NINDS Advisory Council Meeting Minutes, September 12-13, 2018

NINDS Advisory Council Meeting Minutes, September 12-13, 2018

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

Summary of Meeting1
September 12-13 2018

The National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NANDS) Council was convened for its 203rd meeting on September 12-13, 2018, in Building 31, C Wing, 6th Floor, Conference Room 6, in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Walter Koroshetz, Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), served as Chairperson.

In accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5, U.S. Code and Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), the meeting was:

Closed:  September 12, 2018: 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for the review of Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality, Council Procedures, and Council Consideration of Pending Applications.

Open:    September 13, 2018: 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the review and discussion of program development, needs, and policy.

Council members present:
Dr. Laurence Abbott
Dr. Issam Awad (via telephone)
Dr. Hollis Cline
Ms. Susan Dickinson
Dr. Gordon Fishell (via telephone)
Dr. David Gutmann (via telephone)
Dr. David Hackney
Ms. Janet Hieshetter
Dr. Karen Johnston
Dr. Steve Perrin
Dr. Indira Raman (via telephone)

Ex officio member present:
Colonel Sidney Hinds, II, Department of Defense (via telephone)
Christopher Bever, Jr., M.D., Department of Veteran Affairs

Ad hoc attendees present:
Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael
Dr. Nita Farahany
Dr. Margie Frazier
Dr. Aaron Gitler
Dr. Arnold Kriegstein

Council Roster (Attachment 1)

Members of the public present for portions of the open meeting included:

Dr. Satyajit Ambike, Purdue University
Dr. Vetria Byrd, Purdue University
Mr. Philip Goglas II, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
Dr. Patrick Hein, Purdue University
Dr. Libby O’Hare, Association of Independent Research Institutes
Dr. Thomas Redick, Purdue University
Dr. Anne Sereno, Purdue University
Dr. Arend Van Gemmert, Louisiana State University

Federal attendees are listed at the end of these minutes.

I.  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, NINDS Advisory 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 297 research career development and institutional training grant applications with primary assignment to NINDS, and 157 of them (52.8 percent) were scored in the amount of $11.58 million first-year direct costs.  It is anticipated that, of the research career development and institutional training grant applications considered at this Council, NINDS will be able to pay first-year direct costs of approximately $5.4 million (81 grants).

Research Project and Center Awards – The Council reviewed a total of 1,568 research project and center applications with primary assignment to NINDS, and 858 of them (54.7 percent) were scored/percentiled in the amount of $303 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 $55.62 million (231 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 two Javits nominations at this meeting: Theresa A. Jones, Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin) and Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D. (Children’s Research Institute, Washington, DC).

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Award Programs – The Council reviewed a total of 158 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Technology Transfer Award (STTR) grant applications with primary assignment to NINDS, and 89 of them (56.3 percent) were scored in the amount of $29.4 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 $12.17 million (24 grants).

II.  Call to Order and Opening Remarks

Dr. Koroshetz welcomed Council members, visitors, and staff to the 203rd meeting of the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council.

III.  Report of the Director, Division of Extramural Activities, NINDS

Approval of Council Minutes—Dr. Finkelstein requested, and the Council voted approval of the May 24, 2018, Council meeting minutes.

The following future Council meeting dates were confirmed:

                                                Thursday & Friday, February 14-15, 2019
                                                Thursday & Friday, May 23-24, 2019
                                                Wednesday & Thursday, September 4-5, 2019
                                                Wednesday & Thursday, February 5-6, 2020
                                                Wednesday & Thursday, May 27-28, 2020
                                                Wednesday & Thursday, September 9-10, 2020

Expedited Review Process – Each Council round, a subset of Council members approves applications in advance of the meeting with scores within the pay line.  This expedited review process focuses on applications for which there are no unresolved issues.  Dr. Finkelstein thanked Council members Issam Awad, Holly Cline and Steve Roberds for handling this responsibility for this meeting and the fiscal year.  For the current Council round, 168 applications were eligible to be expedited. One hundred (100) of these awards already have been issued, and the others will be issued shortly after Council.

Extramural Announcements

  • Dr. Finkelstein introduced Ye Yan, Ph.D., from the Neural Environment Cluster.
  • Dr. Finkelstein introduced Michael Tennekoon, Ph.D., and K Rezaizadeh, Ph.D., from the Training Office.
  • Dr. Ernie Lyons introduced two new Scientific Review Officers in the Scientific Review Branch: Marilyn Moore-Hoon, Ph.D. and DeAnna Adkins, Ph.D.
  • Dr. Ernie Lyons announced the departure of SRO, Birgit Neuhuber, Ph.D., from the Scientific Review Branch.
  • Dr. David Jett announced the promotion of Shardell Spriggs, Ph.D., in the Division of Translational Research.

IV.  Report of the Director, NINDS

Dr. Walter Koroshetz, Director, NINDS

NIH and NINDS Budget—Dr. Koroshetz provided an overview of the appropriations history for NIH and NINDS. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Omnibus represents a 6.4 percent increase to the NINDS budget, including $111 million to the base for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative. