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NIH Record  
Vol. LXIII, No. 1
  January 7, 2011
 Features
Researcher Barnes Offers Compelling Reasons to Eat Soy
NIH Celebrates Native American and Alaska Native Heritage
Harvard’s Church Touts Output of Personal Genome Projects
20 PECASE Honorees Have NIH Ties
Stormwater Management Pond Comes to NLM Lawn
NIH’s Sargent Competes in Olympic-Style Weightlifting
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ACD Hears of Historic Structural Changes Proposed for NIH
  NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and NIH deputy director for science, outreach and policy Dr. Kathy Hudson at the December ACD meeting
  NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and NIH deputy director for science, outreach and policy Dr. Kathy Hudson at the December ACD meeting

NIH’s science structure is likely to change as NIH director Dr. Francis Collins announced major proposals to add and subtract institutes/centers on Dec. 8 at the 101st meeting of the advisory committee to the director. NIH is considering creation of a National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS, potentially), he said, and an institute studying substance use, abuse and addiction.

NCATS would essentially replace the National Center for Research Resources, as was discussed Dec. 7 by the Scientific Management Review Board (see story below). Plans are to establish the new center by Oct. 1, 2011, as part of the 2012 fiscal year budget.

The board also endorsed a new funding structure for the Clinical Center and agreed that the hospital’s state-of-the-science resources should be open for extramural researchers to use.
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SMRB Recommends New TMAT Center

The Scientific Management Review Board voted 12-1 on Dec. 7 to recommend that NIH proceed with plans for a new translational medicine and therapeutics (TMAT) center at NIH that would effectively supplant the National Center for Research Resources. The SMRB asked that, in the 3 months before its spring 2011 meeting, NIH study the nuances of replacing NCRR with a new entity that would take advantage of burgeoning scientific opportunities in drug development.

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins hinted at the outset of the meeting that “gradual organizational evolution is not adequate…we need a ‘punctuated evolution’…I think structural changes are needed.”

He allowed that “change can be unsettling, but also exciting, empowering and challenging,” and is a natural consequence of scientific progress.
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