The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council was convened in closed session for its one hundred fifty-seventh meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 22, 2015.
Dr. Jon R. Lorsch, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), presided as chair of the meeting. After a closed session from 8:31 a.m. to 4:21 p.m. on January 22, the meeting was open to the public on January 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:32 p.m.
Council Members Present
Gail E. Besner, M.D.Henry T. Greely, J.D.Alan (Rick) F. Horwitz, Ph.D.Richard L. Lalonde, Pharm.D.Scott J. Miller, Ph.D.Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D.Margaret C. Werner-Washburne, Ph.D.Holly A. Wichman, Ph.D.
Council Members Absent
Special Consultants Present
John C. Alverdy, M.D.
Sara and Harold Lincoln Thompson Professor of SurgeryExecutive Vice ChairDepartment of SurgeryUniversity of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
Bonnie Berger, Ph.D.
Professor of MathematicsProfessor of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA 02139
Goldie S. Byrd, Ph.D.
Nathan F. Simms Endowed Professor of BiologyDean, College of Arts & SciencesNorth Carolina A&T State UniversityGreensboro, NC 27411
Liza D. Cariaga-Lo, Ed.D.
Vice President for Academic Development, Diversity, and Inclusion
Adjunct Assistant ProfessorDepartment of EducationBrown UniversityProvidence, RI 02912
Carmen W. Dessauer, Ph.D.
ProfessorDepartment of Integrative Biology and PharmacologyUniversity of Texas
Health Science Center at HoustonHouston, TX 77030
Samuel H. Gellman, Ph.D.
Ralph F. Hirschmann Professor of ChemistryDepartment of ChemistryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadison, WI 53706-1396
Arthur Gutierrez-Hartmann, M.D.
Associate Dean for Research Education, School of Medicine
Director, Medical Scientist Training ProgramDirector, Physician Scientist Residency Training ProgramProfessor, Departments of Medicine and of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusAurora, CO 80045
Amy Pasquinelli, Ph.D.
Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Molecular BiologyDivision of BiologyUniversity of California, San DiegoLa Jolla, CA 92093
Mark Peifer, Ph.D.
Hooker Distinguished ProfessorDepartment of BiologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, NC 27599
Sandra Schmid, Ph.D.
Professor and ChairDepartment of Cell BiologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallas, TX 75390
Janet L. Smith, Ph.D.
Margaret J. Hunter Collegiate Professor in the Life SciencesProfessor of Biological ChemistryLife Sciences InstituteUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor, MI 48109-2216
Wilfred A. van der Donk, Ph.D.Richard E. Heckert Endowed Chair in ChemistryInvestigator, Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, IL 61801
Council roster (available from NIGMS)
Members of the Public Present
Dr. Stephanie DeLuca, American Chemical SocietyDr. Adam Fagen, Genetics Society of AmericaDr. Howard Garrison, Federation of American Societies for Experimental BiologyDr. Jason Geng, Xigen, LLCDr. Leemor Joshua-Tor, Cold Spring Harbor LaboratoryKevin Wilson, American Society for Cell Biology
NIGMS and other NIH employees
Please see the sign-in sheet (available from NIGMS)
Other Federal Employees Present
OPEN PORTION OF THE MEETING
I. Call to Order and Opening Remarks
Dr. Lorsch thanked the regular members of the Council who were present and then introduced the special consultants: John C. Alverdy, M.D., Sara and Harold Lincoln Thompson Professor of Surgery and executive vice chair, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago; Bonnie Berger, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, and electrical engineering and computer science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Goldie S. Byrd, Ph.D., Nathan F. Simms Endowed Professor of Biology and dean, College of Arts and Sciences, North Carolina A&T State University; Liza D. Cariaga-Lo, Ed.D., vice president for academic development, diversity, and inclusion, and adjunct assistant professor, Department of Education, Brown University; Carmen W. Dessauer, Ph.D., professor, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Samuel H. Gellman, Ph.D., Ralph F. Hirschmann Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Arthur Gutierrez-Hartmann, M.D., associate dean for research education, School of Medicine, director, Medical Scientist Training Program and Physician Scientist Residency Training Program, and professor, Department of Medicine and of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; Amy Pasquinelli, Ph.D., professor and vice chair, Department of Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego; Mark Peifer, Ph.D., Hooker Distinguished Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Sandra Schmid, Ph.D., professor and vice chair, Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Janet L. Smith, Ph.D., Margaret J. Hunter Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences and professor of biological chemistry, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan; Wilfred A. van der Donk, Ph.D., Richard E. Heckert Endowed Chair in Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Lorsch then introduced and welcomed the guests in attendance.
II. Consideration of Minutes
The minutes of the September 18-19, 2014, meeting were approved as submitted.
