaborating on an initiative to reduce/delay alcohol use among school children in Russia.  Partners in Prevention, headed by Drs. Tanya Grechnia and Olga Romanova in Moscow, is testing a school and community-based program that has proven successful in the United States and has been adapted to fit Russian culture and family life.  The program utilizes peer leaders, parent-child “homework” assignments, and school and community activities to teach factual information about alcohol and the harm it creates on human health and society.  Developmentally appropriate interventions aimed at Russian 5th, 6th and 7th graders are reinforced by peers, parents, teachers, and community leaders.  To date the initiative, which has been implemented and evaluated in 20 Moscow schools, has achieved high participation rates by parents and students, has demonstrated effectiveness in making students aware of the harms of alcohol use, and has achieved wide acceptance by teachers, principals, and community leaders.  Follow-up studies will measure effects on student behavior in delaying/reducing alcohol use.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

The following are examples of international collaborations at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) for use in educating K-12 children:

The NIAMS promotes international cooperation and advanced study in the biomedical sciences and supports research partnerships between American scientists and foreign counterparts through grants, fellowships, exchange awards, and international agreements.  The NIAMS is also involved in many international meetings and seminars in a continuous effort to share data and research opportunities.  Additionally, many international collaborations result in significant research publications.

Although there have been many important scientific advances resulting from international activities, one recent example is the discovery of genetic mutations on chromosome 12 underlying a newly recognized group of inherited inflammatory disorders that includes familial Hibernian fever.  The mutations, reported in the April 2 issue of Cell, involve a cell surface receptor for the inflammatory protein tumor necrosis factor and are thought to predispose individuals to severe inflammation triggered by emotional stress, minor trauma or--in some cases--no apparent reason.  The article describing this discovery can be found at http://www.nih.gov/niams/news/spotlight/traps.htm.

Other important addresses can be found at http://www.nih.gov/niams/ (the NIAMS homepage) and http://www.nih.gov/fic/opportunities/ (international research training opportunities at NIH).

National Institute on Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) International Program emphasizes the development of international research collaborations on the prevention and treatment of drug abuse and related health consequences.  NIDA's program incorporates capacity building and participation in international meetings with the goal of eventual research collaboration.  The Institute offers fellowships for younger as well as mature scientists.  Drug abuse is a growing global health problem, and NIDA recognizes the importance of doing our share to contribute to building an international network of trained experts in the field.  NIDA's science-based prevention materials include a wide array of school-based materials for children in grades K-12.  These have been distributed all over the U.S. and have been shared with colleagues around the world as well.  For example, NIDA's Mind over Matter series has been translated into such languages as Spanish and Portuguese, among others.  NIDA's research-based guide to Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Basque, Russian, and other languages for use in schools in other countries.  Most of NIDA's public awareness and education materials are available for downloading from the NIDA Web site at www.drugabuse.gov.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) International Collaborative Oral Health Planning Grants for FY 2000 include the following:  “Oral Infections and Vascular Risk in Seven Countries,” being conducted by Moise Desvarieux of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  The seven countries are Australia, Finland, Germany, Haiti, Ireland, UK (Scotland), and the U.S.

“International Centers Against Oral Cancer,” being conducted by Stimson P. Schantz of the Strang Cancer Prevention Center.  The countries in the network are Brazil, India, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the U.S.

“Measuring Child Oral Health-Related Quality of Life,” conducted by Hillary L. Broder of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  The countries in the network are Canada, England, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the U.S.

“International Consortium for Research on TMJ Disorders,” being conducted by Samuel F. Dworkin of the University of Washington.  The countries in the network are Australia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Singapore, Sweden, and the U.S.

“Models of Health Inequalities in Childhood Dental Caries,” being conductd by Cynthia M. Pine  at the University of Dundee.  The countries in the network are Belgium, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, UK, and the U.S.

“International Genetic Epidemiology of Oral Clefts,” being conducted by Terri Beaty at Johns Hopkins University.  The countries in the network are Hong Kong. Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and the U.S.

For further information on the grants, please contact Dr. Lois Cohen, Director, Office of International Health, NIDCR, telephone 301-594-2613.  In addition the NIDCR Office of International Research has a Web site at http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/international/whole_01.gif.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

On March 9, 2000, Jacqueline Dobson of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) EEO Office coordinated the visit of 13 students and two faculty members from the Number Three School in Puschino, Russia.  These were exchange students with Sidwell Friends School, and the NIH visit was part of a United States tour.  This event is held annually by the NIDDK in collaboration with a Sidwell Friends School science teacher who previously participated in the NIDDK-sponsored biotechnology classes.  While in the Washington area, the students visited the NIDDK Discovery Center at Catholic University.  Their NIH visit began with a tour of the National Library of Medicine and lunch in the NIH Clinical Center.  The students were given a tour of the Clinical Center facilities and then they participated in hands-on learning activities provided by the Research Awareness Program at the NIH Visitor Information Center.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) supports training of environmental health science professionals in developing countries to assist their governments in research and environmental decision-making.  A few examples follow:

Through a U.S.-based university grant program run by the Fogarty International Center, scientists and public health personnel work in U.S. laboratories for two years and then return to their home countries to deal with environmental situations there.

