September 9, 2020

Building Capacity to Address the Burden of Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Diseases in LMICs

Dr. Annette Fitzpatrick headshot

Funding has been awarded to principal investigator Dr. Annette Fitzpatrick by the National Institutes of Health for "Building Capacity to Address the Burden of Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Diseases in LMICs."



An epidemiological shift from infectious to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has led to a dramatic increase in mortality and disability over the past several decades. This has been attributed in part to important changes in lifestyles and diets, which have been described as the epidemiologic transition.
Cardiometabolic risk factors, which increase the risk of and promote onset of CVD, include a combination of metabolic dysfunctions primarily characterized by hypertension, insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia, and central adiposity. This crisis has led to a call for strategic investment in research including regional development, networking across countries, and expanding cross-sectoral partnerships to improve translation, innovation and patient care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

In this D43 Training Application to Fogarty International Center, the University of Washington (UW) Department of Global Health will collaborate with two long-standing partners in Nepal and Kenya to address cardiometabolic diseases and risk factors through rigorous educational programs, strong mentorship and relevant research experiences. This collaboration brings together Kathmandu University (KU), with an emerging capacity to address CVD as a national priority, and University of Nairobi (UON), which has successfully implemented multiple international training programs, to provide a synergistic approach for empowering the next generation of researchers to address NCDs in these low resource settings.

Specific aims of this program are: 1) Increase high-impact research on cardiometabolic disease and risk factors by building research capacity at Kathmandu University (KU) and University of Nairobi (UN) through Master’s level degree training to include 6 clinician-researchers, 3 each from Nepal and Kenya, to study and receive UW MPH degrees; 2) Support the training of 6 students to complete an MS degree in Public Heath from KU with courses offered by D43 faculty; and 3) Provide mid- and short-term
training in Kenya and Nepal focusing on essential research and leadership skills including a one-year certificate program using on-line distance learning resulting in culminating projects, and in-country workshops offered by UW, KU and UON Core faculty. Conferences that bring together members of the NCD community with KU and UON researchers and county health directors will be offered to promote community engagement in local care, treatment and prevention in both LMICs.

Using UW’s well-established approaches to training, this program will establish greatly needed implementation science research capacity at KU and UON and contribute to changing the face of the NCD epidemic in LMICs.

Sponsor Award Number: 1D43TW011596-01