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NIH Record  
Vol. LXIII, No. 6
  March 18, 2011
Genetic Discoveries Challenge Theories About Stuttering and The King’s Speech
Pesticide Use Linked to Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Coleman Named First Permanent NIMHD Scientific Director
Special Love Celebrates R&W President Schools with Gala Fundraiser
Cedar Lane Bridge Repairs To Mar Commute This Summer
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‘Time Is Right’
Teleconferences Illuminate NCATS Creation Process

Back-to-back teleconferences on Feb. 23 shed light on both the mission of, and rationale for creating, a new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and making it operational by next Oct. 1.

At both a late-morning meeting-by-phone of the Scientific Management Review Board and a subsequent telephone media availability, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins emphasized two themes in defending the NCATS proposal: it will “advance the discipline of translational science and catalyze the development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics,” he said.

Collins explained that NIH has a long history of conducting both translational science and drug development; the AIDS drug AZT and cancer drug Taxol, for example, were developed by NIH-supported investigators. He also cited a recent paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that, from 1990 to 2007, one-fifth of all new molecular entities submitted to the FDA for priority review as potential therapies were discovered by NIH intramural or extramural scientists.

Collins added that all 27 institutes and centers “have been involved for quite some time” in translational research and that a 2010 survey of the field showed “more than 550 activities involving drugs, vaccines, biologics and devices” in NIH’s research portfolio.

For Many Soldiers, War Doesn’t Stop After They Arrive Home
Combat veteran Todd Bowers

Combat veteran Todd Bowers speaks at NIH.

The nation has been at war for nearly 10 years, and those who have been fighting have borne a disproportionate burden of this responsibility for the country.

Only about one-half of 1 percent of the population is in the armed forces, which means a majority of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have endured multiple combat deployments.

Some don’t return, but the ones who do are often not the same.

A recent National Institute of Mental Health Director’s Innovation Speaker Series lecture offered listeners a sample of what today’s warfare is, what it does to service members and what we can do to bring them home both physically and mentally.