NINDS Council Meeting Minutes, September 11-12, 2014

Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council

Summary of Meeting1
September 11-12, 2014

The National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NANDS) Council was convened for its 191st meeting on September 11-12, 2014, in Building 31, Conference Room 10, on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Story Landis, Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), served as Chairperson.

In accordance with Public Law 92-463, the meeting was:

Open: September 11, 2014: 8:05 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. for the review and discussion of program development, needs, and policy; and
Closed: September 11, 2014: 3:20 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the consideration of individual grant applications.
September 12, 2014: 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for the consideration of individual grant applications.


Council members present:

Dr. Robert Darnell
Dr. Byron Ford
Dr. David Ginty
Dr. David Goldstein
Mr. Paul Gross
Dr. David Holtzman
Dr. David Julius

Dr. Kevin McNaught
Ms. Ilene Penn Miller
Dr. Jonathan Mink
Dr. Robert Pacifici
Ms. Amy Comstock Rick
Dr. Ralph Sacco
Dr. Amita Sehgal (via teleconference)


Council Roster (Attachment 1)

Council Members absent:
Dr. Ben Barres
Dr. Jonathan Mink
Dr. E. Antonio Chiocca
 

Ex Officio Members present:
Captain Michael Colston, Department of Defense


Ad Hoc Consultants present:

Dr. Laurence Abbott
Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal
Dr. Karen Chen

Dr. Timothy Coetzee
Dr. Beverly Davidson
Dr. Jonathan Mink
Dr. Lawrence Zipursky

Members of the public present for portions of the open meeting included:
Dr. Naomi Kleitman, Craig H. Neilson Foundation
Dr. Tom Jacobs, University of Texas
Dr. Dawn Mancuso, Hydrocephalus Association
Mr. Ronald Bartek, Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance
Mr. Mark Beckwith, Nevus Outreach
Mr. Taylor Scott, Nevus Outreach
Tracey Wheeler, Children’s Hospital National Foundation
 

Federal attendees are listed at the end of these minutes.

I.  Call to Order and Opening Remarks 

DDr. Story Landis, Director, NINDS, welcomed Council members, visitors, and staff to the 191st meeting of the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council.

Council members Ben Barres, Jonathan Mink, and Nino Chiocca were unable to attend this meeting. Council member Amita Sehgal, participated by phone

II.  Report of the Associate Director for Extramural Research, NINDS

Approval of Council Minutes — Dr. Finkelstein requested, and the Council voted for, approval of the May 29, 2014, Council meeting minutes.

The following future Council meeting dates were confirmed:

 
January 29-30, 2015 (Thursday and Friday)
May 28-29, 2015 (Thursday and Friday)
September 10-11, 2015 (Thursday and Friday)
February 4-5, 2016 (Thursday and Friday)
May 26-27, 2015 (Thursday and Friday)
September 15-16, 2015 (Thursday and Friday)


Expedited Review Process—Each Council round, a subset of Council members approve applications in advance of the meeting with scores within the payline for which there are no unresolved issues. Dr. Finkelstein thanked Jonathan Mink, Ilene Miller, and Nino Chiocca for handling this responsibility for this meeting and the upcoming year. For the current Council round, 136 applications were eligible to be expedited, including 6 K Awards, and 3 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) applications. One hundred of these awards already have been issued, and the others will be issued shortly after Council.

Extramural Announcements—Dr. Finkelstein introduced Dr. Michael Oshinsky, Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster; Dr. Patrick Bellgowan, Program Director, Repair and Plasticity Cluster; Dr. Glen Nuckolls who will be joining the Neurogenetics Cluster as a new Program Director; Ms. Lynn Rundhaugen, Program Analyst, Office of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity; and Dr. Ashlee Van’t Veer, Program Analyst, Neurogenetics Cluster . Next, Dr. Finkelstein congratulated Dr. Ran Zhang on her promotion to Project Manager and Drs. Mona Hicks and John Porter on their retirements.

Dr. Rajesh Ranganathan introduced Dr. Derek Wilkinson, Program Analyst, NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics program; Dr. Sarah Norring, Program Analyst, CounterACT program; Dr. Mary Ann Pelleymounter, Scientific Project Manager, NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics program and NINDS’ Rigor and Reproducibility efforts.

Dr. Walter Koroshetz introduced Dr. Marie Gill, Program Analyst, Office of Clinical Research.

