For Geisel: Grant for International Research Ethics Training

Read the full story by Timothy Dean, published 6/22/16 by the Geisel School of Medicine.

The Geisel School of Medicine is one of four institutions to receive new or ongoing support from the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health—which is awarding a total of $5.3 million over the next five years in training grants to develop research bioethics expertise in low- and middle-income countries in the Americas, the Middle East, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The Fogarty International Center is dedicated to supporting and facilitating global health research conducted by U.S. and international investigators, building partnerships between health research institutions in the U.S. and abroad, and training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs.

The renewal grant that Geisel is receiving will allow it continue working with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to further strengthen existing expertise in research bioethics among research scientists, faculty, health care providers, and other professionals throughout Tanzania and the entire east sub-Saharan Africa region. Building local capacity to address ethical issues that arise with studies involving human subjects is expected to be vital, as clinical research is growing at a rapid pace in the region.

Richard Waddell
Associate Professor of Medicine Richard Waddell. (Photo courtesy of the Geisel School of Medicine)

“I think this award is an acknowledgment of the quality of work that we did in the first five years and the successes that we had,” says Richard Waddell, the principle investigator on the project and an associate professor of medicine at Geisel, noting that the grant application process was highly competitive. “We met all of our primary objectives and built a strong foundation for continuing our efforts.”

During the initial five-year phase, Waddell and his colleagues at Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania established in-country training and certificate programs in bioethics and worked with colleagues at MUHAS to develop a curriculum for a new master’s degree program.

“We recruited five fellows from Tanzania to go to Penn to get their Masters in Bioethics (MBE), and that involved also hosting a graduate course at the Ethics Institute here at Dartmouth,” says Waddell. “After they graduated, the fellows worked with us to revamp the program to meet Tanzanian ethical issues and cultural mores, and we successfully moved the MBE program from Penn to Muhimbili.”