FDI Clinical Research, a clinical research institution located in San Juan, and directed by Dr. José F. Rodríguez Orengo, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, announced that they were awarded two research grants from the National Institutes of Health for over $3.5 millionfor the next five years.
The investigators at FDI and Harvard Chan School have collaborated since 2013 on metabolic research studies that impact the community of Puerto Rico. The new projects promote the collection of clinical and scientific data within the island communities. The first project, called PROSPECT, conducted in collaboration with investigators from University of Massachusetts Lowell, will determine the risk factors associated with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases in 2,000 adults throughout all of Puerto Rico. The second project is an extension of PROSPECT that will compile data on access to food and water, social connectedness, and physiological stress after Hurricane Maria, and will be conducted with investigators from University of Puerto Rico.
“We highly value the collaboration with FDI. These research projects will yield seminal data to support more studies on the island, as well as programs to improve population health. PROSPECT will establish a database necessary for investigators in Puerto Rico, the United States, and around the world to collaborate on future initiatives”, mentioned Dr. Josiemer Mattei Bonilla, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School and Principal Investigator of both studies.
Dr. José F. Rodríguez Orengo, Executive Director at FDI Clinical Research and co-investigator of the projects, also appreciated the collaboration with Dr. Mattei Bonilla and her commitment to improving the health of Puerto Ricans on the island as well as of those living in the United States. “These studies will be crucial in demonstrating the community and family connections of our society in the face of the food-related challenges and the vulnerabilities exposed in the support systems in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria”, said Dr. Rodríguez Orengo, who is also Executive Advisor of Clinical Investigation for the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust (PRSTRT).
Local collaborators of the projects include the Puerto Rico Primary Care Association Network, Hospital del Maestro, HIMA system, College of Nutritionists and Dietitians, and Institute of Statistics. The contributing funding agencies are the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.