III. Report of the Director, NINDS

NIH and NINDS Budget
Dr. Landis reported on the status of the NIH and NINDS budgets for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The House has proposed a Continuing Resolution to maintain government funding through December 11, 2014, at FY14 funding levels. The President’s FY15 budget request to Congress included a 0.7 percent funding increase for NIH. The requested increase to NINDS’ FY15 budget is 1.3 percent due to a specific appropriation for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. There has been no action in the House on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies FY15 appropriation bill; however, there is a markup in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.

Dr. Landis reported on the efforts of Dr. Francis Collins, Director, NIH, to describe the role of NIH with regard to the Ebola outbreak. NIH has supported the development of Ebola treatments and vaccines, including preclinical work on ZMapp, a potentially therapeutic monoclonal antibody that was used to treat the three aid workers in August 2014. In addition, a Phase I vaccine trial is currently under way at the NIH Clinical Center, and trials will soon be launched in the United Kingdom and Gambia. The design of later-phase trials is expected to be challenging due to the need to determine the appropriate ethical and scientific standards, including the need for placebo controls and determining the appropriate study location.

Dr. Landis congratulated Drs. Mahlon R. DeLong, Emory University School of Medicine, and Alim Louis Benabid, Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, who were announced as recipients of the 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Research Award for their work in subthalamic nucleaus (STN) deep brain stimulation, a surgical technique that reduces tremors and restores motor function in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease. Dr. DeLong formulated a new model for the brain circuitry and exposed a fresh target for this illness. Dr. Benabid devised an effective and reversible intervention that remedies neuronal misfirings. In the 1960s, Dr. DeLong began at NIH as a fellow in the Intramural Research Program (IRP) and since 1974, Dr. DeLong has received over $25 million in NIH IRP and extramural support.

Dr. Landis updated Council on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s initiative, A Path to 21st Century Cures. This series of white papers, roundtables, and congressional hearings aims to provide a comprehensive look at accelerating the pace of cures in America.  These activities are focused on looking at discoveries in basic science, streamlining the drug and device development process, and harnessing the power of digital medicine and social media to improve the treatment delivery phase.  Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Committee Member Diana Degette (D-CO) are co-chairs of this initiative that emphasizes the key role of NIH and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  More information on the initiative can be found at: http://energycommerce.house.gov/cures#sthash.SxVW9eWt.dpuf   

Lastly, Dr. Landis noted that National Public Radio has been running a series of shows put together by Richard Harris on NIH, research funding, and the plight of scientists (http://www.npr.org/tags/129709859/nih).

Physician-Scientist Workforce— In 2011, the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) established the Biomedical Workforce Working Group which was charged with developing a model for a sustainable and diverse U.S. biomedical research workforce that could inform decisions about training the optimal number of people for the appropriate types of positions to advance science and promote health.  This WG issued a report in June 2012 recommending that NIH conduct a follow-on study focused on the physician-scientist workforce due to the different economic and educational drivers that affect their training and career paths and due to the impacts of the changing health care landscape on academic medical centers. 

The Physician-Scientist Workforce (PSW) Working Group was charged with developing approaches to inform decisions about the development of a sustainable US PSW, assessing the needs of trainees, and identifying incentives and barriers to entering the PSW.  Through its deliberations, the WG identified 5 main challenges faced by the PSW, and offered a number of recommendations to address them. The challenges identified by the PSWG include: an aging PS workforce and a stagnant number of PSs engaged in research; lengthy training pathways; large educational debt of MDs; difficulty obtaining funding; work-life balance.  In response to these challenges, the WG issued a number of recommendations that include: maintaining strong support for MD/PhD programs, shifting NRSA postdoc training awards to support proportionately more individual fellowships, establishing a PS-specific K99/R00 grant mechanism, expanding loan repayment programs to include all research areas and increasing dollar amounts of loan forgiveness, supporting pilot grant programs to test existing and novel approaches to improve and/or shorten research training, intensifying efforts to increase diversity in the physician-scientist workforce, and leveraging the existing resources of the CTSA program to obtain maximum benefit for training and career development.  The full report of the PSW Working Group was released in June 2014. 

