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FOGARTY INTERNATIONAL CENTER

STATEMENT OF DR. PHILIP SCHAMBRA, DIRECTOR

BUDGET REQUEST Senator HARKIN. Dr. Schambra, the committee has your request of $19.9 million, which is $13.7 million more than last year.

We are familiar with your programs to support visits of foreign scientists to the United States and the placement of U.S. scientists overseas. The committee looks forward to hearing about your expanding Eastern European and Latin American initiatives.

Welcome and please proceed with your statement.
Dr. SCHAMBRA. Thank you, Senator.

Senator, I will be even briefer than the prepared summary of my opening statement, both of which I would like to submit for the record with your permission.

Senator HARKIN. Certainly.

Dr. SCHAMBRA. Mr. Chairman, I think it is clear that we live in a time of enormous changes and of enormous challenges and opportunities. The countries of central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union have opened up and our scientists have responded. We have much to give and much to learn in the exchanges which are taking place and growing day by day aided by our Ěastern European initiative which the Congress has so strongly supported. I would be pleased to tell you more about what we are doing under that initiative later on in response to a question or for the record, if you wish.

Likewise, the importance of collaborating with scientists and institutions in developing countries is becoming increasingly, clear. Not only must these countries deal with old, unconquered diseases such as malaria and cholera—and as you know from the papers right now, cholera is killing hundreds of people in South America even today—but also the poorer regions of the world are often the source of new diseases such as AIDS which threaten the entire world.

AIDS TRAINING PROGRAM

Our international AIDS training programs, now in their third year, constitute one of the most important responses by the U.S. Government to addressing the AIDS problem by helping developing countries participate in research on this disease and eventually participate in the field trials of vaccines now under development in the NIH and elsewhere.

Because of the threat which diseases in developing countries represent not only to the people of these countries, but also to the people of the United States, we began our Latin American initiative last year to expand cooperation between biomedical scientists of this hemisphere. And I would be happy also to tell you more about what we are doing under this initiative.

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Finally, we continue our efforts to bring together the scientists from the leading laboratories of the United States and those in Western Europe, Japan, and other developed countries, among the best and brightest in the world. And I might say, Mr. Chairman, that that includes in recent years three bright young scientists from abroad who have gone to institutions in Iowa and four leading Iowan scientists who went to different places around the world, and all of these to work on such problems as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease, among others.

PREPARED STATEMENT Senator, with our 1992 budget request of $19,922,000, I expect that the Fogarty Center will not only continue, but expand its critically important role in the world's No. 1 goal, which is better health for all.

I would be pleased to respond to any questions. [The statement follows:

STATEMENT OF DR. PHILIP SCHAMBRA

The global biomedical research community is being influenced increasingly

by a rapidly changing world--scientifically, politically, and economically.

The emergence of democratic governments in Central and Eastern Europe and

Latin America, the collective decision by the countries of Western Europe to

unify their economies, and the movement by many former socialistic societies

toward a free market have provided new challenges and new opportunities for

scientists and institutions dedicated to biomedical research.

These events

have stimulated a climate of greater openness on the part of scientists

throughout the world and have made possible extraordinary opportunities for

scientific collaboration.

The worldwide pattern of diseases threatening human well-being is

continually changing.

The programs of the Fogarty International Center weave

together tightly to form a comprehensive yet flexible response to these

challenges. During FY 1990, FIC programs increased the number of

collaborating scientists worldwide, and enabled newfound discoveries to be

discussed and studies to be undertaken in laboratories in remote areas of the

world.

Through continuing such combined and collaborative efforts the nature

of these diseases can be understood and their incidence reduced.

It is the mission of the Center to stimulate and enhance this

collaboration at all levels.-scientist-to-scientist, institution-to

institution, and nation-to-nation.

We can count a number of successes toward

this objective this past year,

We have begun new initiatives in international

cooperation that take advantage of the improved political climate in Latin

America and Eastern Europe.

