U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

New initiative paves the way to Indo-U.S. collaborative diabetes research

​NIDDK has begun a new diabetes research effort to benefit people with or at risk of the disease in the United States and India.  In May 2014, the NIDDK and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), part of the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, each published a parallel funding opportunity announcement (FOA) in diabetes research. 
These opportunities invite U.S. and Indian scientists to partner and develop collaborative research applications in five areas of mutual interest to the two countries:  prevention and management of diabetes and its complications, pathogenesis and pathophysiology of diabetes and its complications, diabetes in youth, innovative technologies for management and prevention, and gestational diabetes.
 
“We hope these funding opportunities harness the scientific strengths, creativity, and resources of researchers and institutions here and in India toward combating the scourge of diabetes, which threatens the public health of both nations,” said NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers.
 
South Asians comprise a substantial proportion of the Asian population in the United States.  Notably, South Asians in both India and the United States are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes at a lower body mass index as compared to Caucasians—an intriguing difference that informs research across all five areas outlined in the funding opportunities.
 
The bilateral initiative is anticipated to be funded in late fiscal year 2015.  U.S. and Indian researchers on each collaborative team selected for award will be funded by their respective government agencies—U.S. investigators will be supported by the NIDDK or the National Eye Institute (NEI), and Indian investigators will be supported by the ICMR.  The NEI is a co-sponsor of the U.S. FOA with a special interest in diabetic eye disease.  Projects will be funded for up to two years.
 
This initiative stems from a joint statement to collaborate on diabetes research that was signed in June 2012.  Areas supported by the funding opportunities were informed by a scientific workshop held in New Delhi in February 2013 under the auspices of the Indo-U.S. collaboration.  The unique opportunity available through the bilateral partnerships initiative aims to foster diabetes research that has the potential for future expansion and translation into public health activities in both the United States and India.