This proposal, responding to the Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan (CNCD) Fogarty initiative, focuses on three locations in India that are experiencing acute, detrimental effects of urbanization: Northeast India (Assam and Sikkim) and South Central India (Karnataka). The goals of this Fogarty submission align with the Fogarty Strategic Plan to reduce the training gap and increase research capacity for CNCDs, and focuses on behavioral conditions that receive little attention even though they are increasingly contributing to the burden of disease in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). This program addresses exposure to violence, addiction (prescribed and illicit drugs, alcohol and nicotine), and the most impairing mental symptoms (psychosis, suicidal ideation and dementia). It also emphasizes training in the social determinants of illness (environmental and social factors), as well as epigenetic determinants, across the lifespan. This new program will enhance and expand the work conducted through a sunsetted Fogarty ICOHRTA Program, funded since 2001, directed by Dr. Linda Cottler from Washington University and Major Foreign Collaborator Dr. Sanjeev Jain from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Under the CNCD mechanism, we are adding two new institutions, specifically, Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi (LGBRIMH) Regional Institute of Mental Health in Tezpur, Assam and the Voluntary Health Association of Gangtok, Sikkim (VHAS). These programs are added to increase the public health and policy emphasis of our training collaborating with premier NGO institutions. The INDO-US team has already made considerable progress building research capacity with mental health professionals trained by NIMHANS in Bangalore paired with WU's Department of Psychiatry;this new Fogarty gives WU and NIMHANS the opportunity to continue building needed public health relevant research capacity while also bridging to Northeast areas of Sikkim and Assam-areas that have critical need for sustainable research capacity building and outreach mentoring. We propose to train 4 long term trainees-2 pre docs and 2 post docs-every year for 5 years. Trainee selection and progress will be evaluated by the Training Advisory Group (TAG), who will give feedback to the Director and Major Foreign Collaborator on issues relating to the focus of training workshops in India and ideas for more collaborative grants between and across the institutions. Trainees in this program will have the opportunity to take formal courses, attend seminars and tutorials and work with their mentors apprenticeship- style. Training in the responsible conduct of research is a major emphasis of this program. Through our expanded program with three Indian sites, one with increased capacity, and two in critical need of infrastructure building, and our new networks of focus, we will develop sustainable partnerships to intervene with some of the most burdensome CNCDs in the world.
This program falls on the heels of a sunsetted Fogarty ICOHRTA training program. The INDO-US team has made considerable progress building research capacity with mental health professionals trained by NIMHANS in Bangalore paired with WU's Department of Psychiatry. This new Fogarty gives WU and NIMHANS the opportunity to continue building needed public health relevant research capacity while also bridging to Northeast areas of Sikkim and Assam-areas that have critical need for sustainable research capacity building and outreach mentoring.
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