Council discussed the findings and recommendations identified by the PSW WG, noting that leakage in the PS training pathway can result in PSs going into clinical practice full time or taking a position in the pharmaceutical industry.  Council also discussed structuring PS training programs so that students get paid a sufficient amount of money during the training period allowing them to complete a three-year training post residency.  In addition, Council advised that strengthening the relationship between the NIH and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) would be beneficial for NIH.  Council members were encouraged to submit any additional suggestions to NINDS leadership. 

Funding Changes—Dr. Landis provided an update on modular grant trends and the policy change to A0 application submissions.  Modular grant applications use a simplified process for developing and reviewing application budgets.  Modular procedures, which request direct-cost funding in modules of $25,000, are required for applications that request up to $250,000 direct costs per year.  These processes were implemented in 1999 to reduce the workload for applicants and reviewers and to focus reviewers on evaluating science rather than budgets.  While modular budgets were implemented to reduce the administrative burden of grantees and reviewers, they have become a way to contain costs.  A modular budget of $250,000 in FY03 was worth only $181,250 in FY13.  To keep pace with the rate of inflation, the FY03 $250,000 modular budget should have been $344,750 in FY13.  Consequently, more applicants now are opting for non-modular budgets.  In FY07, 72.4 percent of R01 applications had modular budgets; in FY13, only 56.7 percent of applications had budgets that were modular.  For competing grant applications in FY13, 14.9 percent of modular grants less than or equal to $250,000 were awarded compared with 16.2 percent of non-modular grants over $250,000. 

NIH and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced an updated policy for amended application submissions in April 2014.  NIH and AHRQ now accept new (A0) applications following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application.  The subsequent new application is not required to demonstrate substantial changes in scientific direction compared with previously reviewed submissions, and may not contain an introduction responding to the critiques from the previous review.  Since this policy change went into effect, NIH has experienced 22.6 percent increase in Type 1 A0 R01 applications for FY15 compared with FY14.  NINDS is experiencing a similar increase in R01 applications.  In contrast, NIH is seeing a decline in R21 and R03 applications for FY15 compared with FY14.  NINDS continues to see a small but steady increase in R21 applications. 

BRAIN Initiative—The BRAIN Initiative, announced by President Obama in April 2013, is aimed at revolutionizing the scientific community’s understanding of the human brain.  The BRAIN Working Group to the ACD was formed to identify and guide NIH’s scientific vision for brain research.  The Working Group’s report, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, was released in June 2014.  The first five years of this scientific plan emphasize technology development, while the second five years emphasize discovery-driven science.  Overall, the plan focuses on mapping the circuits of the brain, measuring the fluctuating patterns of electrical and chemical activity flowing within those circuits, and understanding how their interplay creates the unique cognitive and behavioral capabilities of humans.  Seven high-priority research goals were identified in the report:

  1. Discovering diversity:  Identify and provide experimental access to the different brain cell types to determine their roles in health and disease.
  2. Maps at multiple scales:  Generate circuit diagrams that vary in resolution from synapses to the whole brain.
  3. The brain in action:  Produce a dynamic picture of the functioning brain by developing and applying improved methods for large-scale monitoring of neural activity.
  4. Demonstrating causality:  Link brain activity to behavior with precise interventional tools that change neural circuit dynamics.
  5. Identifying fundamental principles:  Produce conceptual foundations for understanding the biological basis of mental processes through development of new theoretical and data analysis tools.
  6. Advancing human neuroscience:  Develop innovative technologies to understand the human brain and treat its disorders; create and support integrated human brain research networks.
  7. From BRAIN Initiative to the brain:  Integrate new technological and conceptual approaches produced in the previous six goals to discover how dynamic patterns of neural activity are transformed into cognition, emotion, perception, and action in health and disease.

The BRAIN WG identified a number of key principles to guide these goals including: pursuing human and nonhuman animal studies in parallel, crossing boundaries in interdisciplinary collaborations, integrating spatial and temporal scales, establishing platforms for sharing data and tools and validating and disseminating technology, considering the ethical implications of neuroscience research, and considering accountability to NIH, taxpayers, and the scientific community.  The BRAIN WG recommended a total NIH investment of $4.5 billion by FY25.  

