Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have received a $5.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Fogarty International Center to help foster the next generation of global health scientists. The award, titled “Integrated Network of Scholars in Global Health Research Training (INSIGHT),” will expand global health research across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean by providing one-year mentored research training to U.S. and lower-middle-income country scholars.
The INSIGHT grant was awarded in March 2022 to Man Charurat, PhD, MHS, professor of medicine at UMSOM’s Institute of Human Virology (IHV) and global director of the Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity (Ciheb), and multiple principal investigators from the University of Alabama, Baylor College of Medicine, and University of Pittsburgh. INSIGHT will include multidisciplinary research training in the areas of HIV, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, noncommunicable diseases, and mental health across the lifespan using evidence-based research and practices, clinical science, laboratory science, and behavioral and social sciences. This research will take place across 24 institutions in 20 lower-middle-income countries.
“With the enthusiasm of young scientists from the U.S. and lower-middle-income country institutions and strong mentorship from seasoned scientists across the globe, we hope to contribute to the next generation of impactful and innovative global health researchers,” Charurat said.
The five-year grant will train 105 scholars as predoctoral or postdoctoral fellows. The trainees will spend most of the year at a location in a lower-middle-income country. The trainee will have an on-site mentor, as well as one based in one of the U.S. partner institutions.
“The INSIGHT program hosted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine will help train the next generation of leaders in global health research — both U.S. and foreign,” said Roger I. Glass, MD, PhD, director, Fogarty International Center. “This grant will provide mentored fellowships to build strong research collaborations and future leaders who will accelerate the advance of biomedical research that will lead to real improvements in human health in all areas while also enhancing our biosecurity against the next pandemic.”
The INSIGHT Steering Committee and other subcommittees is composed of UMSOM faculty including Miriam Laufer, MD, professor of pediatrics at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health and associate dean of student research and education; Nadia Sam-Agudu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and senior technical advisor of pediatric HIV at IHV; Alash’le Abimiku, PhD, professor of medicine at IHV and director of the International Research Center of Excellence IHV-Nigeria; Nicaise Ndembi, MSc, PhD, adjunct associate professor of medicine at IHV; Patrick Dakum, MBBS, MPH, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at IHV and CEO of IHV-Nigeria; Kristen Stafford, PhD, MPH, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at IHV and deputy director of Ciheb; Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, CRNP, associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing; and faculty from partner institutions. Their guidance will support recruitment and selection of the scholars to launch these emerging leaders into global health research.
“I am both pleased and proud that the University of Maryland School of Medicine will play such a valuable role in training the next generation of global health researchers,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, executive vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean, UMSOM. “The leadership, mentorship, and impact our faculty and institution will impart will leave a legacy of influence felt worldwide.”
For more information on INSIGHT or to apply, please visit the INSIGHT Fogarty Scholars webpage.
About the Institute of Human Virology
Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the state of Maryland, the city of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland, and the University of Maryland Medical System, IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and home to some of the most globally recognized and world-renowned experts in virology. IHV combines the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology, and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders, most notably HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. For more information, visit ihv.org and follow us on Twitter @IHVmaryland.