FYI from the NHLBI Index

January 2012: Vol. 12, Issue 3
Summaries of Meetings
and Announcements of Upcoming Events

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council September and October Meetings

Upcoming 2012 Events


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council September and October Meetings


September 9, 2011


Dr. Shurin welcomed members to the 243rd meeting of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC). The meeting was entirely a closed session. Council members attended via telephone.

The Council concurred on the award of numerous research grants to be supported with FY 2011 appropriated funds.


October 18, 2011


Dr. Shurin welcomed members to the 244th meeting of the NHLBAC. She recognized three Council members who are retiring: Dr. Noel Bairey-Merz, Dr. Andrew Marks, and Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch.

Three new Council members are expected to participate at the next Council meeting: Dr. Pamela Douglas, Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Diseases, Duke University School of Medicine; Dr. Ron King, President and Chief Scientific Officer, BioAccel; and Dr. Barbara Konkle, Director, Translational Research, Puget Sound Blood Center.

Dr. Shurin welcomed representatives of three NHLBI Advisory Committees: Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, representing the Sleep Disorder Research Advisory Board; Dr. David Pinsky, representing the Heart, Lung, and Blood Program Project Review Committee; and Dr. Amy Shapiro, representing the Clinical Trials Review Committee. Dr. C. William Balke of the NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee and Dr. Edward Benz of the Sickle Cell Disease Advisory Committee were unable to attend.

Dr. Shurin noted with sadness the recent deaths of two important leaders of NHLBI activities: Dr. Bernadine Healy, a former NIH Director, who launched the Women's Health Initiative in 1991 and Dr. William Kannel, a former Director of the Framingham Heart Study.

Dr. Shurin discussed the NHLBI’s concern about the impact of current budget constraints on the future of biomedical research. The NIH received a one percent cut in its budget for FY 2011 and is preparing for budget decreases again this year and next. The Institute plans to continue its policy of making strategic budget cuts as necessary, rather than across-the-board cuts. It will continue to look closely at potential investments and fund grants at full recommended levels.

Dr, Shurin summarized the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sickle Cell Disease Initiative. The HHS has charged six agencies (NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources and Services Administration, Food and Drug Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and the Offices of Minority Health and Planning and Evaluation to improve the health of people with sickle cell disease. Each agency is taking action to enhance implementation of research advances; provide evidence-based guidelines to families, health care providers, and payers; facilitate new drug development; and provide public health data to inform both the health care delivery and research agendas.

Dr. Shurin offered Council members an opportunity to discuss their concerns about the effects of the new NIH policy to allow only one resubmission of a grant application (i.e., no A2s). Dr. Shurin offered to raise the issue with NIH leadership and to convey the concerns and suggestions of Council members.

Dr. Cynthia Dunbar, Hematology Branch, NHLBI Division of Intramural Research, discussed three areas of research involving cell therapy in which her lab has been involved: hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy and insights gained from a non-human primate model; stem cell-niche interactions and research on improving mobilization, homing, and engraftment for transplant and gene therapy; and induced pluripotent stem cells and their utility as regenerative medicine models and suitability for preclinical development.

Dr. Robert S. Balaban, Scientific Director, NHLBI Division of Intramural Research, summarized NHLBI collaborative activities with the new NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine, which was established to accelerate the development of cell-based therapies for repairing or replacing tissue damaged by disease or injury.

Dr. Balaban described the success of the NIH Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator Program to recruit outstanding tenure-track scientists and the Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program to help increase the pool of talented clinical/translational researchers. He also discussed the Intramural Division's new Clinical Research Strategic Plan.

Dr. Lawrence Tabak, Principal Deputy Director, NIH, discussed the continuing efforts of the NIH to improve the diversity of its scientific workforce. He reported that despite efforts spanning 30 years, the NIH has had a less- than-impressive impact on the diversity of the NIH-funded workforce. He emphasized the commitment of the NIH to a diverse biomedical workforce and discussed the steps it is taking to address the situation.

Dr. Shurin discussed the possibility of using the K99/R00 mechanism to support Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) who do not have much preliminary data. She reminded Council members that the Institute will no longer participate in the NIH Exploratory Developmental Research Grant Program (R21) because the Institute determined that although the R21 mechanism may have seemed an attractive opportunity for ESIs, it provided insufficient time for them to obtain results needed to support an R01 grant application.

NHLBI staff presented seven new initiatives, seven renewals, and one request by another IC for secondary support, all of which had been reviewed in September by the Board of External Experts. The Council was mostly supportive of the initiatives presented, but made a number of specific recommendations for consideration prior to their release.

Full minutes of Council meetings and summaries of the initiatives are available.

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Upcoming 2012 Events


Parent Heart Watch 2012 National Conference external link

Date: January 13 - 15, 2012
Location: New Orleans, LA

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council

Date: February 15, 2012
Location: Bethesda, MD

National Sleep Foundation Sleep Health and Safety 2012 external link

Date: March 2 - 3, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network, Inc. 19th Annual HPS Conference external link

Date: March 16 - 18, 2012
Location: Uniondale, NY

Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Inc. 2012 Patient and Family Conference external link

Date: March 24, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Hemophilia Federation of America Symposium 2012 external link

Date: March 30 - 31, 2012
Location: Santa Clara, CA

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy 2012 West Coast Connect Meeting external link

Date: April 13 - 15, 2012
Location: San Diego, CA

The LAM Foundation LAMposium external link

Date: April 20 - 22, 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. 8th International Congress on Autoimmunity external link

Date: May 9 - 13, 2012
Location: Granada, Spain

Mended Hearts Annual Convention external link

Date: May 16 - 21, 2012
Location: Dallas, TX

Alpha-1 Association 21st Annual National Education Conference external link

Date: June 8 - 10, 2012
Location: Seattle, WA

Pulmonary Hypertension Association 10th International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions external link

Date: June 22 - 24, 2012
Location: Orlando. FL

Barth Syndrome Foundation 6th International Scientific, Medical, and Family Conference external link

Date: June 25 - 30, 2012
Location: St. Pete Beach, FL

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy 2012 Connect Conference external link

Date: June 28 - July 1, 2012
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Scleroderma Foundation 2012 National Patient Education Conference external link

Date: July 27 - 29, 2012
Location: Grapevine, TX

Last Updated January 12, 2012

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