The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council was convened in
open session for its one hundred and seventy-seventh meeting at 9:00 a.m. on
Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Dr. Jon R. Lorsch, director of the National Institute of General Medical
Sciences (NIGMS), presided as chair of the meeting. After an open session from
9:00 a.m. to 12:41 p.m., the closed session was held from 1:40 p.m. to 4:03
Darrin Akins, Ph.D.
Celeste Berg, Ph.D.
Squire J. Booker, Ph.D.
Enrique M. De La Cruz, Ph.D.
Peter J. Espenshade, Ph.D.
Laura F. Gibson, Ph.D.
Danielle Li, Ph.D.
Ronald M. Przygodzki, M.D.
Amy Rosenzweig, Ph.D.
Melanie Sanford, Ph.D.Pamela Stacks, Ph.D.
John Younger, M.D.
Breann L. Brown, Ph.D.
Department of Biochemistry
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Nashville, TN 37232
Angela Byars-Winston, Ph.D.Professor
Department of Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Center for Women's Health
Madison, WI 53715
César de la Fuente, Ph.D.Presidential Assistant ProfessorDepts. of
Bioengineering & Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering,
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Depts. of Microbiology and Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Russell DeBose-Boyd, Ph.D.Beatrice and Miguel Elias Distinguished Chair
in Biomedical Science
Professor of Molecular Genetics
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas TX 75390
Terri Goss Kinzy, Ph.D.
Professor of Biological Sciences
Illinois State University
Normal, IL 61790-1000
David H. Mathews, M.D., Ph.D.Professor
Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York 14642
Donald Warne, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Indians Into Medicine & Public Health Programs
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Professor of Family and Community Medicine
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037
Wendy Young, Ph.D.Executive Partner
Brisbane, CA 94005
Council roster (available from NIGMS)
Not tracked because this was a virtual conference.
Dr. Lorsch thanked the regular members of the Council who were attending
remotely and introduced the special consultants. He then introduced and
welcomed the guests in attendance.
The minutes of the May 20, 2021, meeting were approved as submitted.
The following dates for future Council meetings were confirmed:
NIGMS Director Dr. Jon R. Lorsch thanked the NAGMS Council and NIGMS staff
for their continued service, welcomed ad hoc Council members, and recognized
retiring members. He also announced NIGMS and NIH staff changes, including,
among others, the
selection of Marie Bernard, M.D., as NIH chief officer for scientific workforce diversity, and the
departure of Michael Gottesman, M.D., who is retiring from the position of NIH deputy director for intramural
research after 28 years of service. Dr. Lorsch alerted the Council to two
upcoming NIGMS lectures: the
Judith H. Greenberg Early Career Investigator Lecture
on September 29 and the
on October 20. He reminded the Council about NIGMS’ partnership with
Scholastic and the free
Pathways student magazine that has
wide reach to students and teachers across the United States. He requested
Council’s help in getting input on developing consent language for future use
of data and biospecimens (NOT-OD-21-131) and on current and future needs and ways to utilize cloud computing,
particularly in under-resourced research environments (NOT-OD-21-158
and via an
on this topic). Dr. Lorsch updated the Council on two administrative
supplement programs related to COVID-19 for
Institutional Development Award (IDeA)
Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH)
programs for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance studies and addressing vaccine hesitancy.
Dr. Lorsch presented the inaugural class of
Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers
scholars and announced the program’s
first annual meeting on
October 14 and October 15. Dr. Lorsch then provided the Council with updates
on new funding opportunities for the
Support for Research Excellence (SuRE)
program. Finally, he shared the creation of a joint NHLBI-NIGMS Acute
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), Pneumonia, and Sepsis Phenotyping
Consortium (NOT-HL-21-002). The consortium seeks to understand the heterogeneity and underlying
mechanisms of critical illness syndromes and recovery, specifically in adults
with ARDS, pneumonia, and sepsis, as well as the relationship and biological
overlap between these syndromes.