The first NIH BRAIN Requests for Applications (RFAs) were released on December 19, 2013.  Applications were received the end of March 2014, and over 360 applications were reviewed by August in order to identify a pay plan.  It is anticipated that NIH will spend approximately $46 million on this first set of RFAs.  The President’s FY15 budget requests a total NIH investment of $100 million for the BRAIN Initiative.  NIH has discussed a number of strategies for the allocation of FY15 BRAIN Initiative funds, including reissuing and refocusing the FY14 Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and approving concepts for new initiatives in the areas of micro-scale connectivity, human brain recording and modulation, multiscale approaches, short training courses in new technologies, and data analysis and theory. 

Other federal agencies participating in the BRAIN Initiative include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  NSF established a new Science and Technology Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in addition to awarding 36 Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research in August 2014.  DARPA established the new Biological Technologies Office to support breakthrough research that integrates biology, engineering, and computer science for national security.  In addition, DARPA has established a number of new BRAIN-related programs, including System-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS), Restoring Active Memory (RAM), and Reorganization and Plasticity to Accelerate Injury Recovery (REPAIR).  

The BRAIN 2025 report called for NIH to create a Multi-Council Working Group (MCWG) to provide cohesion across the NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) responsible for implementing the BRAIN Initiative, ensuring that the scientific vision of the program stays current in response to new technology advances.  Dr. Alan Willard, Designated Federal Official for the MCWG, presented an overview of the group’s roles and activities identified to date.  The MCWG is composed of a member from each of the ten BRAIN-supporting Institutes as well as ex officio members from the other federal BRAIN agencies (i.e., DARPA, FDA, and NSF).  This group will rely on respected experts to look at the whole BRAIN Initiative rather than at discrete parts relevant only to individual ICs.  The MCWG will guide and facilitate the integration of neuroscience with engineering, physics, statistics, applied mathematics, chemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and the clinical sciences.  Members of the MCWG will report back to the individual IC Advisory Councils.  Dr. Larry Abbott, MCWG member and representative to the NINDS Advisory Council, discussed the MCWG’s progress thus far.  In their first meeting on August 25, 2014, the MCWG identified the following neuroscience research focus areas:  brain cell types; tools for circuit diagrams; technology to monitor neural activity; precise interventional tools; theory and data analysis tools; the advancement of human neuroscience; and integrative approaches.  A priority of the MCWG is ensuring that there is balance across these areas of focus and lateral flow from one focus area to another.  The MCWG has discussed the flow of research from innovation to development, optimization, experimental use, and clinical use.  In addition, the group discussed the relationship between nonhuman and human studies, cross-anatomical and physical scales, and cross-disciplinary boundaries. 

 

IV. Blue Ribbon Panel Report on the NINDS Intramural Program 
Dr. Robert Darnell, Heilbrunn Professor and Senior Physician, The Rockefeller University, presented findings and recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Panel Report on the NINDS Intramural Research Program.  NIH mandates an independent Blue Ribbon Panel review of each IRP that summarizes its strengths, the challenges it faces, and opportunities for improvement. 
The two-day meeting of the NINDS Blue Ribbon Panel (June 30-July 1, 2014) was chaired by Dr. Darnell and consisted of nine other experts with broad perspectives on basic neuroscience and clinical neurology and with considerable knowledge of NINDS.  The goal of the review, which examined both scientific achievement and overall program organization, was to provide the IRP with feedback for enhancing its contribution within the larger neuroscience community.  In its report, the Panel summarized the IRP’s strengths as outstanding leadership, integrative science within NINDS and between IRPs, outstanding support for basic science in the context of clinical neuroscience, and vigilance in regard to opportunities to strengthen and expand the clinical mission.  Among the Panel’s 14 recommendations, which will play a significant role in the IRP’s future endeavors, were to recruit up to five top-tier physician-scientists; capture phenotypic, genetic, and biomarker data on all research subjects; develop robust bioinformatics infrastructure; improve patient recruitment; and increase collaboration across the board.

Council members discussed the Panel’s recommendations and suggested the inclusion of a recommendation focused on increasing the number of women and minorities in the NINDS IRP.  Members also discussed whether the IRP is able to recruit and retain the top scientists in the world given the current constraints on salaries, travel, and consulting.  Council recommended considering the development of residency programs around the country in collaboration with NIH to create a pipeline for quality scientists into the IRP. 

Approval of Blue Ribbon Panel IRP Report—Dr. Finkelstein requested, and the Council voted for, approval of the Blue Ribbon Panel NINDS IRP Report.

