Videocast of the Council Open Session, January 24, 2014
The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council was convened in closed session for its one hundred fifty-fourth meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2014.
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 8:32 a.m. to 5:28 p.m. on January 23, the meeting was open to the public on January 24 from 8:32 a.m. to 11:37 a.m.
David A. Agard, Ph.D.Gail E. Besner, M.D.Mary (Molly) L. Carnes, M.D.Alan (Rick) F. Horwitz, Ph.D.Richard Lalonde, Pharm.D.Scott J. Miller, Ph.D.Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D.
Vern L. Schramm, Ph.D.Margaret C. Werner-Washburne, Ph.D.Holly A. Wichman, Ph.D.
Squire J. Booker, Ph.D.Professor of ChemistryProfessor of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park, PA 16802
Catherine E. Costello, Ph.D.
William Fairfield Warren Distinguished ProfessorDirector, Center for Biomedical Mass SpectrometryBoston University School of MedicineBoston, MA 02118-2646
Jay C. Dunlap, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor of GeneticsGeisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Department of GeneticsHanover, NH 03755
John J. Estrada, M.D.
Associate Professor of PediatricsAssociate Director, Clinical and Translational Research CenterCo-Director, Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, Dillard University/LSUHSCDirector, Education and Community Services, Stanley S. Scott Cancer CenterLouisiana State University Health Sciences CenterNew Orleans, LA 70112
Lawrence Goldstein, Ph.D.
Distinguished ProfessorDepartment of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Department of NeurosciencesUniversity of California, San Diego School of MedicineDirector, UC-San Diego Stem Cell ProgramScientific Director, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative MedicineDirector, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical CenterLa Jolla, CA 92093-0695
Brenton R. Graveley, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics and Developmental BiologyUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmington, CT 06030-6403
Trey Ideker, Ph.D.
ProfessorDepartment of MedicineUniversity of California, San DiegoLa Jolla, CA 92093-0688
Judith Kimble, Ph.D.
Vilas ProfessorDepartment of BiochemistryInvestigator, Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadison, WI 53706-1544
John Moult, D.Phil.
Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular GeneticsInstitute for Bioscience and Biotechnology ResearchUniversity of MarylandRockville, MD 20850
Council roster (available from NIGMS)
Dr. Anne M. Deschamps, Federation of American Societies for Experimental BiologyDr. Timothy Donohue, American Society for MicrobiologyDr. Patricia Kober, American Psychological AssociationDr. Janet Shoemaker, American Society for MicrobiologyDr. Christina Szalenski, American Society for MicrobiologyDr. Kevin Wilson, American Society for Cell Biology
Please see the sign-in sheet (available from NIGMS).
Dr. Lorsch thanked the regular members of the Council who were present and then introduced the special consultants: Squire J. Booker, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, Pennsylvania State University; Catherine E. Costello, Ph.D., director, Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry, Boston University School of Medicine; Jay C. Dunlap, Ph.D., chair and professor of genetics, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; John J. Estrada, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, Louisiana State University; Lawrence Goldstein, Ph.D., distinguished professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine; Brenton R. Graveley, Ph.D., professor of genetics and developmental biology, University of Connecticut Health Center; Trey Ideker, Ph.D., professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego; Judith Kimble, Ph.D., Vilas Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and John Moult, D.Phil., professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland. Dr. Lorsch then introduced and welcomed the guests in attendance.
The minutes of the September 19-20, 2013, meeting were approved as submitted.
The following dates for future Council meetings were confirmed:
Council Operating Procedures for 2014 required only minor edits. Dr. Ann A. Hagan requested, and received, Council approval to adopt the revised operating procedures.
Dr. Lorsch updated the Council on staff hires and departures at NIGMS and NIH. He also noted that five grantees won 2013 Nobel Prizes and alerted the group to the upcoming
Cell Day 2014 event on February 28. Dr. Lorsch then briefed the Council on the Institute's strategic planning efforts, which aim to identify optimal models for future investments to promote a thriving, sustainable biomedical research enterprise and will focus on reinvigorating the Institute's mission to support investigator-initiated research. He emphasized that the strategic planning process would encompass the three principles of efficacy, efficiency and adaptability. Selected areas under discussion include the role and nature of full-time training positions; stable, research program-based funding mechanisms; broadly available research resources; and technology development.
