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STATEMENT OF DR. CLAUDE J. LENFANT
As the recently designated Director of the John E. Fogarty International Center, I am grateful for this first opportunity to appear before you to report what has been achieved since the Center's last report. You heard last year about an evaluative report prepared in 1979, at the request of Dr. Fredrickson, by staff members from various agencies within the Department. This evaluation recognized the long, creditable contributions of the FIC to international cooperation in the health sciences, a role envisioned in 1968, when the Center was created as a dynamic memorial to Congressman John E. Fogarty. Over the years, the FIC program has evolved in response to advances in health-related research in this country and abroad, and to increasing awareness of problems of world health. Further changes are recommended in the evaluative report and some have already been implemented. Other changes will involve development of new approaches that are dictated by the present international scene or by reexamination of the impact of current programs or procedures. Therefore, of paramount importance is obtaining advice from scientists with expertise in internationl health research as recommended in the evaluative report. Such advice, similar to that available to other NIH units, is essential to the FIC planning effort. The following sections of this Statement highlight changes made since the last report to you.
International Issues Study-Program
Among recommendations of the evaluative report that receives special attention, is the development of an "International Issues Study-Program" within the FIC. There is clearly a need for the FIC to work with experts knowledgeable about international aspects of health-related research in order to conceptualize FIC programs addressed to problems of world health. In developing such a studyprogram, the FIC will examine how experts at the NIH and in the scientific community can contribute to identifying and having an impact on biomedical and behavioral research and other academic pursuits here and abroad. The International Issues Study-Program will develop plans to exploit opportunities for cooperation between researchers in this and other countries, especially in developing countries where diseases once considered local are now being found in this and other countries. Thus, as the United States benefits from experiences in other countries, it will bring new knowledge and research approaches to studies of diseases in this country. A planning conference on "Eradication of Infectious Diseases," which was held at the NIH in 1980, is an example of how resources available to the FIC can be effectively mobilized to address international health issues.
The Fogarty Scholars-in-Residence Program, in existence since 1968, has effectively served to attract outstanding scientists to the NIH, scientists who have not only benefitted from their tenure in this program, but have contributed to activities of the categorical institutes through participation in conferences, grand rounds, lectures and through interaction with NIH scientists and physicians. The 1979 evaluative report on the FIC included recommendations for
procedures that would make this already successful program even more valuable by broadening the range of biomedical, behavioral and social scientists who participated, and by encouraging increased interaction with the NIH community. Some of these recommendations have already been implemented. It is now envisaged that the Scholars-in-Residence Program will have another important role; namely, as a resource for information and advice about international issues to be addressed in the International Issues Study-Program.
As in the past, the FIC manages and contributes to support of international research conferences initiated by its staff or by scholars in the Fogarty Scholars-in-Residence Program. It will also continue to entertain requests for financial support for the international aspects of conferences initiated by NIH bureaus, institutes or divisions. There have, however, been changes in the FIC role in supporting international aspects of conferences initiated extramurally. These changes were recommended in the FIC evaluative report to ensure that all extramural requests for international conferences were subject to customary peer review. All such requests must now be submitted to the Division of Research Grants as conference grant applications. The FIC is also in the process of more explicitly defining the limits of its role in such extramural conferences.
One facet of the FIC fellowship program, the International Research Fellowship Program, enables foreign postdoctoral scientists to pursue a research program in a laboratory in this country. An evaluation of this program completed in January 1980 notes that "in almost all cases, United States and foreign critics continue to view the program as prestigious, mutually beneficial and a strong force for nurturing good will and international scientific collaboration." As reported to you last year, of about 1,800 scientists who have participated in the program since 1958, 90 percent returned to their home country, and a follow-up study indicates that 75 percent continue to be active in biomedical fields that are also of interest and concern to scientists in the United States. The other facet of the FIC fellowship program is the Senior International Fellowship Program, which enables mid-career biomedical scientists at universities and medical schools in this country to engage in study and research at foreign institutions. This is also an arrangement that is of benefit both here and abroad as it encourages international cooperation among biomedical and behavioral researchers with mutual or complementary interests.
To give greater cohesion to the two facets of its fellowship program the FIC recently modified its procedures by bringing them under the purview of a single program manager, and by requiring review of applications by the Division of Research Grants rather than by ad hoc committees appointed by the FIC. Another change, recommended in the FIC evaluative report of 1979, is now being implemented to ensure follow-up data on former fellows by means of a computer-based information system and periodic site visits to host institutions and former fellows.
The International Research Fellowship Program has enabled biomedical scientists and academic institutions in the United States to estabish research collaborations with the biomedical research community abroad. Academic institutions in 38 states have served as hosts to foreign biomedical researchers, and many United States scientists, including 11 Nobel Prize winners, have participated as preceptors for foreign fellows under this Program.
Finally, to further extend the already great impact of this program it is being expanded on a selective basis, within the limits of available resources, by encouraging additional countries to establish nominating committees to select postdoctoral candidates for the International Research Fellowship Program.
