NHLBI/UNITED Health Collaboration Centers of Excellence (COE) Network

Working to reduce the burden of chronic disease among neglected populations in sub Saharan Africa


Dr. Gaziano is co-primary investigator of the South Africa Center, a partnership between the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa and Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass., USA.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has partnered with UnitedHealth Group, one of the world’s largest health and well-being companies, to address chronic disease globally. Centers in the network are aimed at prevention and treatment of chronic diseases in developing countries. Together, this worldwide network of research and training centers will build institutional and community capacity to prevent and control chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular, lung diseases, and diabetes. Each COE is led by a research institution in a low- or middle-income developing country paired with at least one partner academic institution in a developed country to enhance research and training opportunities. 

The centers will conduct research tailored to their local or regional needs to reduce the burden of chronic diseases, including heart disease, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Related risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, and environmental exposures that contribute to COPD will also be emphasized. Center collaboration with existing health care systems in their communities or regions will be key to building and strengthening sustainable programs. 

Each center will foster the training and mentoring of emerging scientists, physicians and other health professionals, and/or community health workers in collaboration with their partner institutions. Each NHLBI-funded center is also a Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellow or Scholar site.  The Fogarty International Center is dedicated to advancing the mission of the NIH by supporting and facilitating global health research and training activities.  

Information on all of the UnitedHealth and the NHLBI Collaborating Centers of Excellence can be found on the NHLBI Global Health Initiative Website, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/globalhealth/.