Thursday, September 23, 2010

U.S.–Russia Forum in Health Sciences

The Foundation for NIH and Eli Lilly Launch $1.265M US-Russia Science Partnership

Bethesda, MD (September 23, 2010) — The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and Eli Lilly and Company today announced the launch of the U.S.–Russia Forum in Health Sciences to encourage collaboration on shared priorities in health related research. The joint venture was unveiled during a visit to the NIH by Russia’s deputy health minister, Dr. Veronika Skvortsova.

The U.S.–Russia Forum is being established through the Foundation for NIH, with $1,265.000 million from Eli Lilly as the founding private partner, and the Fogarty International Center and Clinical Center as the lead NIH participants. The objective of this public-private partnership is to facilitate collaboration that will improve public health by strengthening activities related to disease control and prevention, clinical and translational research, manufacturing practices and regulatory science, and emerging technologies in the field of health care.

The partnership will sponsor a clinical and translational research-training program in Russia. There will also be additional resources for Russian scientists who are accepted into the NIH Visiting Fellows Program.

As part of this joint U.S.-Russia program, a scientific forum will be created to establish a network to exchange information among U.S. and Russian government agencies, research organizations, and other partners involved in biomedical and behavioral research. Forum activities will include an annual symposium to identify strategies to facilitate the conduct of joint research, enhance interdisciplinary work, bridge the gap between research and practice, and maximize the public benefit of basic and clinical discoveries. It will also enhance scientific collaborations through joint-research proposal development, scientific exchanges and research conferences, and explore the development of bilateral biomedical and behavioral research programs.

The U.S.-Russia Forum in Health Sciences is intended to include participants from both public and private sector organizations engaged in biomedical and behavioral research and development.

“We are delighted to facilitate this significant collaboration between the U.S. and Russian biomedical and behavioral health research communities,” commented Dr. Scott E. Campbell, executive director and CEO of the Foundation for NIH. “Communication and information sharing among scientific health entities are central to overcoming complexities and transforming medicine in new and creative ways by leveraging joint research, technology, data and experiences.”

“We are faced with many challenges today on the path toward advancing biomedical research in order to save lives. It is imperative that the most outstanding scientists and physicians from the public and private sectors be engaged in finding solutions to these challenges. While the U.S. and Russian National Academies of Science have a rich history of collaboration over the past half century--this has not necessarily been the case in terms of biomedical research that engages scientists from both the public and private sectors,” according to Dr. Gail Cassell, vice president of scientific affairs and distinguished research scholar at Eli Lilly.

“The establishment of this collaborative initiative is founded on the belief that people from different corners of the pharmaceutical and healthcare world will overcome their differences and come together when confronted with a global threat. We are encouraged by the response and inspired by the commitment of our colleagues.” Cassell added.

About The Russia/US Cooperative Medical Sciences Program
The U.S.-Russia Forum in Health Sciences was formed under the framework of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, and guided by several agreements between U.S. and Russian scientific and health agencies to collaborate on topics involving disease control and prevention, development of new therapies, and other emerging technologies in the field of health care. The Forum’s activities will address those goals.

About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
The Foundation for NIH was established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the National Institutes of Health and its 27 institutes – improving health through scientific discovery in the search for cures and extending healthy life. The foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhances NIH priorities and activities.

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