Advisory Council Minutes, January 23-24, 2014

The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council was convened in closed session for its one hundred fifty-fourth meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2014.

Dr. Jon R. Lorsch, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), presided as chair of the meeting. After a closed session from 8:32 a.m. to 5:28 p.m. on January 23, the meeting was open to the public on January 24 from 8:32 a.m. to 11:37 a.m.

Council Members Present:

David A. Agard, Ph.D.
Gail E. Besner, M.D.
Mary (Molly) L. Carnes, M.D.
Alan (Rick) F. Horwitz, Ph.D.
Richard Lalonde, Pharm.D.
Scott J. Miller, Ph.D.
Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D.

Council Members Absent:

Vern L. Schramm, Ph.D.
Margaret C. Werner-Washburne, Ph.D.
Holly A. Wichman, Ph.D.

Special Consultants Present:

Squire J. Booker, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

Catherine E. Costello, Ph.D.
William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor
Director, Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, MA 02118-2646

Jay C. Dunlap, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor of Genetics
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Department of Genetics
Hanover, NH 03755

John J. Estrada, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Associate Director, Clinical and Translational Research Center
Co-Director, Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, Dillard University/LSUHSC
Director, Education and Community Services, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
New Orleans, LA 70112

Lawrence Goldstein, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Department of Neurosciences
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
Director, UC-San Diego Stem Cell Program
Scientific Director, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine
Director, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center
La Jolla, CA 92093-0695

Brenton R. Graveley, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics and Developmental Biology
University of Connecticut Health Center
Farmington, CT 06030-6403

Trey Ideker, Ph.D.
Department of Medicine
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0688

Judith Kimble, Ph.D.
Vilas Professor
Department of Biochemistry
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706-1544

John Moult, D.Phil.
Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research
University of Maryland
Rockville, MD 20850

Council roster (available from NIGMS)

Members of the Public Present

Dr. Anne M. Deschamps, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Dr. Timothy Donohue, American Society for Microbiology
Dr. Patricia Kober, American Psychological Association
Dr. Janet Shoemaker, American Society for Microbiology
Dr. Christina Szalenski, American Society for Microbiology
Dr. Kevin Wilson, American Society for Cell Biology

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. Lorsch thanked the regular members of the Council who were present and then introduced the special consultants: Squire J. Booker, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, Pennsylvania State University; Catherine E. Costello, Ph.D., director, Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry, Boston University School of Medicine; Jay C. Dunlap, Ph.D., chair and professor of genetics, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; John J. Estrada, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, Louisiana State University; Lawrence Goldstein, Ph.D., distinguished professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine; Brenton R. Graveley, Ph.D., professor of genetics and developmental biology, University of Connecticut Health Center; Trey Ideker, Ph.D., professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego; Judith Kimble, Ph.D., Vilas Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and John Moult, D.Phil., professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland. Dr. Lorsch then introduced and welcomed the guests in attendance.

II. Consideration of Minutes

The minutes of the September 19-20, 2013, meeting were approved as submitted.

III. Future Meeting Dates

The following dates for future Council meetings were confirmed:

May 22-23, 2014
September 18-19, 2014
January 23- 24, 2015

IV. Council Operating Procedures

Council Operating Procedures for 2014 required only minor edits. Dr. Ann A. Hagan requested, and received, Council approval to adopt the revised operating procedures.

V. NIGMS Director's Report

Dr. Lorsch updated the Council on staff hires and departures at NIGMS and NIH. He also noted that five grantees won 2013 Nobel Prizes and alerted th​e group to the upcoming Cell Day 2014 event on February 28. Dr. Lorsch then briefed the Council on the Institute's strategic planning efforts, which aim to identify optimal models for future investments to promote a thriving, sustainable biomedical research enterprise and will focus on reinvigorating the Institute's mission to support investigator-initiated research. He emphasized that the strategic planning process would encompass the three principles of efficacy, efficiency and adaptability. Selected areas under discussion include the role and nature of full-time training positions; stable, research program-based funding mechanisms; broadly available research resources; and technology development.