The NIEHS supports workshops in countries with human exposure scenarios different from ours.  An introductory workshop in environmental epidemiology and a collaborative research planning for children's health have been planned for South Africa.  An interactive Web-based instructional program in mutagenesis assay is being completed for use in universities throughout the developing world.

Next week the NIEHS will hold a conference on the use of biological markers for both exposure and effects assessment in global arctic populations.  The result will be a document advising on the use of advanced techniques to assess the health effects of pollutants as they move into the Arctic (where they stay due to the cold climate) and in native populations who eat their traditional diet, high on the food chain.
There are numerous activities of the NIEHS in international collaboration on developing better testing methodologies for hazardous chemicals and to reduce the use of animal models in such testing.

Office of Science Education/Office of the Director, NIH

The NIH Office of Science Education (OSE) has created a Web site to help teachers and students identify educational resources available from NIH.  Earlier this year the OSE began distributing the first three in a series of curriculum supplements designed for use in K-12 schools.  These curriculum supplements help science teachers update their curricula with compelling material drawn from medical research.  OSE has honored requests from teachers outside of the United State for these new supplements.  The supplements may be ordered at http://science-education.nih.gov/supplements.

Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center

The Clinical Center (CC) provides educational programs to both the scientific and lay communities.  While programs are offered on campus, many are telecast to other sites, and materials for these programs can be made available to interested individuals world-wide.

One of the major outreach activities for the CC is the popular Medicine for the Public Lecture series now approaching its 24th season.  The program focuses on how today's research will affect the future of health care.  Physician-scientists working at the forefront of medical research offer easy-to-understand information and insight on major health issues.  Each lecture draws nearly 400 attendees from the across the region, representing the age spectrum from high school students to senior citizens.  In 1999,  topics included exercise for the elderly, blood transfusion, and new techniques for rapidly diagnosing heart attack.  Beginning in September 2000, the series will include lectures on organ transplantation, teenage AIDS, herbal products and interactions, stroke, women's health research, and prostate cancer.  More information about this series is available on the CC Web site at http://www.cc.nih.gov.

Two years ago, the CC initiated monthly satellite broadcasts, the “NIH Clinical Center RoundTable,” with the CC Director, Dr. John Gallin, as moderator.  These televised broadcasts, sponsored by Healthcare Management Television CenterNet in cooperation with the Association of Academic Health Centers, are on clinical research topics currently under study at the CC.   The program was developed for practicing physicians and is broadcast to 1,800 medical centers and hospitals around the country.  It spotlights translational research likely to impact day-to-day clinical practice.  In 2000, a new public broadcasting company, MedScholar/Discovery, will air these monthly shows to physicians' homes nationally through cable television.

Curriculum in Clinical Research:  During the past six years, the NIH intramural programs have been developing a curriculum in clinical research for the scientific community.  In the course “Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research” clinical researchers learn how to design clinical trials and implement clinical protocols.  Currently, 324 students are enrolled, including 79 students who participate via teleconference at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Georgetown University, and the University of Puerto Rico.  The program began in 1995 with 25 students.  Today, 1,486 students have registered for this course.  “Principles of Clinical Pharmacology” is a course in its second year, built on a series of lectures that cover the scientific basis of the discipline of clinical pharmacology.  Enrollment has grown from 180 to 294 students.  The course also is teleconferenced to two sites:  the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore and Georgetown University.

“Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Human Subjects Research” offers education and training in research ethics for intramural scientists and research staff.  Participation increased from 130 attendees in 1998 to 170 in 1999.  This course, offered by the Department of Clinical Bioethics, meets weekly from the beginning of November through year end.  Participants are exposed to a broad range of issues important to the ethical conduct of clinical research.  The classes are conducted by experts in the field of bioethics who come to the CC from all over the country.

Master's Degree in Clinical Research:  This is an experiment in distance-learning designed to strengthen training opportunities in clinical research.  It is a degree-granting collaboration between the CC and the Duke University Medical Center.  Seventeen students are enrolls in this year's training program in clinical research, which began in 1998 with 14.  The course is designed primarily for clinical fellows and other health professionals who are training for careers in clinical research.  Included are formal courses in research design, statistical analysis, health economics, research ethics, and research management.  The program includes a degree option leading to a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research.  Courses are offered at the CC through interactive video-conferencing from Duke.

Plans are in progress to expand these and other training opportunities.  The University of Buenos Aires Medical School is joining the “Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research” through teleconference.  Faculty members from other academic medical centers have indicated interest in participating in a Master's degree program in clinical research that would include nonphysicians/dentists (e.g., Ph.D.s, nurses).  To satisfy newly proposed Standards in Clinical Research in the NIH intramural program, a short course required for all clinical investigators and another course for all Investigational Review Board members will be developed by the CC in 2000.  

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Global Science and Technology Week - May 7-13, 2000

Examples of International Scientific Collaboration

President's Letter

Proposed Events

Teachers and students working in COMB's SciTech Center

Letter from Dr. Neal Lane, Issues in Global Education

The Explorers

About ASTC

A Message to the American Forum for Global Education

A Message to the National Science Teachers Association

Proclamation: Global Science and Technology Week, 2000

Building International Science & Technology Workforce Partnerships

Examples of International Scientific Collaboration

Global Science & Technology Week