Partnership to Study Childhood Malnutrition

Foundation Convenes Partnership to Study Childhood Malnutrition Worldwide

 

BETHESDA, MD, January 18, 2010 —  Together with the Fogarty International Center (FIC), part of the National Institutes of Health, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, researchers will study the linkages of malnutrition and intestinal infections and how they affect children in the developing world. One in every five children in the developing world is malnourished and poor nutrition is linked to more than half of all child deaths worldwide.

“I am pleased the foundation can convene such a collaborative research and funding partnership to better understand the complex relationship between malnutrition and intestinal infections. This collaboration has the very real potential for developing new and improved interventions aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality in diseases indigenous to the developing world," said Dr. Charles A. Sanders, foundation Chairman. "This is exactly what Congress was thinking when they created our foundation.”

The Foundation for NIH and FIC will be coordinating the nearly $30 million research effort for the next five years. This project will establish a network of sites in the developing world for researchers, using a shared and harmonized protocol, to identify the risk factors for malnutrition, intestinal diseases and associated health consequences, including developmental impairment, in children. Sub-awardees and sites will be announced in the next few months. The geographically diverse sites, located in Asia, Africa and South America, will enable the investigators to make comparisons across sites and to characterize the environmental and genetic factors responsible for observed differences and similarities. Lastly, the outcomes from this partnership will be the development of models to estimate the distribution and burden of malnutrition and intestinal infections as well as the benefits of various interventions.

The network will be coordinated by Co-Principal Investigators Michael Gottlieb, Ph.D., of the foundation, and Mark Miller, M.D. of FIC. For more information on this project, see the NIH press release at http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2009/fic-30.htm or view the web site at http://mal-ed.fnih.org/

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health was established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the National Institutes of Health — improving health through scientific discovery. The foundation identifies and develops opportunities for innovative public-private partnerships involving industry, academia, and the philanthropic community. A not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, the foundation raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities. The foundation’s web site address is http://www.fnih.org.

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Fogarty International Center
Fogarty, the international component of the NIH, addresses global health challenges through innovative and collaborative research and training programs and supports and advances the NIH mission through international partnerships. For more information, visit: www.fic.nih.gov.

National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — the Nation’s Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health of Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.