India and US to Collaborate in Diabetes Research

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Washington – The United States and India inked an agreement last week on collaboration in diabetes research and the initiation of a health research relationship between the two countries.

The formal agreement was signed during a recent visit of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Indian Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, and Kathleen Sebelius, US Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The agreement is set to generate a better understanding of the molecular and biological mechanisms underlying diabetes, to characterize the genetic, social and environmental determinants, and to identify innovative approaches for improving prevention and treatment of diabetes.

In a news release, the government of India said, “As part of this collaboration, joint research programs in diabetes will be developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology, with National Institutes of Health of the Department of Health and Human Services, United States.”

The purpose of the agreement is to promote and develop cooperation in the field of basic, clinical, and translational research in the areas of diabetes mellitus, on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit, in addition to focusing on developing cost-effective tools and approaches to translate research results into policies and actions to improve the public health.

To keep abreast of developments, the two sides agreed to form a Joint Steering Committee (JSC), which will communicate regularly to identify new areas of cooperation, evaluate progress, and ensure the joint program operates smoothly.

Noting that this was the eighth agreement between India and the US in the field of health and medicine, Delhi stressed the benefits of the planned collaboration “in view of the rising burden of non-communicable diseases in both countries.”

Diabetes is a debilitating disease that affects tens of millions of people in the US and India, and it is among the leading causes of death worldwide. (IATNS) 

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