We are working closely with the NINDS to develop

a program of cooperation on international aspects of the "Decade of the

Brain," including joint support for a targeted fellowship progran, as well as

international workshops and conferences.

The Fogarty Center's ability to marshall NIH research expertise in

response to changing world conditions are exemplified by its two regional

initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Central and Eastern

Europe, which were implemented in FY 1990. To date FIC has provided support

for 18 scientists from 6 NIH institutes to conduct cooperative research

activities in 5 countries in Central and Eastern Europe; and for 20 scientists

fron 10 NIH institutes to conduct cooperative research activities in 10

countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

FIC has also provided support

for 17 scientists from these regions to conduct research in 7 institutes of

the NIH.

An example is the support provided for a Czechoslovakian scientist

to work in the laboratory of an NIH Nobel Laureate to develop an understanding

of an epidemic of spongiforn encephalopathy in her native country, and its

relationship to similar devastating neurological diseases such as CreuzfeldtJacob (CJD) Disease. This collaboration appears to have led to the discovery

of a genetic defect in CJD victims.

Based on the high level of interest in

these two regional initiatives, it is expected that activities will greatly

expand in Fiscal Years 1991 and 1992.

The Center employs a variety of fellowship and exchange programs that

support scientists at every level of experience to promote the interchange of

new ideas and scientific knowledge. The research of these FIC-supported

scientists spans the breadth of biomedical investigation.

Research

discoveries that have been made in the fields of cancer, neurobiology,

diabetes, and AIDS illustrate this diversity.

Our Senior International Fellowship (SIF) program supports experienced

American scientists to conduct research overseas with foreign colleagues.

Since 1975, the SIF program has funded nearly 700 U.S. scientists; in Fiscal

Years 1991 and 1992, the Center expects to award fellowships to 87 u.s.

Investigators.

o An American scientist at the Imperial College in London has

identified genes, that may play an important role in

carcinogenesis, especially in a certain subgroup of susceptible

people. Through an analysis of genetic mechanisms which control

chromosome division, he identified genes responsible for
naintaining normal cell division. Such knowledge will be

laportant in developing new strategies for prevention or

treatment in susceptible persons.

o An American scientist at the Institute for Cancer Research in

London has studied a particular oncogene associated with the

malignant transformation of normal cells.

He found that this

oncogene alters the structure of regulatory proteins which

control normal cell division. By identifying such individual

steps in carcinogenesis, more specific and effective therapies

can be developed.

Since 1958, FIC's International Research Fellowships (IRF) have been

awarded to more than 2,700 scientists from over 50 developed and developing

countries.

In Fiscal Years 1991 and 1992, FIC plans to fund 190 new IRF

awards to applicants to conduct research in laboratories in more than 20

states.

In addition, during this same period, FIC expects to fund second year

awards for 108 IRFs who began their fellowships in Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991.

Research funded through this program is finding solutions to problems that

affect mankind.

o Two foreign scientists are working on the cause of Alzheimer's

disease, an increasingly important public health problem due to

the increase in life expectancy of the world's population.

One

of the characteristic pathological changes in the brain of a

[blocks in formation]

0 A Hungarian scientist at the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard

University has conducted studies on human cell receptors for

insulin.

These receptors are the passage ways through which

insulin gains entry into the cell.

It is within the cell that

insulin has an influence on the metabolism of sugars.

For this

reason this scientist is seeking ways to hasten the entry of

insulin by modifying the insulin receptors-to "widen the

passage ways", so to speak.

This sort of research may open up

the prospect of new opportunities for the treatment of diabetes.

Much is expected of FIC's Scholars-in-Residence who represent the best

the world has to offer in biomedical research.

Eight to ten Scholars work at

the NIH at any one time.

A Norwegian Scholar is internationally known for his

pioneering research on fatty acid metabolism and the role of lipids in the

pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease.

As a Fogarty Scholar he plans studies

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