Contact: Dr. Jon R. Lorsch,, 301-594-2172

VI. Presentation: ASCB Human Stem Cell Task Force Report and Recommendations

In 2012, the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) hosted a retreat with several biomedical research thought leaders to discuss future opportunities in cell biology, and stem cells emerged as a key focus. Dr. Lawrence Goldstein of the University of California, San Diego, and chair of an ASCB task force charged with exploring this issue, summarized the group's recently issued report and recommendations Dr. Goldstein stated that the report highlights opportunities for using cultured human embryonic and human induced pluripotent stem cells in both human and animal model systems. He also noted that the task force believes it is important to support research in cell and developmental biology related to natural genetic variation to inform future studies and cell therapies.

Contact: Dr. Lawrence Goldstein,, 858-534-9702

VII. Presentation: Role of the Office of Emergency Care Research

The NIGMS Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR) got its first permanent director, Dr. Jeremy Brown, in July 2013. Dr. Brown presented an overview of this trans-NIH office that is housed within NIGMS and whose mission is to catalyze and coordinate emergency care research across NIH. He then presented the findings of a portfolio analysis of emergency care research and career training. Dr. Brown also announced that OECR will host a March 2014 conference on the NIH campus on the ethical and regulatory challenges to emergency care research.

Contact: Dr. Jeremy Brown,, 301-594-4481

VIII. Presentation: National Academy of Sciences Evaluation of EPSCoR and IDeA Program

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358, signed 01/04/2011) directed the National Science Foundation director to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study of all Federal agencies that administer Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) or similar programs, including NIH's Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program. Dr. Fred Taylor presented the findings of the NAS report that was released in November 2013, which affirmed the value of the NIH funding model for this program.

Contact: Dr. Fred Taylor,, 301-435-0765

IX. Presentation: Conference Policy Change

Dr. Lorsch reported on an updated procedure for funding scientific conferences through the R13 and U13 mechanisms. The new procedure creates an Institute-wide policy that will streamline administrative costs and burden. Under the new policy, which will result in fewer grants funded by the R13/U13 mechanism, NIGMS will only support those meetings that are closely aligned with its mission; are non-recurring (unless related to training or workforce development); or include participants who do not frequently interact in other venues. Dr. Lorsch added that the imminent Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) R25 funding mechanism will support courses and training-related workshops. These applications will be open to professional societies and other organizations that may use the funds to pay costs for trainees to attend conferences that have a recognizable training component.

Contact: Dr. Jon R. Lorsch,, 301-594-2172

X. Presentation: Expiration of Ancillary Training Program (T36)

NIGMS has offered support for students and/or faculty from institutions with substantial enrollments of individuals from underrepresented groups to participate in scientific conferences, scientific short courses or other well-defined activities. Dr. Michael Sesma described plans to discontinue the MARC T36 Ancillary Training Program in light of the availability of other NIGMS programs that better suit community and Institute needs (such as the imminent IPERT R25 program).

Contact: Dr. Michael Sesma,, 301-594-2772

XI. Concept Clearance: Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT, R25)

NIGMS has long supported a variety of efforts to enhance and/or complement research training to develop and sustain a highly skilled and diverse workforce to meet the nation's biomedical research needs. Dr. Michael Sesma presented an overview of the proposed IPERT R25 program to support a range of creative and innovative research educational activities, but not direct support for conferences and meetings. He noted that proposed IPERT-funded activities must address the goals of the NIGMS ​Strategic Plan for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Training and added that the program may be of particular interest to institutions and organizations previously funded by the MARC T36 Ancillary Training Program. Dr. Sesma requested, and received, Council approval to develop the IPERT program.

Contact: Dr. Michael Sesma,, 301-594-2772

XII. Public Comment Period

Dr. Anne M. Deschamps of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology expressed appreciation to NIGMS for restating its commitment to investigator-initiated research.

Dr. Timothy Donohue of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) thanked the Institute for its longstanding commitment to basic research and provided several examples of the fruits of this investment in microbiology. He then provided an overview of ASM's constituency and efforts, specifically noting concern for the currently reduced level of NIH funding of microbiology research. He noted that this scenario negatively affects research output as well as research training capacity.


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


The meeting adjourned at 11:37 a.m. on January 24, 2014.


I hereby certify that to my knowledge the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.

Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D.
National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council
Ann A. Hagan, Ph.D
Executive Secretary
National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council