V.  Report from the Director, NIGMS

Dr. Jon Lorsch, Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH, reported on current areas of focus for NIGMS.  NIGMS supports basic research that increases understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.  To this end, NIGMS provides leadership in training the next generation of scientists, enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and developing research capacities throughout the country.  In FY14, the NIGMS budget was $2.36 billion.  Eighty-nine percent of that funding went to extramural research; 8 percent to training and workforce development; 3 percent to administrative costs; and less than 1 percent to intramural research. 

NIGMS is currently focused on renewing and reinvigorating its commitment to investigator-initiated (both single investigator and team-based) question-driven research.  To further this objective, NIGMS has taken a number of actions, including sunsetting the Protein Structure Initiative; transitioning the Pharmacogenomics Research Network into the regular investigator-initiated grant pool; reducing support for P41, P50, and U54 Center awards by 10 percent (excluding Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) and AIDS programs); and reducing set-aside funds by about 50 percent for specific P50 and U54 FOAs.  Moving forward, NIGMS will reduce the use of FOAs targeted for specific scientific areas, build sunset clauses into programs targeted to specific scientific areas, promote diversity in its portfolio, and ensure a distribution of funding that supports taxpayers’ best interests.

To further the commitment to investigator-initiated research, NIGMS is exploring approaches to develop more stable, flexible, and efficient funding mechanisms.  One proposed approach is through the development of the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program, the goal of which is to support all of the projects in an individual investigator’s lab related to the mission of NIGMS.  This program will be funded through the R35 mechanism and will provide one NIGMS research grant per Principal Investigator (PI) with support up to $750K direct costs for 5 years.  The review of grant applications will be based on the PI’s track record and overall research ideas and will not be tied to specific research aims.  The MIRA program is still under development and will presented to the NIGMS Advisory Council for final approval. 

Dr. Lorsch also discussed NIGMS’ commitment to improving the training and education around issues of scientific reproducibility.  NIGMS recently issued an FOA for the development of exportable training modules that could be used freely by any institution across the country.  The modules would focus on reproducibility issues in cell line contamination and misidentification, genomic instability, infections, and growth conditions. 

Council discussed NIGMS’ commitment to investigator-initiated research, implications of the new MIRA funding mechanism (e.g., the need to adjust peer review and ensure distribution of NIGMS funding to multiple investigators), and issues surrounding scientific reproducibility.

 

VI. The R35 Grant Mechanism
 
Dr. Finkelstein presented an overview of a proposed trans-NIH R35 funding mechanism.  This mechanism is being developed in response to unstable funding levels, funding cycles that discourage rigorous research, and the need for investigators to have multiple grants to support their research.  The guiding principles for the development of the NIH R35 program are to provide sustained and flexible support to investigators with outstanding records of research productivity who propose to conduct exceptional research.  It is anticipated that supported investigators will have more freedom to perform research that breaks new ground or extends previous discoveries in new directions.  In the design of the R35 programs across the NIH, individual Institutes and Centers will follow the overall guiding principles but will have the flexibility to tailor these awards to fit their specific needs. 

Dr. Finkelstein reviewed the core features of the R35, including eligibility criteria, the proposed budget limits and award duration, required effort, and submission and renewal requirements.  He highlighted key elements of the application (e.g., no specific aims and use of the new NIH Biosketch) and outlined proposed approaches for peer review and Council review of R35 applications. 

Council members discussed whether and how NINDS should utilize the R35 mechanism.  Council suggested science quality, sustained excellence in mentorship, and service to NIH as potential review criteria; however, reiterated that high-quality science should be the primary consideration.  In addition, Council members recommended that junior investigators not be evaluated against other more experienced PIs and that the award should not be restricted to PIs with multiple grants.  In general, Council expressed enthusiasm for use of this grant mechanism, but requested that specific details for the implementation of such a program at NINDS be discussed further.

Approval to Explore NINDS R35 Grant Mechanism—Dr. Finkelstein requested, and the Council voted for, approval to further explore the R35 grant mechanism.

