Congressman calls for U.S. to join international trial, disease initiatives
In a speech to the European Commission, U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania reiterated American support for international brain research collaboration and pledged his commitment to engaging the U.S. in two E.U.-led initiatives around clinical trials and neurodegenerative diseases.
Speaking live via video to the Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) conference on public health in Brussels, Fattah said he will push for the U.S. to join the E.U.'s Joint Programming Initiative on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), as well as the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).
Fattah said he will work with the administration and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to involve the U.S. in each of these efforts.
Both initiatives are globally focused and center on sharing techniques and research among participating member countries. JPND is the largest and most advanced global research initiative designed to tackle neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's. In 2012, Israel and Canada were accepted, joining 25 other member countries as partners. The EDCTP was launched in 2003 as a European response to the global health crisis caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Together with its 16 partner countries, EDCTP aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs and vaccines against these three main poverty-related diseases.
Fattah lauded the extraordinary work of the E.U. in its efforts around public health and science research, calling it a "model" for nations around the world to pursue, and he affirmed the importance of international cooperation.
"We need to have better cooperation and coordination on these efforts," Fattah said. "Relationships have to be built around actual cooperative work. I am looking at this issue, not just as an American official, but as a global citizen."
The speech to JRC, the European Commission's in-house scientific research service, was Fattah's third neuroscience speech to an international community in the past six months through his advocacy work as architect of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative. The initiative, established in 2011, is a non-incremental policy effort seeking to achieve progress in understanding the human brain.