Freedom of Information Act Office
IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
June 24, 2005
|From:||Director, Executive Secretariat|
|Subject:||IC Directors Meeting Highlights—March 24, 2005|
Interdisciplinary Research Roadmap Initiative: Planning Centers and Research Consortia Project
Dr. Kington, acting as Chairman of this meeting, introduced Dr. Farber, NCRR, and Dr. Huerta, NIMH, to update the group on this Roadmap effort.
The project team managing this activity comprises 21 representatives from as many ICs. After soliciting applications for Exploratory Centers for Interdisciplinary Activities in the fall of 2003, 21 such Centers were awarded in the fall of 2004. Together, the awards for these planning (P20) centers total more than $36 million over three years. The purpose of the Exploratory Centers is to support planning of “interdisciplinary research strategies to solve significant biomedical and/or behavioral research problems.” And success will foster “[c]ombining aspects of individual disciplines to provide a new approach to solving a problem.” Fifteen of the 21 Centers have clinical components.
A mid-course meeting is planned for next spring, following which NIH plans to solicit applications for large-scale Interdisciplinary Research Consortia, which should be awarded in the fall of 2007.
The idea behind the consortium model represents a new team science paradigm for directed yet synergistic biomedical and behavioral research advances.
Inflammation: Solving the Puzzles One Patient at a Time
Dr. Gallin began with an historical overview of medical definitions and descriptions of inflammation, from the time of Cornelius Celsus to the present day when Time magazine has designated it “The Secret Killer.” He summarized the interface between inflammation (innate immunity) and the adaptive immune response. He then described research by CC researchers in the late 1990s relating studies done in Drosophila Toll pathway of host defense to patients with recurrent bacterial infections who are hyporesponsive to endotoxin and interleukin 1 and who have mutations in specific Toll-like receptor pathway genes such as IRAK-4 and NEMO. He then explained recent work linking defective regulation of the Toll-like receptor pathway to other disorders of inflammation such as Chrohn’s disease, autoinflammatory diseases, and possibly atherosclerosis. He concluded with a review of new treatments of a number of disorders of inflammation based on inhibition of Toll-like receptor pathway products or their receptors, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha.
cc: OD Senior Staff