 

VII. Concept Clearance for Proposed Initiatives

Programs Replacing Translational R21s (tR21)—Dr. Rajesh Ranganathan, Director, Office of Translational Research, NINDS, requested concept clearance for the Innovative Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE) suite of initiatives to replace the existing tR21 program.  The current program is intended to support research activities that lead directly to cooperative agreements through the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics (BPN) and Cooperative Research to Enable and Advance Translational Enterprises (CREATE) programs.  The tR21 program has been in place for over ten years with a $10M annual investment.  Although changes in scope and budget have been made over the past ten years, a comprehensive revamp has become necessary to ensure a more effective feeder into the pipeline for the recently launched BPN 2.0 and CREATE programs. 

The proposed areas of programmatic focus for IGNITE are:

  1. Assay development and therapeutic identification and profiling
  2. Pharmacodynamics and/or in vivo efficacy studies
  3. Neuroscience translational tools and models
  4. Neuroscience-focused translational platform technology development.

Dr. Ranganathan reviewed the entry criteria and end goals for each of these four grant programs.  This proposed suite of funding mechanisms will provide the early drug discovery data package required for entry into NINDS’ late-stage drug discovery/development programs and/or external translational funding and partnering opportunities.  The first two IGNITE FOAs will be published in December 2014 with a first receipt date in February 2015.  Council voted to approve concept clearance for the IGNITE suite of initiatives.

 

VIII.  Council Consideration of Pending Applications  

This portion of the meeting, involving specific grant review, was closed to the public.  The Council gave special attention to applications from foreign institutions and other applications requiring specific discussion.  Prior to discussion of the grants, Dr. Finkelstein reminded Council members regarding conflict of interest and confidentiality.

Conflict of Interest—Regulations concerning conflict of interest were reviewed.  Council members were reminded that materials furnished for review purposes and discussion during the closed portions of the meeting are considered privileged information.  All Council members present signed a statement certifying that they had not been involved in any conflict-of-interest situations during the review of grant applications. 

Confidentiality—During the closed session, any information that is discussed and the outcome of any recommendation are considered privileged information.  They may not be discussed outside of the closed session.  If an applicant requests support for his or her application from a Council member, the Council member must respond that he/she is not permitted to discuss the application.  Any inquiry should be referred to Dr. Robert Finkelstein, Council Executive Secretary, who then will refer the question to the appropriate staff member for response. 

Research Training and Career Development Programs – The Council reviewed a total of 295 research career development and institutional training grant applications with primary assignment to NINDS, and 166 of them (56.3 percent) were scored in the amount of $9.38 million first-year direct costs.  It is anticipated that, of the research career development and institutional training grant applications competing at this Council, NINDS will be able to pay first-year direct costs of approximately $4.36 million (75 grants).
Research Project and Center Awards – The Council reviewed a total of 1,518 research project and center applications with primary assignment to NINDS, and 842 of them (55.5 percent) were scored/percentiled in the amount of $257.4 million first-year direct costs.  It is anticipated that, of the research grants competing at this Council, NINDS will be able to pay first-year direct costs of approximately $68.5 million (245 grants).
Senator Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Awards – The Senator Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Awards are made to distinguished investigators who have a record of scientific excellence and productivity, who are actively pursuing an area of research of strategic importance, and who can be expected to continue to be highly productive for a seven-year period.  Candidates are nominated and selected at each Council meeting.   Council approved six Javits nominations at this meeting.
Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Award Programs – The Council reviewed a total of 124 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Technology Transfer Award (STTR) grant applications with primary assignment to NINDS, and 62 of them (50 percent) were scored in the amount of $16.9 million first-year direct costs.  It is anticipated that, of the SBIR and STTR applications competing at this Council, NINDS will be able to pay first-year direct costs of approximately $1.66 million (5 grants).

 

IX.  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 29.

NINDS employees present for portions of the meeting included:

