The NIH Scientific Management Review Board
to dissolve the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and create a new
National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). This decision follows the
Administration's growing concern with the slowing rate of new drug production
by the pharmaceutical industry. With the rising costs for developing and
marketing new drugs, the industry's research productivity has been slowing for
the last decade. The new Center's role will be to help attract
pharmaceutical industry's attention by doing some of the research that was
previously done by the industry within the NIH structure. Please see a recent New York Times article and
the NIH's response for more information.
The task force overseeing the
implementation of these recommendations released a “straw model” of the proposed reassignments of current NCRR
programs. The task force is seeking comments from
the public and the research community regarding the proposed changes. ASH is reviewing this plan and will submit comments in response to the
proposal. ASH encourages all members to review this model and share their
comments or concerns regarding this important change.
The proposed reassignments include:
- The Clinical and
Translational Research Awards (CTSA) program would be transferred to NCATS.
- Non-primate model
organism programs, beam line and mass spectrometry P41 grants, Shared
Instrumentation Grants, and High-End Instrumentation grants would be
transferred to National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).
- Imaging P41 grants
would be transferred to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and
- The Research
Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program would be transferred to the
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).
- Primate model
organism programs, remaining P41 grants, other biomedical technology programs,
Institutional Development Awards, Science Education Partnership Awards, and
Construction would be transferred to an interim infrastructure unit within the
Office of the Director (OD).
ASH members are encouraged to submit any particular concerns or comments on
this issue to ASH Scientific Affairs Manager Ulyana Desiderio, PhD, at email@example.com,
or ASH Research Advocacy Manager Tracy Roades at firstname.lastname@example.org,
no later than January 31, 2011.
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