Advisory Council Minutes, January 24-25, 2013

The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council was convened in closed session for its one hundred fifty-first meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 24, 2013.

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 3:25 p.m. on January 24, the meeting was open to the public on January 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:37 p.m.

Council Members Present:

David A. Agard, Ph.D.
Mary (Molly) L. Carnes, M.D.
Luisa DiPietro, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Karolin Luger, Ph.D.
David O. Meltzer, M.D., Ph.D.
Scott J. Miller, Ph.D.
Vern L. Schramm, Ph.D.
Margaret C. Werner-Washburne, Ph.D.
Holly A. Wichman, Ph.D.

Council Members Absent:

Denise J. Montell, Ph.D.
Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D.

Special Consultants Present:

Joseph J. Ferretti, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Provost Emeritus
George Lynn Cross Research Professor
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Rebecca W. Heald, Ph.D.
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3200

Evan D. Kharasch, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Research
Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden
 Professor of Anesthesiology
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Department of Anesthesiology
Washington University
St. Louis, MO 63110

Susan E. Mango, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

Tom H. Stevens, Ph.D.
Philip H. Knight Professor of Natural Sciences
Department of Chemistry and Institute of Molecular Biology
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1229

William P. Tansey, Ph.D
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Ingram Professor of Cancer Research
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN 37232-8240

Kenneth W. Turteltaub, Ph.D
Division Leader, Biosciences and Biotechnology Division
Physical and Life Sciences Directorate and
Program Leader, Biological Detection and Medical Countermeasures Program
Global Security Principal Directorate
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, CA 94550

Peter C. M. van Zijl, Ph.D.
Director, F. M. Kirby Research Center
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Professor, Departments of Radiology, Oncology and Biophysics
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD 21205

Council roster (available from NIGMS).

Members of the Public Present:

Dr. Karen Mowrer, Association of Independent Research Institutes
Dr. Kathy Nguyen, American Chemical Society
Dr. Aliza Stein, Science and Technology Policy Initiative
Dr. Katherine Weber, American Chemical Society

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: Joseph J. Ferretti, Ph.D., senior vice president and provost emeritus, George Lynn Cross Research professor, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; Rebecca W. Heald, Ph.D., professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley; Evan D. Kharasch, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for research, Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden professor of Anesthesiology, professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University; Susan E. Mango, Ph.D., professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University; Tom H. Stevens, Ph.D., Philip H. Knight professor of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon; William P. Tansey, Ph.D., professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, Ingram professor of cancer research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Kenneth W. Turteltaub, Ph.D., division leader, Biosciences and Biotechnology Division, Physical and Life Sciences Directorate and program leader, Biological Detection and Medical Countermeasures Program, Global Security Principal Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and Peter C. M. van Zijl, Ph.D., director, F. M. Kirby Research Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, professor, Departments of Radiology, Oncology and Biophysics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Greenberg then introduced and welcomed the guests in attendance.

II. Consideration of Minutes

The minutes of the September 6-7, 2012, meeting were approved as submitted.

III. Future Meeting Dates

The following dates for future Council meetings were confirmed:

May 16-17, 2013
September 19-20, 2013
January 23- 24, 2014

IV. NIGMS Acting Director's Report

Acting NIGMS Director Dr. Judith H. Greenberg updated the Council on new NIH and HHS appointments, welcomed new NIGMS staff who had recently joined the Institute and reported that the NIGMS Director search is ongoing. Dr. Greenberg announced the completion of a report detailing progress made toward achieving the four goals of the NIGMS strategic plan issued in 2008. She mentioned a November 2012 workshop on causal factors and interventions that influence the careers of women in science and medicine, an area in which the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers has funded research to further understand, and act upon, the issues. Finally, Dr. Greenberg summarized NIH's plans to address the recommendations of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director working groups on the biomedical workforce, diversity in the biomedical research workforce, and data and informatics.

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

V. Capitol Hill Update

NIH Associate Director for Legislative Policy and Analysis Francis Patrick "Pat" White highlighted outcomes from the 2012 Presidential election and changes to key committees of jurisdiction for NIH. He also provided an update on the sequestration, debt ceiling negotiations and legislation thus far in the 113th Congress. Mr. White discussed possible implications of these activities for NIH.

Contact: Francis Patrick White,, 301-496-3471

VI. Breaking the Bias Habit: A Clustered, Randomized Study of an Educational Intervention in STEMM Departments

Dr. Mary L. "Molly" Carnes of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, reported findings from her recent, NIGMS-supported research on "implicit bias". She has found that the mere existence of cultural stereotypes can lead unintentionally and unwittingly to bias in judgment and decision making, even in those individuals who embrace egalitarian principles and personally disavow prejudice. Her study further indicated that these implicit biases predict behavior better than do explicit beliefs, and that good intentions are not enough to prevent their influence. The study approached implicit gender bias as a habit of mind and aimed to mobilize behavioral change strategies to remediate implicit, habitual gender bias in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) faculty.

Contact: Dr. Mary L. Carnes,, 608-263-9770

VII. MIDAS: Modeling for Science and Public Health

In the 10 years since its inception, the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) consortium has conducted computational and analytical research on infectious disease dynamics to provide insights and tools to researchers, decision makers and public health professionals. MIDAS investigators Dr. Stephen Eubank of Virginia Tech and Dr. Donald S. Burke of the University of Pittsburgh provided an overview of the initiative. MIDAS models range from statistical and analytical methods to large-scale, agent-based models running on supercomputers. In addition to producing scholarly publications, MIDAS supports a data resource, a catalog of historical documents and the development of synthetic populations. MIDAS also supports training and outreach programs that emphasize the recruitment of students from underrepresented groups.

Contacts: Dr. Irene Eckstrand,, 301-594-0943; Dr. Stephen Eubank,, 540-231-2504; Dr. Donald S. Burke,, 412-624-3001

VIII. Report: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Workshop

One of the most daunting challenges facing the U.S. scientific enterprise continues to be developing our national talent pool to build the diverse and creative scientific workforce needed for the 21st century. While efforts to diversify science by NIH, the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and others over the past four decades have resulted in modest gains in the participation of underrepresented minorities (URMs) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, it is clear that the strategies of past decades will not be sufficient to eliminate the pervasive disparity that exists in the scientific workforce. Dr. Cynthia M. Bauerle of HHMI discussed the deliberations and recommendations of the inaugural meeting of the NIGMS/HHMI Advisory Group on URM STEM Persistence, a diverse group of experts working to develop strategies to address the achievement gap.

Contact: Dr. Cynthia M. Bauerle,, 301-215-8853

IX. Mentoring Workshop for New Faculty in Organic and Biological Chemistry

Since 2005, NIGMS has supported an annual, 3-day workshop for assistant professors in organic and biological chemistry through an investigator-initiated U13 conference grant. As described by Dr. Tadhg Begley of Texas A&M University, the principal investigator of the grant, the workshop aims to mentor junior faculty in the design of successful grant proposals that emphasize scientific impact through unique and productive research programs. The workshop also provides skill development toward success in other academic and professional activities (not including teaching). Dr. Begley reported that a 2012 evaluation of the workshop program confirmed community feedback that the program is effective and highly valued by the participants.

Contacts: Dr. Tadhg P. Begley,, 979-862-4091; Dr. Bob Lees,, 301-594-1338


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


The meeting adjourned at 12:37 p.m. on January 25, 2013.


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