Dr. Susan Shurin - January 10, 2012
After Thanksgiving, the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease (GACD) met in Canberra, Australia. Participating member organizations will be funding the first GACD collaborative RFA, "Reducing the Impact of Hypertension in Low and Middle Income Countries" (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-12-027.html), early in 2012. The NHLBI and the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS) will be funding the NIH components of the RFA. GACD has engaged a Secretariat, which will be located at the Institute for Global Health at University College London. The GACD's new executive director, Ms. Celina Gorre, will start this month.
At the meeting in Canberra, I was elected the chair of the GACD. This is a two-year term in which I will be working closely with my colleagues Dr. Abdallah Daar, the past chair of GACD, and Dr. Xuetao Cao of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, the chair-elect. We are planning to establish working groups to focus on disease areas and reach out to potential members (public funders of research) and partners in the non-governmental and industrial communities to advance our work in implementation science. Other NIH institutes currently engaged include the Fogarty International Center, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and NINDS. We expect to engage other NIH Institutes for whom chronic non-communicable diseases are a priority.
The GACD meeting took place adjacent to the 75th anniversary of Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in Canberra, hosted by Dr. Warwick Anderson and the heads of international research organizations. NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins presented. This was a three-day celebration, with awards given primarily to younger investigators and women scientists in recognition of the NHMRC’s faith in the future as it celebrates the past.
We at the NHLBI are excited to be leading some of these important global health activities, and we look forward to new initiatives and opportunities.