International Cooperation and Coordination
Within the NIH, the FIC is the focus for international activities, having an integrating role in bringing together NIH and other Federal agencies in bilateral cooperative agreements between the United States and other countries, including China, Egypt, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, Spain and Yugoslavia. The FIC also is the coordinating focus for collaboration between NIH and such international organizations as the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, the European Commission of the European Economic Community and the European Medical Research Councils. The FIC, on the recommendation of the 1979 evaluative report, has strengthened this facet of its program through staff additions with special responsibility for international cooperative activities.
Additional activities envisaged include the development of new cooperative relationships in the health sciences with several African nations, as part of a general interest in relating increasingly to developing countries. A major program involving cooperation of NIH and other PHS agencies with Nigeria is moving from the present planning phase to an operational program. The proposed joint collaborative program with the People's Republic of China may include an exchange program for individual health scientists and research fellowships. In discharging its role, the FIC is fostering closer interaction with the NIH institutes through the international representatives. The FIC is also extending its informational resources, including the development of a data file and publication on Chinese scientists and institutions, a comprehensive survey of biomedical research support available in other developed countries, and special analyses aimed at facilitating international cooperation and facilitating scientific collaboration.
Gorgas Memorial Laboratory
The FIC serves as the administrative channel by which funds appropriated by the Congress are made available to the Gorgas Memorial Institute in Washington for the maintenance and operation of the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory (GML) in Panama. This laboratory, established in 1929, has conducted studies of tropical diseases that have contributed greatly to medical knowledge and in doing so have served the interests of both the United States and Panama. The GML programs have provided information about the transmission and treatment of tropical diseases to which a sizeable segment of the
U.S. Army is exposed. Many of these diseases which are reaching this country to an ever increasing extent as a result of expanding air travel by U.S. citizens and foreign tourists and businessmen. The GML has also provided training programs in tropical diseases for United States scientists and technical staff, programs that have been of great value in increasing our ability to recognize and treat these disorders.
Another function of the Center is the administrative management of the NIH Visiting Program for the entire NIH. The purpose of this Program is to invite distinguished and talented scientists at all levels of their careers to come to NIH for an interchange of scientific information and training. During 1981, 900 scientists from 56 countries are expected to participate in the NIH Visiting Program, supported by $12 million of funds from the various Institutes. A full range of advisory and facilitative services are provided to these and some 270 other scientists (Guest Workers) who come to participate in NIH research activities, with stipends from other domestic or foreign organizations.
In summary, then, we believe that the Fogarty International Center plays a key role in advancing international biomedical research through its own programs and through its coordination of international activities of the entire NIH.
I shall be pleased to reply to any questions of the Committee.
LENFANT, Dr. Claude J.M.
Acting Director, Fogarty International
October 12, 1928. Paris, France.
Education. B.S., University of Rennes, France, 1948. M.D., University of Paris, France, 1956. Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Buffalo, 1957-1958. Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University,
Professional History. 1954, Research Assistant, Centre Marie
Diseases, NHLBI, NIH. Present, Acting Associate Director for International Activities, NIH, and Acting Director, Fogarty International Center, NIH.
Professional Organizations. Association of American Physicians, American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Physiological Society, American Society for Clinical Research, French Physiological International Federation for Medical Electronics, American Society of Zoologists (Division of Comparative Physiology), Society for Experimental Medicine and Biology, Undersea Medical Society, New York Academy of Sciences.
Honors, Awards. Thesis Prize, 1956. Commendation Tohoku Medical Society, Sendai, Japan, 1973. Superior Service Honor Award, DHEW, 1974. University of California, Los Angeles, Regents' Professor, 1978. Testimonial Dinner, American Thoracic Society, Las Vegas, 1979. Honorary Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians, 1979. Visiting Professor National Yang-Ming Medical College Taipei, Taiwan (named Honorary Professor, 1980).
Publications: 170 Scientific papers
1970-1976, American Journal of Physiology, and Journal of Applied Physiology--Editorial Board. 1978, Respiratory Physiology--Editorial Board. 1973-1979, American Review of Respiratory Disease--Editorial Board. 1973-1975, Undersea Biomedical Research--Editorial Board. 1975-1984, Proceedings of Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine--Editorial Board. 1976-1979, Revue Francaise des Maladies Respiratories--Editorial Board. 1976-1982, Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiration, Environmental and Exercise Physiology--Associate Editor. 1979-1981, American Journal of Medicine--Associate Editor. Lung Biology in Health and Disease--21 Volumes Monograph series published by M. Dekker, Inc., New York--Executive Editor (15 volumes published).
INTRODUCTION OF ASSOCIATES
Dr. LENFANT. I have with me the former Acting Director of the Fogarty International Center, Dr. Beaven.
Senator EAGLETON. Go ahead, Doctor.
Dr. LENFANT. I would like to make some brief comments about the functions of the Fogarty International Center. The Fogarty International Center plays a part in the management and provides a focus for international activities within the National Institutes of Health.
Basically, we have three specific functions.
The first one is to coordinate the international activities of the NIH Institutes and to assist them in pursuing their own international activities.
Second. we serve as an interface between the National Institutes of Health and other governmental agencies and international organizations such as the World Health Organization.
And third, we have programs of our own, which have some very specific purposes.
All of our programs aim at developing, improving, and strengthening communications and exchanges which are related to biomedical re