III. Future Meeting Dates
The following dates for future Council meetings were confirmed:
May 21-22, 2015 Thursday-FridaySeptember 17-18, 2015 Thursday-FridayJanuary 28-29, 2016 Thursday-Friday
IV. NIGMS Director’s Report
Dr. Lorsch thanked the Council members for their continued service, and he acknowledged the hard work of NIGMS staff that goes into planning and executing every Council meeting. He updated the group on staff hires and departures at NIGMS, noting that Dr. Judith H. Greenberg has been selected as the new NIGMS deputy director. Dr. Lorsch told the Council about a proposed organizational change at NIGMS: creation of a Center for Research Capacity Building, which would house selected programs currently residing within the Institute’s Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity. He alerted the group about two new funding-related activities, the imminent
Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) funding opportunity announcement and the newly released
guidelines for funding investigators with substantial unrestricted research support. Dr. Lorsch concluded by underscoring the importance of diversity and balance in the NIGMS research portfolio, noting that sustaining biomedical research in the current challenging fiscal climate is a
Contact: Dr. Jon R. Lorsch,
V. Report: Recommendations for Continued Investment in Structural Biology Following the Sunsetting of the Protein Structure Initiative
In September 2013, Dr. Lorsch commissioned two committees to develop recommendations for the Institute’s future support of structural biology. The NIGMS Future of Structural Biology Committees assembled expertise in both the practice of structural biology as a field and its impact on other researchers. An external committee included structural biology practitioners and researchers who use structural biology data and resources in their work. NIGMS asked that group to focus primarily on articulating community needs and suggesting emerging challenges and opportunities in structural biology. An internal committee, composed of NIH staff, provided a complementary perspective in those areas and developed recommendations for implementation of the priorities identified by the external committee. The committees worked closely together and summarized their findings in a
written report. Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, one of the committee co-chairs, presented the report’s findings.
Contact: Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor,
VI. Presentation: NIH as a Digital Enterprise
Biomedical research is becoming more digital and more analytical as the amount of data increases. In recognition, NIH created the position of associate director for data science, reporting directly to the NIH director. The first full-time holder of that position, Dr. Philip Bourne, described a strategy and associated initiatives NIH is undertaking to meet the challenges and opportunities of this changing environment. Noting that one such challenge is sustainability, Dr. Bourne emphasized it as a special focus and one of particular concern to the NIGMS community.
Contact: Dr. Philip E. Bourne,
VII. Update: NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation
The NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation (OPAE) is undergoing both structural and functional expansion in order to enhance the Institute’s data-gathering and analysis capabilities. Newly hired OPAE Director Dr. Richard Aragon briefly updated the Council on the status of OPAE’s growth, noting six key functional areas: strategic planning, data collection and analysis, program evaluation, portfolio analysis, legislative reporting and accountability.
Contact: Dr. Richard Aragon,
VIII. Report: Diversity Supplement Program Outcomes
Dr. Alison Hall, acting director of the NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity, presented outcomes data from the
NIGMS diversity supplement award program, a longstanding effort that enables NIGMS grantees to support researchers from underrepresented groups on their R01 grants, using additional funds. She discussed metrics of a recent evaluation of this program (from 1989 to 2006) including career-sector-related outcomes and the number of Ph.D. completions for graduate students supported on diversity supplement awards.
Contact: Dr. Alison Hall,
IX. Presentation: 2015-2020 Strategic Plan for NIGMS
Dr. Richard Aragon updated the Council on the latest draft of NIGMS’ 5-year strategic plan. He presented an overview of the goals, objectives and implementation strategies, as well as overarching themes. After presenting this overview, Dr. Aragon solicited from the Council relevant feedback and discussion of the content of the plan and next steps.
X. Public Comment Period
Dr. Adam Fagen, executive director of the Genetics Society of America (GSA), stated that GSA resonates with NIGMS’ foci on investigator-initiated grant support and the need for data analytics toward Institute planning. He noted recent GSA activities that include: development of a basic research resource guide to help inform stakeholders, an upcoming allied genetics conference at which several model-organism communities will gather together and a member survey on funding-related issues.
Dr. Howard Garrison, deputy executive director for policy and director of the Office of Public Affairs at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), highlighted the society’s recent report,
Sustaining Discovery in Biological and Medical Sciences. He stated that the report aligns well with the NIGMS 2015-2020 draft strategic plan. Dr. Garrison reiterated that FASEB continues its advocacy efforts, including creating awareness materials for scientists to use in communicating about the value of biomedical research.
CLOSED PORTION OF THE MEETING
A summary of applications reviewed by the Council is available from NIGMS.
The meeting adjourned at 12:32 p.m. on January 23, 2015.
I hereby certify that to my knowledge the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.
___________________Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D.ChairNational Advisory General Medical Sciences Council
___________________Ann A. Hagan, Ph.D.Executive SecretaryNational Advisory General Medical Sciences Council
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