Contact: Jon Lorsch, Ph.D.,
Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH)
program is managed by NIGMS and includes multiple participating NIH institutes
and centers. The program, which began in 2001, awards grants for research,
capacity building, and career enrichment to federally recognized American
Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes or tribally based organizations. NARCH’s
goals are to: 1) support health research projects controlled and prioritized
by AI/AN communities, 2) reduce health disparities in AI/AN populations, 3)
encourage a cadre of scientists and health research professionals interested
in AI/AN health research, and 4) to encourage research capacity and
infrastructure building within AI/AN communities to provide a framework for
sustainability of research by the tribal communities. Toward effective
stewardship of this important investment, NIGMS gathered relevant data
(qualitative and quantitative) and performed an outcomes analysis of the NARCH
program. The evaluation also included input from the
NIH Tribal Advisory Committee
and culminated with a formal tribal consultation organized by NIGMS and the
NIH Tribal Health Research Office. The evaluation revealed that although NARCH
has evolved and is currently meeting its goals, a number of improvements could
be made to help the program better support the health research needs of AI/AN
communities. The recommendations of the tribal consultation and evaluation are
summarized in the
Tribal Consultation Report and Response [PDF].
Contacts: Darrin Akins, Ph.D.,
Darrin-Akins@ouhsc.edu; Pamela Stacks, Ph.D.,
Informed by a recent evaluation of NARCH, NIGMS intends to continue funding
the program at or above current levels. The
formal tribal consultation [PDF]
with NIGMS staff provided a number of important insights, including a desired
shift away from a reliance on traditional western academic values and norms.
The consultation also revealed a need to: 1) enhance the tribes’ ability to
conduct research and train researchers, 2) reduce the complexity of NARCH
grant applications and awards, and 3) better align peer review with NARCH
goals, including putting reviewers from AI/AN communities on NARCH study
sections (as articulated in
American Indian and Alaska Native Research in the Health Sciences: Critical
Considerations for the Review of Research Applications [PDF]
document). In addition, the consultation pointed to the continued need for
NARCH grant reviewers to understand the importance of culture and language as
research elements for examining health disparities, resilience, and dealing
with trauma in Indian Country. NIGMS is now considering possible additional
NARCH-related programs, such as tribal technical assistance and resource
centers, grants to tribes to help them build or enhance their own sponsored
program offices, and training grants for tribes/tribal organizations. NIGMS
will also look beyond traditional academic indicators (papers, citations,
etc.) when evaluating success and progress of the NARCH investment.
Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA)
program combines a mentored postdoctoral research experience at a
research-intensive institution with a mentored teaching opportunity at a
teaching-intensive partner institution with a diverse student population. The
primary goal of IRACDA is to develop a diverse pool of well-trained biomedical
scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue independent
academic teaching and research careers. An additional goal is to benefit the
teaching-intensive partner institutions, e.g., provide research-oriented,
early career teachers, mentors, and role models for the students; enhance
science educational offerings; provide research opportunities for faculty and
students; and/or bring expertise with state-of-the-art research methods and
technologies. NIGMS received Council approval to reissue an IRACDA funding
announcement with no significant changes to the program.
Contact: Edgardo Falcón-Morales, Ph.D.,
Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT)
program’s overarching goal is to provide a diverse group of fellows with
high-quality research training in
NIGMS mission areas and to
prepare them for leadership positions in biomedical research careers. In
addition to laboratory experience in NIH intramural research laboratories, the
PRAT program provides a structured training environment with extensive career
and professional development, mentoring, and networking opportunities. NIGMS
received Council approval to issue a slightly revised PRAT Fi2 funding
announcement that will enhance the Institute’s ability to train promising
basic scientists conducting postdoctoral research within the NIH intramural
Synchrotron beamlines are invaluable for structural biology research. To
ensure that NIH-supported investigators have access to these beamlines, NIGMS
supports mature synchrotron resources providing various synchrotron-based
techniques that deliver state-of-the-art instrumentation, generate important
structural biology data, and offer user support and training. The resources
are accessible to all biomedical researchers whose projects are vetted through
a peer review process. The
Mature Synchrotron Resources (MSR)
program offers continued support of mature NIGMS-supported synchrotron
resources that have one or more established techniques and can demonstrate an
active user program through publication of research results or structural
models. NIGMS support maintains the structural biology beamline resources at a
suitably advanced level and replaces existing equipment and implementation of
the latest instrumentation with minor technology development. NIGMS received
Council approval to reissue the MSR funding announcement with no significant
changes to the program.
