The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council was convened in closed session for its one hundred sixty-first meeting at 8:31 a.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2016.
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 8:31 a.m. to 3:51 p.m. on May 19, the meeting was open to the public on May 20 from 8:31 a.m. to 11:57 a.m.
Carmen W. Dessauer, Ph.D. Henry T. Greely, J.D. Alan (Rick) F. Horwitz, Ph.D. Mark Peifer, Ph.D. Ronald M. Przygodzki, M.D. Janet L. Smith, Ph.D. Willem (Wilfred) A. van der Donk, Ph.D.
Gail E. Besner, M.D. Liza Cariaga-Lo, Ed.D. Richard L. Lalonde, Pharm.D.
Richard M. Cripps, D.Phil.
Professor Department of Biology
University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131
Roberto Dominguez, Ph.D. Professor Department of Physiology University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Philadelphia, PA 19104
Dale Dorsett Ph.D. Professor Edward A. Doisy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Saint Louis University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO 63104
Laura L. Kiessling, Ph.D.
Steenbock Professor of Chemistry Laurens Anderson Professor of Biochemistry Department of Biochemistry
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 53706
Sergei Pond, Ph.D. Professor Department of Biology Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 19122
Kenneth E. Thummel, Ph.D.
Professor Milo Gibaldi Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutics Department of Pharmaceutics University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195
Mary P. Watson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Delaware Newark, DE 19716
John G. Younger, M.D. Chief Technology Officer and Director Akadeum Life Sciences, Inc.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Council roster (available from NIGMS)
Dr. Adam Fagen
Dr. Howard Garrison, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Dr. Craig Goergen, Purdue University Dr. Steve Heinig, Association of American Medical Colleges Ms. Carole Horwitz Dr. Perry Kirkham, Purdue University
Dr. Edward Lax, Purdue University Dr. Libby O’Hare, Lewis-Burke Associates André Porter, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Dr. Chloe Poston, Genetics Society of America
Dr. Desirée Salazar, American Society for Cell Biology Dr. Jodi Yellin, Association of American Medical Colleges
Please see the sign-in sheet (available from NIGMS)
Dr. Lorsch thanked the regular members of the Council who were present and introduced the special consultants. He then introduced and welcomed the guests in attendance.
The minutes of the January 28-29, 2016, meeting were approved as submitted.
The following dates for future Council meetings were confirmed:
Dr. Lorsch thanked the Council for their continued service and the continued diligence of NIGMS staff. He updated the group on staff hires and departures at NIGMS and NIH, highlighting the recent retirement of Dr. Helen Sunshine, long-time chief of the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review, and the appointment of Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan to lead the National Library of Medicine. He recognized two NIGMS grantees who are recipients of the
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers: Dr. Namandje Bumpus of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Amy Ralston of Michigan State University. Dr. Lorsch described several recent NIGMS-sponsored events including the
Symposium on Catalyzing the Modernization of Graduate Education, the inaugural
NIGMS Director’s Early Career Investigator Lecture and the
USA Science & Engineering Festival. He also reported making a presentation at the
EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation annual meeting, which was attended by Congressional staff and Foundation board members. Dr. Lorsch gave the Council an overview of the IDeA program and its outcomes. Finally, Dr. Lorsch asked Council members to share two NIGMS-issued requests for information on
research resources (comments due June 3, 2016), and on
team-based science (comments due June 17, 2016).
Contact: Dr. Jon R. Lorsch, 301-594-2172,
As the new director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable presented his vision and agenda for the Institute. He emphasized the significance of clarifying definitions of the two terms essential to NIMHD's mission: minority health and health disparities, noting that they are simultaneously distinct and overlapping. Further, he explained the Institute’s new minority health and health disparities framework, which depicts the array of factors relevant to understanding these areas. Dr. Pérez-Stable also presented the new structure for NIMHD's extramural programs, which are organized into three scientific program branches: Clinical and Health Services Research, Integrative Biological and Behavioral Sciences, and Community Health and Population Sciences. He also informed the Council that NIMHD is recruiting a scientific director, who will initiate a new program in population health and clinical sciences within NIMHD's intramural research program.