Contact: Dr. Jon R. Lorsch,
In 2012, the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) hosted a retreat with several biomedical research thought leaders to discuss future opportunities in cell biology, and stem cells emerged as a key focus. Dr. Lawrence Goldstein of the University of California, San Diego, and chair of an ASCB task force charged with exploring this issue, summarized the group's recently issued report and recommendations Dr. Goldstein stated that the report highlights opportunities for using cultured human embryonic and human induced pluripotent stem cells in both human and animal model systems. He also noted that the task force believes it is important to support research in cell and developmental biology related to natural genetic variation to inform future studies and cell therapies.
Contact: Dr. Lawrence Goldstein,
NIGMS Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR) got its first permanent director, Dr. Jeremy Brown, in July 2013. Dr. Brown presented an overview of this trans-NIH office that is housed within NIGMS and whose mission is to catalyze and coordinate emergency care research across NIH. He then presented the findings of a portfolio analysis of emergency care research and career training. Dr. Brown also announced that OECR will host a March 2014 conference on the NIH campus on the ethical and regulatory challenges to emergency care research.
Contact: Dr. Jeremy Brown,
The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358, signed 01/04/2011) directed the National Science Foundation director to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study of all Federal agencies that administer Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) or similar programs, including NIH's Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program. Dr. Fred Taylor presented the findings of the NAS report that was released in November 2013, which affirmed the value of the NIH funding model for this program.
Contact: Dr. Fred Taylor,
Dr. Lorsch reported on an updated procedure for funding scientific conferences through the R13 and U13 mechanisms. The new procedure creates an Institute-wide policy that will streamline administrative costs and burden. Under the new policy, which will result in fewer grants funded by the R13/U13 mechanism, NIGMS will only support those meetings that are closely aligned with its mission; are non-recurring (unless related to training or workforce development); or include participants who do not frequently interact in other venues. Dr. Lorsch added that the imminent Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) R25 funding mechanism will support courses and training-related workshops. These applications will be open to professional societies and other organizations that may use the funds to pay costs for trainees to attend conferences that have a recognizable training component.
NIGMS has offered support for students and/or faculty from institutions with substantial enrollments of individuals from underrepresented groups to participate in scientific conferences, scientific short courses or other well-defined activities. Dr. Michael Sesma described plans to discontinue the MARC T36 Ancillary Training Program in light of the availability of other NIGMS programs that better suit community and Institute needs (such as the imminent IPERT R25 program).
Contact: Dr. Michael Sesma,
NIGMS has long supported a variety of efforts to enhance and/or complement research training to develop and sustain a highly skilled and diverse workforce to meet the nation's biomedical research needs. Dr. Michael Sesma presented an overview of the proposed IPERT R25 program to support a range of creative and innovative research educational activities, but not direct support for conferences and meetings. He noted that proposed IPERT-funded activities must address the goals of the
NIGMS Strategic Plan for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Training and added that the program may be of particular interest to institutions and organizations previously funded by the MARC T36 Ancillary Training Program. Dr. Sesma requested, and received, Council approval to develop the IPERT program.
Dr. Anne M. Deschamps of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology expressed appreciation to NIGMS for restating its commitment to investigator-initiated research.
Dr. Timothy Donohue of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) thanked the Institute for its longstanding commitment to basic research and provided several examples of the fruits of this investment in microbiology. He then provided an overview of ASM's constituency and efforts, specifically noting concern for the currently reduced level of NIH funding of microbiology research. He noted that this scenario negatively affects research output as well as research training capacity.
A summary of applications reviewed by the Council is available from NIGMS.
The meeting adjourned at 11:37 a.m. on January 24, 2014.
I hereby certify that to my knowledge the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.
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