The NIH Scientific Management Review Board issued recommendations to dissolve the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and create a new National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). This decision follows the Obama Administration’s growing concern with the slowing rate of new drug development 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. According to NIH Director Francis Collins, the new Center will help attract the pharmaceutical industry’s attention by doing some of the exploratory and “discovery” research that was previously done by the industry within the NIH structure.
The proposed reassignments include:
1. The Clinical and Translational Research Awards (CTSA) program would be transferred to NCATS.
2. 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).
3. Imaging P41 grants would be transferred to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).
4. The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program would be transferred to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).
5. 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).
NIH Wants Your Opinion
The NIH has created a “straw model” of the proposed reassignments of current NCRR programs and is seeking comments from the public regarding the proposed changes. To view the NIH site and/or comment, visit http://feedback.nih.gov.