The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council
was convened in closed session for its one hundred fiftieth meeting
at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 6, 2012.
Dr. Judith H. Greenberg, acting director of the National
Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), presided as chair of
the meeting. After a closed session from 8:30 a.m. to 4:35 p.m. on
September 6, the meeting was open to the public on September 7 from
8:30 a.m. to 11:53 a.m.
Council Members Present:
David A. Agard, Ph.D.
Michael D. Caldwell, M.D., Ph.D.
Mary (Molly) L. Carnes, M.D.
Luisa DiPietro, D.D.S., Ph.D.
John E. Johnson, Ph.D
Karolin Luger, Ph.D.
David O. Meltzer, M.D., Ph.D.
Scott J. Miller, Ph.D.
Denise J. Montell, Ph.D.
Robert F. Murphy, Ph.D.
Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D.
Vern L. Schramm, Ph.D.
James L. Stevens, Ph.D.
Margaret C. Werner-Washburne, Ph.D.
Holly A. Wichman, Ph.D.
Special Consultants Present:
Douglas L. Black, Ph.D.
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1662
Gerald W. Hart, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Department of Biological Chemistry
Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD 21205-2185
George A. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Thomas Francis Collegiate Emeritus Professor of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology
University of Michigan School of Public Health
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2548
Ron Kikinis, M.D
Robert Greenes Distinguished Director of Biomedical
Professor of Radiology
Harvard Medical School
Director, Surgical Planning Laboratory
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, MA 021150
Jodi Nunnari, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616
Council roster (available from NIGMS).
Members of the Public Present:
Dr. Doug Friedman, National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Karen Mowrer, Association of Independent Research
Dr. Judith Mun, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic
Ms. Michelle Rodrigues, SRI International
Dr. Caroline Trupp Gil, American Chemical Society
Dr. Katherine Weber, American Chemical Society
Federal Employees Present:
NIGMS and other NIH employees:
Please see the sign-in sheet (available from NIGMS).
OPEN PORTION OF THE MEETING
I. Call to Order and Opening Remarks
Dr. Greenberg thanked the regular members of the Council who
were present and then introduced the special consultants: Douglas
L. Black, Ph.D., professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology
and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, and
investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Gerald W. Hart,
Ph.D., professor and director, Department of Biological Chemistry,
Johns Hopkins University; George A. Kaplan, Ph.D., emeritus
professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan
School of Public Health; Ron Kikinis, M.D., professor of radiology,
Harvard Medical School, and director, surgical planning laboratory,
Brigham and Women's Hospital; and Jodi Nunnari, Ph.D.,
professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University
of California, Davis.
Dr. Greenberg then introduced and welcomed the guests in
II. Consideration of Minutes
The minutes of the May 24-25, 2012, meeting were approved as
III. Future Meeting Dates
The following dates for future Council meetings were
January 24-25, 2013
May 16-17, 2013
September 19-20, 2013
IV. NIGMS Acting Director's Report
Dr. Judith H. Greenberg updated the Council on new NIGMS
personnel matters, including the recently re-launched NIGMS
director search, and she noted that this Council meeting is the
150th for the Institute. Dr. Greenberg reminded the Council about
two upcoming events commemorating NIGMS' 50th anniversary:
Stetten, Jr., 50th Anniversary Symposium (October 17) and
Day, an interactive Web chatroom about the cell for middle and
high school students (November 2). Dr. Greenberg briefly described
the newly established Office of Emergency
Care Research, a trans-NIH coordinating group that is housed
within NIGMS. She pointed to the recent (June 2012) release
of three reports from the NIH Advisory Committee to the
Director, each of which has topical relevance to the NIGMS mission.
Dr. Greenberg concluded by summarizing FY 2012 budget
Contact: Dr. Judith H. Greenberg, email@example.com,
V. Presentation: NIGMS Pharmacology Research Associate
The Pharmacology Research Associate (PRAT) Program constitutes
the entire NIGMS intramural program and is intended to produce a
cadre of well-trained scientists with the potential to become
scientific leaders. It is a competitive postdoctoral program in
which fellows pursue research in intramural NIH or FDA
laboratories. PRAT Program co-director Dr. Richard Okita presented
the results of a recent external evaluation of the program, which
gave it high marks. Notably, the evaluation report concluded,
"As far as we could tell from the interviews, there are no
disadvantages–and many advantages–to being a PRAT
fellow." Because of the wide range of areas supported by this
successful fellowship program, and with the intention of opening
the program to selected "cutting-edge opportunity"
areas at NIH, it will be renamed the NIGMS Postdoctoral Research
Associate Program. High-priority research areas for the next
application round include computational biology and
Contact: Dr. Richard Okita, firstname.lastname@example.org,
VI. Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the
The field of glycoscience explores the structures and functions
of sugars. Glycans–also known as carbohydrates, saccharides
or simply as sugars–play central roles in many biological
processes and have properties useful in an array of applications.
As discussed by Dr. Gerald Hart of the Johns Hopkins School of
Medicine, a new National Academies of Sciences report details the promise of glycoscience in
areas as diverse as medicine, energy generation and materials
science. It also presents a roadmap for transforming glycoscience
from a field dominated by specialists to a widely studied and
integrated discipline with an accessible toolkit, which could lead
to a more complete understanding of glycans and help solve key
challenges in diverse fields.
