The Harvard Initiative for Global Health (HIGH) has been selected to receive a prestigious $400,000 Framework Programs for Global Health grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center.

The three year award will be supplemented by an additional $300,000 grant from the University and support HIGH’s development of a curriculum in nutrition and global heath. The grant will fund the Fostering Opportunities for Nutrition and Global Health Frameworks Program at Harvard, which will address three substantive areas: nutrition and infectious disease, nutrition and perinatal/child health, and nutrition and chronic diseases.

“Undernutrition remains a major public health problem in many developing countries and is associated with high burden of infectious and adverse perinatal and child health outcomes,” said Wafaie Fawzi, Principal Investigator on the grant and Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in the Departments of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population. “In many of these countries, rapid transition in nutrition and lifestyle, has led to a broadening of the scope of malnutrition to include over-nutrition which leads to higher risks of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke,” said Fawzi.

The Framework grant broadly aims to promote a multi-disciplinary approach to addressing the centrality of nutrition, its effect on human and economic development, and the dynamic interplay between the epidemiologic, nutritional, and demographic transitions in developing countries.

“The multi-disciplinary, collaborative program will provide a strong foundation for undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students, and faculty members from diverse disciplines to become engaged in the field of nutrition and global health across the University,” said David Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University.

Additionally, the grant supports partnerships with St. John’s Research Institute (SJRI) in Bangalore, India and the development of stronger collaboration with colleagues in Muhimbili University in Tanzania and the University of São Paulo in Brazil, where program faculty has extensive experience in methodological and substantive aspects of nutritional and global health, and has strong track record in establishing major training initiatives in collaboration with colleagues in developing countries.

The Fostering Opportunities for Nutrition and Global Health Frameworks Program will be administered through HIGH in Cambridge, MA, and is a component of the University’s recently completed global health strategic planning process.

The Harvard Initiative for Global Health is a University-wide initiative under the auspices of the Harvard University President and Provost Office. HIGH aims to increase the number of students embarking on global health professions, develop new and innovative solutions to the vital problems of global health, and support inter-faculty research efforts in the critical areas of inquiry necessary to address today’s global health challenges.