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Advisory Council Minutes, May 21-22, 2015

The National Advisory General Medical Sciences (NAGMS) Council was convened in closed session for its one hundred fifty-eighth meeting at 8:32 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

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 4:37 p.m. on May 21, the meeting was open to the public on May 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.

Council Members Present

Gail E. Besner, M.D.
Henry T. Greely, J.D.
Alan (Rick) F. Horwitz, Ph.D.
Richard L. Lalonde, Pharm.D.
Scott J. Miller, Ph.D.
Holly A. Wichman, Ph.D.

Council Members Absent

Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D.
Margaret C. Werner-Washburne, Ph.D.

Special Consultants Present

Paul Babitzke, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Graduate Education Co-Director
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

Bonnie Berger, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139

Andreas Bergmann, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Worcester, MA 01605

Kim L. R. Brouwer, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor
Chair, Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics
Eshelman School of Pharmacy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7569

Liza D. Cariaga-Lo, Ed.D.
Vice President for Academic Development, Diversity, and Inclusion
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912

Carmen W. Dessauer, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, TX 77030

Jorge C. Escalante-Semerena, Ph.D.
Foundation Distinguished Professor
Department of Microbiology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602

John J. Estrada, M.D.
Director of Education and Community Services, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center
Associate Director, Clinical and Translational Research Center
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Program Director, Health Disparities Research
Louisiana Cancer Research Center
New Orleans, LA 70112-2822

Samuel H. Gellman, Ph.D.
Ralph F. Hirschmann Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706-1396

Robert G. Griffin, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Director, Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139

Mark Peifer, Ph.D.
Hooker Distinguished Professor
Department of Biology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Steven L. Salzberg, Ph.D.
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD 21205

Janet L. Smith, Ph.D.
Margaret J. Hunter Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences
Professor of Biological Chemistry
Life Sciences Institute
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216

Claire E. Walczak, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Executive Director, Indiana University Bloomington—Light Microscopy Imaging Center
Medical Sciences Program
Indiana University Bloomington
Bloomington, IN 47405

Members of the Public Present

Dr. Stefano Bertuzzi, American Society for Cell Biology
Dr. Stephanie Deluca, American Chemical Society
Dr. Adam Fagen, Genetics Society of America
Dr. Desiree Salazar, American Society for Cell Biology
Dr. Yvette Seger, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Kevin Wilson, American Society for Cell Biology

NIGMS and other NIH employees

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

Other Federal Employees Present

None

OPEN PORTION OF THE MEETING

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: Paul Babitzke, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and graduate education co-director, Pennsylvania State University; Bonnie Berger, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, and electrical engineering and computer science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Andreas Bergmann, Ph.D., professor, Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Kim L. R. Brouwer, Pharm.D., Ph.D., William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor and chair, Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Liza D. Cariaga-Lo, Ed.D., vice president for Academic Development, Diversity, and Inclusion, Brown University; Carmen W. Dessauer, Ph.D., professor, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Jorge C. Escalante-Semerena, Ph.D., Foundation Distinguished Professor, Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia; John J. Estrada, M.D., director of education and community services, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, associate director, Clinical and Translational Research Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, and program director, Health Disparities Research, Louisiana Cancer Research Center; Samuel H. Gellman, Ph.D., Ralph F. Hirschmann Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Robert G. Griffin, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and director, Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Mark Peifer, Ph.D., Hooker Distinguished Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Steven L. Salzberg, Ph.D., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Janet L. Smith, Ph.D., Margaret J. Hunter Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences and professor of biological chemistry, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan; Claire E. Walczak, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and executive director, Indiana University Bloomington—Light Microscopy Imaging Center, Medical Sciences Program, Indiana University Bloomington. Dr. Lorsch then introduced and welcomed the guests in attendance.

II. Consideration of Minutes

The minutes of the January 22-23, 2015, meeting were approved as submitted.

