Advisory Council Minutes, January 19-20, 2012

The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council was convened in closed session for its one hundred forty-eighth meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 19, 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 3:55 p.m. on January 19, the meeting was open to the public on January 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:56 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.
David O. Meltzer, M.D., Ph.D.
Denise J. Montell, Ph.D.
Robert F. Murphy, Ph.D.
Vern L. Schramm, Ph.D.
James L. Stevens, Ph.D.

Members Absent:

Karolin Luger, Ph.D.

Special Consultants Present:

Karen M. Arndt, Ph.D.
Professor of Biological Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Valerie Copie, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59715

Howard H. Garrison, Ph.D.
Deputy Executive Director of Policy
Director, Office of Public Affairs
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Bethesda, MD 20814

N. Louise Glass, Ph.D.
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3102

Alan (Rick) F. Horwitz, Ph.D.
Harrison Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology
Associate Vice President for Bioscience Programs
Department of Cell Biology
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0732

Mark O. Lively, III, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1016

Scott J. Miller, Ph.D.
Irénée DuPont Professor of Chemistry
Chair, Department of Chemistry
Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520-8107

Sudha Sharma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Howard University College of Medicine
Washington, DC 20059

Antoinette Torres, B.A.
Associate Vice Provost
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Council roster (available from NIGMS).

Members of the Public Present:

Dr. Robert Berendt, Berendt Associates
Dr. Peter Chien, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr. Patricia Kobor, American Psychological Association
Mr. Mireille Kamariza, American Chemical Society
Dr. Richard I. Martinez, OmniSciHCD
Dr. Brittany Westlake, American Chemical Society
Dr. Gordon B. Wheeler, American College of Emergency Physicians

Federal Employees Present:


NIGMS and other NIH employees:

Please see the sign-in sheet (available from NIGMS).


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: Karen M. Arndt, Ph.D., professor of Biological Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh; Valerie Copie, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University; Howard H. Garrison, Ph.D., deputy executive director of policy, and director, Office of Public Affairs, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology; N. Louise Glass, Ph.D., professor, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley; Alan (Rick) F. Horwitz, Ph.D., Harrison distinguished professor of cell biology, associate vice president for bioscience programs, Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia School of Medicine; Mark O. Lively, III, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Scott J. Miller, Ph.D., Irénée DuPont professor of chemistry and chair, Department of Chemistry, Yale University; Sudha Sharma, Ph.D., associate professor , Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Howard University College of Medicine; and Antoinette Torres, B.A., associate vice provost, Drexel University. Dr. Greenberg then introduced and welcomed the guests in attendance.

II. Consideration of Minutes

The minutes of the September 15-16, 2011, meeting were approved as submitted.

III. Future Meeting Dates

The following dates for future Council meetings were confirmed:

May 24-25, 2012
September 6-7, 2012
January 24-25, 2013

IV. NIGMS Acting Director's Report

Dr.Greenberg updated the Council on new NIH and HHS appointments, and she welcomed new NIGMS staff that had joined the Institute since the September 2011 Council meeting. In particular, she introduced the staff members that joined NIGMS from the former National Center for Research Resources as a result of the establishment of a new NIH component, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Dr. Greenberg also explained that the recent NIGMS reorganization created two new components: the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity; and the Division of Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, both which incorporate existing NIGMS programs and new ones from the former NCRR. Dr. Greenberg also announced that NIGMS is planning to host several activities in honor of the Institute's 50th anniversary.

Contact: Dr. Judith H. Greenberg,, 301-594-2172

V. NIGMS Strategic Plan for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Training: Implementation Blueprint

In January 2011, NIGMS released its Strategic Plan for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Training. For the past year, three working groups composed of NIGMS staff have met regularly to consider how to implement the 15 action items identified in the plan. Dr. Judith Greenberg explained that approximately half of the action items will be implemented through NIGMS by supporting current policies, changing policies where necessary and providing clear statements of principle. For the remaining actions, which must be taken by institutions, faculty, reviewers and other stakeholders, NIGMS will provide guidance and encouragement through a variety of means.

Contact: Dr. Judith H. Greenberg,, 301-594-2172

VI. The NIH Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program and Re-Authorization

The NIH SBIR/STTR program is a set-aside, research grant program for domestic small business concerns to engage in basic research and research and development with commercialization potential. Congress recently re-authorized the programs for six years. Dr. Matthew Portnoy, the NIH SBIR/STTR program coordinator from the NIH Office of Extramural Research, presented an overview of the NIH SBIR/STTR program and discussed the key provisions in the re-authorization. Dr. Amy Rubinstein, a scientific review officer in the NIH Center for Scientific Review, discussed the review process for SBIR/STTR applications. Patrice Molnar, NIGMS grants management specialist, described how the Institute handles applications and awards to small businesses. Finally, Dr. Scott Somers provided a brief overview of NIGMS' FY2011 SBIR/STTR funding.

Contacts: Dr. Scott Somers,, 301-594-3827; Dr. Matthew Portnoy,, 301-435-2688; Dr. Amy Rubenstein,, 301-408-9754; Patrice Molnar,, 301-594-5136

Contact: Dr. Stephen Marcus,, 301-451-6446

VII. Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR)

In 2006, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies published a report that highlighted many of the problems existing within the U.S. emergency-care system. The report noted that emergency-based research and research training could be improved, prompting NIH staff to assess the extent of funding for emergency care and emergency medicine research and research training, as well as to identify new opportunities. Dr. Scott Somers reported the results of those discussions and described the pending NIH Office of Emergency Care Research, which will be housed within NIGMS.

Contact: Dr. Scott Somers,, 301-594-3827

VIII. Update: Legislative Issues

Dr. Warren Jones summarized recent legislation passed by Congress that affects NIGMS, including the measures that established the FY2012 appropriation and that reauthorized the SBIR program. He also discussed current efforts in Congress to reduce the increase in the national debt.

Contact: Dr. Warren Jones,, 301-594-3827


X. Review of Applications

A summary of applications reviewed by the Council is available from NIGMS.


The meeting adjourned at 11:56 a.m. on January 20, 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
Executive Secretary National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council