The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the Johns-Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health $16 million “to establish a global center of excellence to address the childhood obesity epidemic.” According to a Johns-Hopkins news release, the initiative will involve more than 40 investigators from 15 U.S. and international institutions to integrate basic science, epidemiology, nutrition, medicine, engineering, and environmental and social policy research, among other disciplines. Johns Hopkins University and other institutions will contribute an additional $4 million to the enterprise.

Founding Director Youfa Wang said, “The new Center will address many needs in the prevention and study of childhood obesity. This initiative will help create research and training opportunities that go beyond traditional methods, and on an unprecedented global scale.” The center’s focus will be on “studying the drivers of the childhood obesity epidemic and environmental and policy interventions,” as well as providing “rapid-response grants to investigators in the field worldwide to obtain time-sensitive data on environmental and policy changes relevant to childhood obesity.” See Johns-Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health News Release, November 10, 2011.