Contact: Mary Ann Wu, Ph.D.,
Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)
program helps establish and develop thematic biomedical research centers and
enhance the competitiveness of investigators for obtaining independent
research grants and other peer-reviewed support. COBRE is one of the main
initiatives supported by the congressionally mandated IDeA program, a
long-term initiative that supports building and expanding biomedical research
capacity in states and jurisdictions that have historically lagged in NIH
funding. COBRE consists of three sequential 5-year phases. The goal of phase 2
is to strengthen centers established in phase 1 through enhancements to
research infrastructure and continued development and growth of a cadre of
investigators with shared scientific interests. NIGMS received Council
approval to reissue the COBRE phase 2 funding announcement with no significant
changes to the program.
Contact: Federico Bernal, Ph.D.,
The proposed IDeA Clinical Research Resource Center will strengthen the
clinical research infrastructure in IDeA states. The resource center will
provide critically needed service and training in matters associated with the
management and operations of clinical trials. It will also strengthen IDeA
investigators’ ability to extract and use data from electronic health records
for research purposes. The resource center will support activities to 1)
improve participation in clinical trials, 2) strengthen clinical trial
competence of the research workforce, 3) increase patient awareness and
decrease hesitancy about clinical trials, and 4) expand the use of electronic
health records for clinical research. Longer term, the resource center will
broaden participation of patients with diverse demographical, geographical,
and socioeconomic backgrounds; increase the generalizability of clinical trial
results; and reduce health disparities. NIGMS received Council approval to
issue a funding announcement for the IDeA Clinical Research Resource Center.
Contacts: Ming Lei, Ph.D.,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Lumy Sawaki-Adams,
Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA)
provides support for the research program in an investigator’s laboratory: a
collection of projects that are within NIGMS’ scientific mission. MIRA
characteristics include increased award length, funding stability, flexibility
in future research directions, and reduced administrative burden. In its next
phase, the program will accept both new applications and renewal submissions
from eligible applicants. NIGMS received Council approval to issue a new MIRA
funding announcement, expanding eligibility to include
(those who haven’t previously competed successfully for substantial,
independent NIH funding) and a required
plan for enhancing diverse perspectives
component that is scorable at the scientific review.
Contact: Zhongzhen Nie, Ph.D.,
Cloud computing provides end users access to data, high performance
computation, and storage space without a heavy institutional investment in
infrastructure. Access to and utilization of cloud computing are extremely
valuable for students and investigators at under-resourced institutions.
However, learning tools for using cloud computing remain limited. NIGMS has
developed pilots—in partnership with engineers from Google—through the
NIH STRIDES (Science and
Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and
Sustainability) program, to create interactive self-learning tools that
provide students skills in biomedical research and provide faculty
investigators programming skills to use cloud resource for training and
research. The learning modules will be presented in the upcoming
NIH cloud computing usage virtual workshop
on September 13-14. NIGMS will next support administrative supplements to
existing grants to develop additional cloud-based modules and disseminate them
for public access.
Contact: Ming Lei, Ph.D.,
This portion of the meeting was closed to the public in accordance with the
determination that it concerned matters exempt from mandatory disclosures
under Sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5, U.S.C. and Section 10(d) of
the Federal Advisory Committee Act as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2).
Members absented themselves from the meeting during discussion of and voting
on applications from their own institutions, or other applications in which
there was a potential conflict of interest, real or apparent. Members were
asked to sign a statement to this effect.
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences considered 907 research and
training applications requesting $439,743,423 in total costs. The Council
recommended 907 applications with a total cost of $439,743,423.
The meeting adjourned at 4:03 p.m. on September 9, 2021.
I hereby certify that to my knowledge the foregoing minutes are accurate and
Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D.
National Advisory General
Medical Sciences Council
Erica Brown, Ph.D.
National Advisory General
Medical Sciences Council
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