|Leaders gathered at the Secretariat Launch Event on June 11, 2012 in London, England. From left to right: Dr. Alain Beaudet, president, Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Professor Warwick Anderson, chief executive officer, Australia National Health and Medical Research Council; Dr. Susan B. Shurin, GACD chair, and acting director, NHLBI; Professor Anthony Costello, co-director, University College London Institute for Global Health, and professor of international child health; Celina Gorre, executive director, GACD; Dr. Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, director of the Health Directorate, Research DG of the European Commission; Dr. Wendy Ewart, head of strategy and deputy chief executive, UK Medical Research Council; Sir John Tooke, vice provost of health, University College London; Professor Anne Johnson, co-director, University College London Institute for Global Health, and professor of infectious disease epidemiology; Dr. Francis S. Collins, director, NIH; and Dr. Ali Dhansay, vice president of research, South African Medical Research Council.|
|NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins delivering his talk at the event.|
On June 11, The Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) held a Secretariat Launch Event at University College London. At the event, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins announced that the NIH and three other member organizations of GACD are supporting research projects on how best to implement effective approaches to prevent and control hypertension (high blood pressure) in 15 low- and middle-income countries.
This significant initiative, which is the first coordinated funding effort among GACD members, includes 14 community-based research projects. They represent an investment of more than $21.8 million over three to five years. By working together, the GACD funding organizations have an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate implementation strategies, leverage multiple research investments to provide evidence to guide policy, and ultimately stem the tide of deaths from chronic noncommunicable diseases.
The launch event was followed by a meeting of the GACD board on June 12, which NHLBI Acting Director Dr. Susan Shurin chaired.
The NIH is funding five projects. Four are supported by the NHLBI, and one is supported by the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke:
Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council is supporting five projects, the United Kingdom's Medical Research Council is supporting one project, with funding of an additional project anticipated in the coming weeks; and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is supporting three projects in partnership with three non-GACD member organizations.
When the GACD convened its first scientific summit in New Delhi in 2009, it agreed upon three initial priority areas, one of which is to lower hypertension. Hypertension is one of the most common chronic conditions worldwide, affecting an estimated 1 billion people. With this initiative, the NIH joins leading public research funding agencies around the world with a commitment to help stem the tide of deaths from chronic noncommunicable diseases.
As the NIH's global activities and research efforts expand, the NHLBI looks forward to the work ahead with the GACD and our many global partners.