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IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
January 31, 2003
Dr. Zerhouni began the meeting by introducing and welcoming Robert Hosenfeld, the new NIH Director of Human Resources.
I. 2002 Bethesda Master Plan Update
Dr. Hodes, Chairman of the Facilities Planning Advisory Committee, briefly explained the history of the Bethesda Master Plan, stressing that while its purpose is linked to NIH's strategic research plan it does not drive it. He then introduced Stella Serras-Fiotes who updated the group. Ms. Serras-Fiotes presented a summary of the Plan and delineated how it has been adjusted from the 1995 Master Plan. She described it as the blueprint for future development of the Bethesda campus; however, she noted that implementation of NIH's strategic facility plan is necessarily subject to future budget, Congressional, and scientific priorities. Following a discussion of transportation, parking, and campus census issues, the group voted unanimously to accept the Plan.
II. Preparation for 2004 Appropriations Hearings
Mr. Poppke alerted the group that during its floor debate on the FY 2003 omnibus spending bill, the Senate included across-the-board reductions totaling 2.9 percent. It is not clear at this time if the Senate will be able to provide relief to NIH from these across-the-board reductions. After reporting that the Senate hopes to send the budget to the House by late January, he promised to keep everyone up to date.
He then gave his preliminary assessment of the 2004 hearing process that he expects to begin in late March. Because of the lengthy deliberations on the FY 2003 budget, he foresees a shortened process this year that may only include one or two two-hour sessions for the NIH thus limiting the number of Directors who might be invited.
Dr. Skirboll will be sending out a detailed description of materials that need to be submitted by ICs prior to the pre-Appropriations briefings with Dr. Zerhouni. Dr. Zerhouni asked that Directors carefully prepare their input to include not only success stories, but also examples of our good stewardship of the generous funds we have received.
Dr. Zerhouni also noted that he will be pushing for theme hearings similar to last year's, which will give a range of IC Directors the opportunity to present. The group agreed that if this transpires, John Burklow should try to arrange for C-SPAN coverage.
III. Information Items
Dr. Skirboll reminded ICs that she will be contacting them for help in preparing materials for the hearings related to the benefits of research to health. Dr. Zerhouni had requested this material earlier in the year, but much of the data submitted to OSP requires further analysis and confirmation of data sources. Dr. Zerhouni gave as an example of useful data, the recent NHLBI information highlighted in a New York Times front-page article on cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Fauci mentioned that because of the exorbitant costs of treating people in HIV/AIDS clinical studies indefinitely after the study has terminated as well as the ethical considerations in stopping therapy after it has been started, NIAID has adopted a policy that it will not engage in HIV/AIDS clinical trials that require therapy in a country that does not provide for continuing treatment of the patients after the research has terminated. NCI and NICHD agreed with this policy.
Dr. Zerhouni announced that Dr. Nora Volkow will be the new Director of NIDA and will come onboard in April. He then congratulated Dr. Hanson for his outstanding tenure as the Acting Director, and the meeting ended after a sustained round of applause for Dr. Hanson.
|This page was last reviewed on August 11, 2003 .|
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