We are proposing a new FOGARTY Training Program, based at the Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS) of Argentina in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and supporting faculty at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School (BWH/HMS), entitled "Promoting Capacity Building in Chronic Diseases Research in South America". This proposal will be closely linked to the ongoing NHLBI BAA No. NHLBI-HV-09-12 and will consolidate and strengthen the research capacities of the network of institutions participating in the COE Research Projects in Argentina, Chile Southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. This Program will train 8 Master and 4 Doctoral students in Argentina, taking advantage of the rich academic environment of the Harvard School of Public Health bringing together outstanding faculty mentors to provide integrated and interdisciplinary experiences and collaborative interactions. Cutting-edge didactic training and mentoring will create a new generation of highly skilled investigators to study the impact of behavioral and environmental risk factors on chronic diseases and utilize the full set of epidemiologic, interventional, environmental, and policy tools to design, implement, and evaluate the most effective interventions to reduce impact of harmful risk factors, facilitate expansion of protective behavioral and environmental factors, and attenuate or reverse the alarming global trends in chronic diseases. The main objectives are to build capacity for global chronic disease research by providing training and mentoring to 8 Master students at the 2-year Masters program in Clinical Effectiveness of the UBA school of Medicine, 4 Doctoral students at IECS/UBA and HSPH, and 60 scholars from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to attend seminars, workshops and intensive short courses in introductory topics in chronic disease research. One of the most innovative components of this Program will be the implementation of a new Faculty development program that will include faculty visits from IECS to HSPH and from HSPH to IECS along the 5-year training period.
Several health indicators of the Latin American population have improved in the last 50 years and this trend is continuing. In particular, reductions in the incidence of communicable and infectious diseases have resulted in significant increases in average life expectancy. This good news also present dramatic new health challenges as the clinical management burden shifts from acute (less expensive, less complicated) to chronic (more expensive, more complex) disease. These challenges are especially critical for countries in transition such as those of Latin America, in which changing behavioral and environmental risks are producing rapid increases in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and related NCDs, and in which widespread use of costly novel drug- and device-related interventions may be neither practical nor cost-effective. Taking all this into account, we propose a new Fogarty Training Program based at the Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and with close collaboration from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), to promote capacity building in NCDs Research in South America, focused on how lifestyle and environment influence hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and related NCDs across the lifespan. The Program will add considerable strength and depth to the Fogarty's commitment to understanding the behavioral and environmental determinants, preventive measures, and treatments of NCDs, with focus on the Southern Cone of Latin America that is composed of middle income countries with populations at various stages of the demographic and epidemiological transition and in which NCDs account for more than 60% of premature mortality and disability