III. Future Meeting Dates

The following dates for future Council meetings were confirmed:

September 17-18, 2015    Thursday-Friday
January 28-29, 2016          Thursday-Friday
May 19-20, 2016                 Thursday-Friday

IV. NIGMS Director's Report

Dr. Lorsch thanked the Council members for their continued service, and he acknowledged the hard work of NIGMS staff that goes into planning and executing every Council meeting. He updated the group on staff hires and departures at NIGMS and NIH, noting that Dr. Alison E. Gammie, currently of Princeton University, has been selected to lead the Institute’s Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity. He also announced the newly established Center for Research Capacity Building. Dr. Lorsch updated the Council about the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) pilot program, which attracted letters of intent from approximately 20 percent of eligible NIGMS grantees. The Institute plans to issue a second MIRA pilot funding announcement this summer focusing on new investigators, with the overarching goal of expanding MIRA eligibility as soon as possible to include all potential NIGMS principal investigators. Dr. Lorsch reminded the Council of NIGMS’ substantial investment in research training, highlighting two current focus areas for introspection: building diversity broadly (people, geography, science) and assessing NIGMS’ goals and educational approaches in support of Ph.D. training. Regarding the latter, he posited the need for a stronger focus on developing skills instead of memorizing facts, to better align with changes in the biomedical landscape over time.

Contact: Dr. Jon R. Lorsch, jon.lorsch@nih.gov, 301-594-2172

V. Presentation: Current Trends in Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Career Development: Implications for Improving Practice and Workforce Diversity

Recent biomedical workforce policy efforts have centered on the challenges of broadening career preparation for trainees as well as increasing diversity in the research workforce. Dr. Kenneth Gibbs of the National Cancer Institute presented findings from a mixed-method, nationwide study of the career development of biomedical Ph.D. and postdoctoral researchers. The study concluded that over the course of training, on average, scientists from all backgrounds reported significantly decreased interest in faculty careers at research universities and significantly increased interest in nonresearch careers. Further, study results showed that women and men from underrepresented groups were less likely than Caucasian/Asian men to express high interest in faculty careers at research-intensive universities, and women from underrepresented groups were much more likely than those from all other groups to report high interest in nonresearch careers. Dr. Gibbs discussed implications of the research, including the notion that retention, persistence and degree acquisition may be uncoupled from career choice and workforce development.

Contact: Dr. Kenneth Gibbs, kenneth.gibbs@nih.gov, 240-276-5576

VI. Presentation: R01 Renewal Rates for New and Established Investigator Projects

Dr. Stefan Maas presented an analysis of first-renewal outcomes of new NIGMS R01 grants awarded to new and established investigators between 2004 and 2007. Overall, new projects of new investigators were renewed at a higher rate than were new projects of established investigators. Moreover, grants to new investigators that had been funded at scores beyond the Institute’s nominal payline were as competitive at first renewal as were better-ranked projects. Dr. Maas presented the finding that for a substantial fraction of projects, investigators did not seek renewal at all. He noted that overall, successfully renewed projects had the highest median values of publications, citations and citation impact. In addition, new investigator projects did as well or outperformed established investigator projects when the same metrics were applied for analysis.

Contact: Dr. Stefan Maas, stefan.maas@nih.gov, 301-594-0943

VII. Concept Clearance: Tools for Cell Line Identification

Biomedical research using cell lines has led to many advances. However, the inadvertent use of misidentified cell lines can compromise the reliability and reproducibility of research. This problem, which appears to be widespread, has been highlighted by recent publications in the academic and popular press. Relatively few laboratories routinely check the identity of their cells; the costs, effort and time required to do so have been barriers to the routine adoption of this important quality-control measure. Dr. Kristine Willis requested, and received, Council approval to solicit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR; R43/R44) applications to develop novel, reliable and easy-to-use tools that will assist scientists in confirming the identity of the cells that they use in their work.

Contacts: Dr. Kristine Willis, kristine.willis@nih.gov, 301-594-0943; Dr. Zhongzhen Nie, niezhong@nigms.nih.gov, 301-594-0828

VIII. Public Comment Period

Dr. Adam Fagen, executive director of the Genetics Society of America (GSA), stated that GSA resonates with NIGMS’ efforts to enhance sustainability in the research funding process. He noted that GSA continues to advocate for NIH and the broader scientific community to maintain vital research resources such as databases.

Dr. Stefano Bertuzzi, executive director of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), endorsed NIGMS’ current efforts and general strategic direction. He described a number of ongoing ASCB activities, including: a campaign to discourage the misuse of journal impact factors, an industry-partnered course on multiple career options and assessment of the role of basic science in medical schools. Dr. Bertuzzi also noted current ASCB advocacy efforts, including those related to federal employee travel to scientific meetings.

CLOSED PORTION OF THE MEETING

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

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m. on May 22, 2015.

CERTIFICATION

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

___________________
Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D.
Chair
National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council

___________________
Ann A. Hagan, Ph.D.
Executive Secretary
National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council​

This page last reviewed on May 24, 2017