If the convening of the 119th advisory committee to the NIH director forecast the direction the agency is headed, then NIH is truly moving boldly into the future. NIH’s biannual meeting with its advisors packed the day and a half with the stimulating and the sticky.
The husband-and-wife team of Dr. Sonia Vallabh and Dr. Eric Minikel quit their professions in order to address Vallabh’s diagnosis as a carrier of a gene that puts her at high risk of suffering the disease that rapidly killed her mother in the prime of life.
People living with sickle cell disease (SCD) endure chronic, debilitating pain. Great progress has been made to treat this inherited blood disorder. Now, “it’s time to envision broadly available cures for this disease,” said NHLBI senior investigator Dr. John Tisdale.
Advances in medical imaging have revealed that addiction is a complex disease of the brain, said NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow. What nearly every abused drug that results in addiction—whether it be cocaine, alcohol, opioids or nicotine—has in common is not only that they activate the reward circuit of the brain but also that their repeated use modifies the function of the prefrontal cortex.
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Repurposing and Robots. The National Center for Advancing Translational Research supports repurposing approved drugs for new therapeutic uses, a strategy that can accelerate translation from bench to bedside.