Dr. Alan Willard
Ms. Kelly Baker
Ms. Nena Wells
Dr. Story Landis
Dr. Yuan Liu
Dr. Ernie Lyons
Dr. Robert Finkelstein
Dr. John Porter
Dr. David Owens
Dr. Jane Fountain
Dr. Beth-Anne Sieber
Dr. May Wong
Dr. Birgit Neuhuber
Dr. Tracy Chen
Mr. Ken Frushour
Mr. Phillip Wiethorn
Dr. Claudia Moy
Dr. Paul Scott
Dr. Robert Zalutsky
Dr. Laura Mamounas
Dr. Courtney Ferrell Aklin
Dr. Amelie Gubitz
Ms. Louise Ritz
Dr. Crina Frincu
Dr. Joanne Odenkirchen
Dr. Chuck Cywin
Dr. Rajesh Ranganathan
Dr. Katrina Gwinn
Dr. Ipolia Ramadan
Ms. Janice Cordell
Dr. Ursula Utz
Dr. Elizabeth Webber
Dr. Audrey Penn
Dr. Margaret Ochocinska
Dr. Amir Tamiz
Dr. Patrick Hussmann
Dr. Vicky Whittemore
Dr. Chris Boshoff
Dr. Andrey Kuzmichev
Dr. Matthew Raymond
Dr. Lyn Jakeman
Dr. Miriam Leenders
Ms. Preeti Hans
Dr. Andrew Skinner
Dr. Derek Wilkinson
Dr. Debra Bergstrom
Ms. Stacey Chambers
Ms. Laurie Arrants
Dr. Tim LaVaute
Dr. Lynn Rundhaugen
Dr. Ashlee Van’t Veer
Ms. Marian Emr
Ms. Marie Gill
Dr. Ran Zhang
Dr. Michael Oshinsky
Dr. Robert Riddle

Dr. Daofen Chen
Dr. Randall Stewart
Dr. Shanta Rajaram
Dr. Shai Silberberg
Dr. Jim Gnadt
Dr. Debra Babcock
Dr. Walter Koroshetz
Ms. Tijuanna Decoster
Dr. Anna Taylor
Dr. Amy Adams
Ms. Quynh Ly
Dr. Natalia Strunnikova
Dr. Christine Torborg
Dr. Roderick Corriveau
Dr. Michelle Jones-London
Dr. Yejun He
Dr. Francesca Bosetti
Dr. Jill Morris
Ms. Jamie Roberts
Ms. Christina Vert
Dr. Margaret Sutherland
Dr. William Benzing
Dr. Ned Talley
Ms. Margo Warren
Dr. David Jett
Dr. D. Elizabeth McNeil
Dr. Wendy Galpern
Dr. Karen David
Dr. John Kehne
Dr. Raul Saavedra
Ms. Christine Lam
Dr. Brandy Fureman
Dr. Jim Koenig
Ms. Nancy Hart
Dr. Rebecca Roof
Ms. Stephanie Fertig
Mr. Paul Girolami
Dr. Pamela Wernett
Dr. Letitia Weigand
Dr. Dave Yeung
Dr. Sarah Norring
Dr. Coryse St. Hillaire-Clarke
Dr. Sam White
Dr. Patrick Bellgowan
Ms. Elizabeth Quartey
Ms. Ernestine Lenteu
Dr. Rebecca Farkas
Ms. Caroline Lewis
Ms. Monique Hill
Dr. Mona Hicks
Dr. Linda McGavern
Dr. Steve Korn
Dr. Cara Long
Dr. Kip Ludwig
Ms. Joanna Vivalda


 


Other Federal employees present for portions of the meeting included:

Dr. Laurent Taupenot, CSR
Dr. Seetha Bhagavan, CSR
Dr. Christine Piggee, CSR
Dr. Alexei Kondratyev, CSR
Dr. Rene Etcheberrigaray, CSR
Dr. Wei-Qin Zhao, CSR
Dr. Chris Melchior, CSR
Dr. Jon Arias, CSR
Dr. Biao Tian, CSR
Dr. Vilen Movsesyan, CSR
Dr. Yuan Luo, CSR
Dr. Carole Jelsema, CSR
Dr. Marissa Miller, NHLBI
Dr. Ashura Burkley, NIMH
Dr. Greg Farber, NIMH
Dr. Glen Nuckolls, NIAMS
Dr. Amit Patel, eRA
Dr. Jon Lorsch, NIGMS

 

We certify that, to the best of our knowledge, the foregoing minutes and attachments are accurate and complete.

Robert Finkelstein, Ph.D.
Executive Secretary
National Advisory Neurological Disorders
and Stroke Council

Director, Division of Extramural Research
National Institute of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke

Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D.
Chairperson
National Advisory Neurological Disorders
and Stroke Council

Acting Director
National Institute of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke

These minutes will be formally considered by the Council at its next meeting. Corrections or notations will be incorporated in the minutes of that meeting.


1For the record, it is noted that members absent themselves from the meeting when the Council is discussing applications (a) from their respective institutions or (b) in which a real or apparent conflict of interest might occur.