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Home > Institutes, Centers & Offices > Office of the Director > Freedom Of Information Act Office > Selected NIH Institute and Center Director's Meeting Minutes

IC Directors' Meeting Highlights

November 15, 2005

To: IC Directors
From: Director, Executive Secretariat
Subject: IC Directors Meeting Highlights — October 12, 2005

Dr. Zerhouni introduced and welcomed the new acting Director for the NCI — Dr. Robert Niederhuber.

Discussion Items

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:

  • Utility costs — may increase even further due to Katrina and Rita
  • Costs to maintain new space coming on line / leasing costs continue to grow
  • Requirement to implement Federally mandated “Smart Card” for security purposes
  • OD initiatives (HR, Ethics, DEAS)
  • FTE requests and recommendations were made in the context of the severe underutilization of the FTE’s by the central services.

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:

  • Recommend that the Facilities Working Group oversee the development of a corporate leasing policy and present it to the Steering Committee
  • Recommend that the ITWG oversee the development of an integrated NIH-wide reporting strategy by the CIO that includes the NIH DataWarehouse, nVision, and the NIH Executive Dashboard and present it to the Steering Committee
  • At the current time, Steering Committee policy is that extraordinary funding requests made during the operating budget year are submitted to the Director. Recommend that criteria be developed to better define the circumstances under which such funding requests should be considered
  • Recommend that the resource decision-making process be refined so that all decisions with budgetary consequences consider long-term as well as short term costs, and that these decisions are made in the context of competing priorities to the greatest degree possible

Dr. Katz concluded by examining the lessons learned.

  • Working Groups generally provided greater level of scrutiny given overall funding constraints
  • Need to maintain discipline during operating year to be successful
  • Outyear fixed costs represent long-term burden within overall constrained funding
  • Need to assess pros and cons of service and supply funds FFS funding mechanisms to determine if this mechanism should continue to be used

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.

Scientific Presentation

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

  • Dr. Alving distributed information regarding the unveiling at noon today of the Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Awards.

Ann Brewer

OD Senior Staff


This page was last reviewed on September 27, 2006 .

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