Contacts: Dr. Gerald Hart, email@example.com, 410-614-5993
VII. Concept Clearance: Research Centers in Trauma,
Burn, and Peri-Operative Sciences (P50)
The P50 (research centers) funding mechanism has long been an
important NIGMS strategy to fund injury-related research. Through a
mix of hypothesis-based clinical and laboratory-based projects, the
centers have advanced translational research in trauma and burn
injury, sepsis and other multi-organ complications, and wound
healing. Dr. Scott Somers requested, and received, Council approval
to reissue the recently lapsed program announcement to solicit
applications for Research Centers in Trauma, Burn, and
Contact: Dr. Scott Somers, firstname.lastname@example.org,
VIII. Concept Clearance: Translational Scholar Career
Awards in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine
Dr. Rochelle Long described the NIH cross-disciplinary career
development program in pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine
that requires dual mentors from two NIH programs: the Clinical
Translational and Science Awards and the Pharmacogenomics
Research Network. The program fulfills an NIH-wide goal to
expand the pool of well-trained scientists who will apply
pharmacogenomics knowledge to the eventual integration of
personalized medicine into practice. Dr. Long requested, and
received, Council approval to continue the program and request
applications to fund a limited number of K23 awards.
Contact: Dr. Rochelle Long, email@example.com,
IX. Concept Clearance: Genomes to Natural Products
Natural products have shaped modern pharmacotherapy, agriculture
and other commercial processes and play an important role in our
everyday lives. Although about 75 percent of antibacterial and
anticancer drugs are natural products themselves or have been
inspired by natural products, the pharmaceutical industry has
largely abandoned natural products-based drug discovery because of
a diminishing discovery rate of new molecules and 99 percent
rediscovery rate. Dr. Barbara Gerratana requested, and received,
Council approval to solicit U01 applications from multidisciplinary
teams including bioinformaticians and synthetic biologists to
develop new tools and methodologies and to fill the knowledge gaps
for broadly applicable high-throughput DNA-and
bioinformatics-guided approaches for natural products
Contact: Dr. Barbara Gerratana, firstname.lastname@example.org,
X. Concept Clearance: Biomedical Technology Research
Centers (X02, P41)
The Biomedical Technology Research Centers (BTRC) program,
transferred in December 2011 from the National Center for Research
Resources (NCRR), currently supports 33 centers. The centers are
national resources that develop and disseminate complex
technologies broadly applicable for basic and clinical biomedical
research. Each year, these centers train hundreds of researchers
and share technologies to further the research goals of thousands
of NIH grantees. Dr. Douglas Sheeley requested, and received,
Council approval to continue to solicit BTRC pre-applications (X02)
and applications (P41) for this program.
Contact: Dr. Douglas Sheeley, email@example.com,
XI. Concept Clearance: Instrument Development for
Biomedical Applications (R21)
The Instrument Development for Biomedical Applications program,
transferred in December 2011 from NCRR, supports exploratory
research to develop new or improved instrumentation for biomedical
research. It is a unique NIH program, owing to its focus on
exploratory development of instrumentation applicable to a broad
range of basic or clinical biomedical research that is not limited
to a specific organ or disease. Dr. Fred Friedman requested, and
received, Council approval to solicit R21 applications for this
Contact: Dr. Fred Friedman, firstname.lastname@example.org,
XII. Concept Clearance: Multi-Institute Broad-Based
Innovations in Biomedical Information Science and
NIGMS coordinates the Biomedical
Information Science and Technology Initiative (BISTI)
consortium, an NIH-wide community of program staff. One of the main
BISTI activities is to issue a range of initiatives that promote
research and development in biomedical informatics and
computational biology that will support rapid progress in areas of
scientific opportunity relevant to biomedical research. Dr. Peter
Lyster requested, and received, Council approval to reissue four,
broad-based initiatives that promote innovations in biomedical
information science and technology.
Contact: Dr. Peter Lyster, email@example.com, 301-451-6446
XIII. Review of NIH Pathway to Independence Award
The NIH Pathway to Independence Award was designed to help speed
a junior scientist's transition from postdoctoral research to
his or her first R01 in an academic environment. As such, the
two-component award consists of a mentored phase (K99) of 1 to 2
years, and an independent phase (R00) of 3 years. Dr. John Laffan
reported challenges in obtaining the scientific expertise needed to
review K99/R00 applications in the wide range of fields that NIGMS
supports. He described the Institute's use of a two-stage,
editorial-style review system for these applications, noting that
the approach helps to ensure that applications are evaluated
consistently and that they meet Institute programmatic needs.
Contact: Dr. John Laffan, LaffanJo@nigms.nih.gov, 301-594-2773
CLOSED PORTION OF THE MEETING
A summary of applications reviewed by the Council is available
The meeting adjourned at 11:53 a.m. on September 7, 2012.
I hereby certify that to my knowledge the foregoing minutes are
accurate and complete.
Judith H. Greenberg, Ph.D.
National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council
Ann A. Hagan, Ph.D.
National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council