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Grant bolsters biomedical ethics efforts in Mozambique

Jul. 31, 2014, 9:39 AM

Vanderbilt University researchers have received a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to strengthen research ethics capacity in Mozambique.

Despite an increasing number of clinical research proposals in low-resource countries such as Mozambique, only a small number of professionals have the knowledge and skills necessary to apply standardized ethical concepts to research involving human subjects.

Elizabeth Heitman, Ph.D.

The Vanderbilt University-Mozambique Collaborative Research Ethics Education Program, funded by NIH grant TW009722, will establish educational programs in biomedical research ethics and promote development of research ethics committees.

Vanderbilt will collaborate with faculty and administrators at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, the nation’s capital, to increase the number of qualified investigators who can apply international standards in ethics to their study protocols, and who can provide leadership to sustain a culture for the ethical conduct of research.

Troy Moon, M.D., MPH

Principal investigators are Elizabeth Heitman, Ph.D., associate professor of Medical Ethics, Medicine and Anesthesiology in the Vanderbilt Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, and Troy Moon, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.

In addition to her research on international standards for research ethics and education, Heitman has directed a Fogarty-sponsored research ethics educational program in Costa Rica. Moon spent six years in Mozambique’s Zambézia Province as clinical director of a Vanderbilt-affiliated HIV care and treatment program.

Since its founding in 2005, the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health has partnered with countries around the world to improve health care services for their citizens and help train the next generation of health care leaders and researchers.

An example is its leadership role in the Fogarty Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars, launched in 2012 to support the training of 400 early-career health scientists in 27 countries.

by Kristin Centers

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