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Regional Centers of Research Excellence Program

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for over 72% of premature deaths globally. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) carry a disproportionate burden of these diseases, characterized both in mortality and disability rates. A lack of resource sharing and coordination, uneven availability of research and administrative infrastructure, and a lack of in-country support for research have led the NCI to form the Regional Centers of Research Excellence (RCREs) Program. In an effort to address cancers with a rising or rare incidence in the U.S., while also promoting improved scientific collaboration and coordination among LMICs, the RCREs Program supports U.S. and LMIC investigators co-leading meritorious research projects where foreign populations are essential to advancing cancer biology and etiology research both in the U.S. and abroad.

This program facilitates the development of RCREs that will serve as a hub to coordinate basic, translational, clinical, and population science research pertaining to LMICs within its respective region. Consisting of partnerships between high-income country (HIC) institutions and LMIC institutions, the RCRE teams will focus research on the regionally relevant cancer burden and at least one other NCD. LMIC investigators lead research and training efforts and HIC investigators serve as collaborators, consultants, and/or mentors. The RCREs will 1) strengthen scientific quality and volume; 2) boost collaboration; 3) fortify the scientific shared core facilities; 4) enhance research activities; and 5) provide the scientific evidence needed to inform public policy to create a sustainable model empowering LMIC institutions. RCREs will lay the foundation for self-sustaining, internationally-competitive NCD research programs in LMICs.

Currently there are six Planning Grants for RCREs funded using NIH’s P20 planning grant Request for Applications mechanism. At the end of this two-year planning grant period, successful programs will have produced a blueprint for a RCRE. These plans will be disseminated widely by NCI through a special publication.

For any questions regarding the RCRE program, contact Shannon Silkensen:

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NIAID Database of country specific clinical research regulatory information

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