HomeNewsHHMI International Programs Build Science Capacity in Developing Countries


HHMI International Programs Build Science Capacity in Developing Countries

HHMI International Programs Build Science Capacity in Developing Countries


HHMI's international programs support scientists and scientific infrastructure in countries around the world.

At the United Nations today, scientists from around the world proposed steps to strengthen science and technology in developing countries. Among the recommendations from the InterAcademy Council (IAC), an international group of science academies including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences:

  • Train and retain young scientists and engineers
  • Build centers of excellence
  • Foster public-private partnerships
  • Provide science and technology education at all levels
  • Build regional networks of collaboration
  • Devise novel funding mechanisms

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, one of the largest biomedical philanthropies in the world, is already working to accomplish these goals. HHMI's international programs address many of the issues raised by the InterAcademy Council report. HHMI has invested more than $100 million to support scientific research and help build scientific infrastructure in 32 countries on six continents. For example, the Institute supports:

  • Scientists and their research institutions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Mexico, Latin America and many other countries including India, Bangladesh, and Uganda. HHMI international research scholar Thomas Egwang of Kampala, Uganda, was a member of the IAC study panel
  • Parasitology and infectious diseases research worldwide
  • Science education initiatives in Uruguay and Argentina
  • Collaborations among scientists in countries as diverse as Argentina and Israel, Russia and Chile
  • Regional workshops and courses for young scientists, most recently in Bangladesh
  • Advanced training opportunities for postdoctoral fellows and young scientists in their own or neighboring countries, through the EMBO/HHMI young scientists and investigators program. EMBO is the European Molecular Biology Organization

"HHMI is supporting cutting edge science internationally by helping talented researchers remain in or return to their home countries, keeping a national scientific tradition alive," says Peter Bruns, HHMI vice president for grants and special programs. "The effect of a research grant to one individual multiplies its value for others in a number of ways: training opportunities for students; equipment used by others within the home and neighboring institutions; electronic journal subscriptions for all members of the home institution; opportunities for collaboration and travel to meetings, and salary support, not only to the scholar but to her/his laboratory personnel."

For More Information

Jim Keeley
[ 301.215.8858 ]
Cindy Fox Aisen
[ 317.843.2276 ]