Contact: Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable, 301-402-1366,
In 2015, the NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation facilitated an assessment of the Biomedical Technology Research Resources (BTRR) program that included convening a review panel of scientific experts. NIGMS charged this panel with examining the program’s success and impact in developing and distributing novel technologies of high utility to the biomedical research community. Dr. David Sept of the University of Michigan, who chaired the panel, reported to the Council the group’s assessments and recommendations. The panel felt that the BTRR centers have strong track records of successes and have had an impact on a significant fraction of NIGMS-funded research. The panel felt that the need for these types of resources is likely to continue to increase. The panel saw significant potential for integrating a companion technology grant within the BTRR program, thereby creating a more flexible program. The panel also suggested that NIH consider changes in the application and peer review processes. Dr. Lorsch thanked the panel for its report, which the Institute will take into consideration in determining how best to proceed in alignment with its scientific and strategic goals.
Contact: Dr. Richard Aragon, 301-594-2762,
NIGMS Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) (K12) fund postdoctoral training programs that combine a mentored research experience with an opportunity to develop additional academic and teaching skills. The program includes a teaching practicum at a partner institution that enrolls a substantial number of students from underrepresented groups. NIGMS recently conducted an assessment to examine the career outcomes of IRACDA scholars from 1999 to 2014. Dr. Jessica Faupel-Badger stated that IRACDA scholars have research doctorates in a broad array of scientific disciplines and represent a diverse group. She also noted that 73 percent of IRACDA alumni are in academic research and/or teaching positions, which is higher than the 43 percent of the overall biomedical workforce going into these positions cited in a 2012 NIH Biomedical Workforce Working Group Report. These data provide an important comparison of two distinct training models and additional context for understanding the contribution of the IRACDA program to preparing scholars for a variety of academic careers.
Contact: Dr. Jessica Faupel-Badger, 301-594-3900,
The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) program is designed to assist undergraduate institutions in providing academic, research and professional development activities to eligible trainees. The goal of the program is to increase the number of undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds who earn the science baccalaureate and matriculate into and complete a biomedical science Ph.D. program. Dr. Alison Hall described the evolution of the MARC U-STAR program and presented an overview of a recent
MARC U-STAR outcomes assessment [PDF] that evaluated outcomes of 1986-2013 trainees. The assessment concluded that despite significant variability in grantee reporting and difficulty in monitoring students’ movements over time, about 70 percent of MARC U-STAR alumni are enrolled in or have earned a subsequent graduate degree in a health-related discipline. Thus, overall, the program is achieving its goals, but development of better ways to collect trainee outcome data would make future work easier and future data more accurate.
Contact: Dr. Alison Hall, 301-594-3900,
Many programs have the explicit goal of increasing the number of individuals from underrepresented groups (URG) completing doctoral degrees and pursuing scientific research in the United States. The NIGMS Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) and MARC U-STAR are two such programs designed to strengthen students’ academic preparation, research training and professional skills. Dr. Paul Hernandez of the Program Evaluation Research Center at West Virginia University presented the results of a 10-year longitudinal study of URG science students that evaluated students in minority training programs compared to propensity-score matched controls (The Science Study (link no longer available)). Dr. Hernandez described an overview of program elements, basic effects (summative outcomes) and key programmatic elements that help to explain the basic effects.
Contact: Dr. Paul Hernandez, 304-293-4075,
The Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) program is one of four initiatives supported through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, which is authorized by Congress to build biomedical research capacity in states and jurisdictions that have historically received low levels of NIH funding. COBRE consists of three sequential 5-year phases. Phase I focuses on developing research infrastructure and providing junior investigators with formal mentoring and research project funding to help them acquire preliminary data and successfully compete for independent research grant support. Phase II is intended to strengthen the center through further improvements in research infrastructure and to continue development and support of a critical mass of investigators with shared scientific interests. Phase III provides support for maintaining COBRE research cores developed during Phases I and II and transitioning them to independence from IDeA funding. The Council approved the Institute’s request to reissue the expired COBRE Phase I funding announcement.
Contact: Dr. Jon R. Lorsch, 301-594-2172,
André Porter, policy analyst at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), commented on the group’s continued support of NIGMS’ mission and programs. ASBMB is committed to efforts that sustain the biomedical enterprise, and basic research in particular.
Dr. Howard Garrison, director of public affairs at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), updated the Council on the organization’s legislative, policy and communications activities. Dr. Garrison reminded the Council of the availability of many FASEB educational materials.
A summary of applications reviewed by the Council is available from NIGMS.
The meeting adjourned at 11:57 a.m. on May 20, 2016.
I hereby certify that to my knowledge the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.
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