IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
November 15, 2005
Dr. Zerhouni introduced and welcomed the new acting Director for the NCI — Dr. Robert Niederhuber.
I. Steering Committee FY 2006 Funding and FTE Recommendations
Dr. Katz provided a report to the group on the activities of the Management Budget Working Group, one of the working groups of the Steering Committee. He explained the budget review process and the recommendations presented to, and endorsed by the Steering Committee.
The budget review and overall recommendations are significantly affected by several cost drivers:
Dr. Katz shared the FY 2006 funding and FTE recommendations with the group — some areas with an increase and others a decrease with a total increase of 2.7%.
General Management Working Group Recommendations:
Dr. Katz concluded by examining the lessons learned.
A discussion followed regarding the continuing resolution and a contingency plan for budgeting at this point. Directors asked for advice on actions that should be taken now vs. waiting until the budget is signed. Dr. Zerhouni assured all that this was the top item on his agenda and that advice would be forthcoming.
II. Opthalmic Genetic Diseases and Retinal Neurodegenerations
Dr. Sieving presented the latest research findings regarding hereditary eye conditions such as macular degeneration, leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), and X-linked juvenile retinoschsis.
He emphasized the mutual opportunities that genetic and neuroscience research present to vision research. He noted the groundbreaking work in the complex genetic disease of age-related macular degeneration that was produced in 2005 as a result of long-term NIH investments by the Human Genome Project and the NEI Age-Related Eye Diseases Study.
Gene therapies that are ongoing for monogenic traits include gene repair, gene replacement, gene suppression, and gene product delivery. One of the genes related to LCA is RPE65. Providing gene transfer of AAV-RPE65 has resulted in restoration of retinal function in canines. This type of gene therapy shows promise for children suffering from LCA.
In conclusion, Dr. Sieving discussed the purpose and services offered by the National Ophthalmic Disease Genotyping Network (NODGENE). The NODGENE provides a coordinated information and referral center as well as a centralized contact for clinicians and patients. It encourages the clinical community to incorporate genetic knowledge, identifies subjects for eventual clinical interventional trials, and is an easy central resource and clearing-house of genetic information.
III. Informational Items
This page was last reviewed on September 27, 2006 .
National Institutes of Health (NIH)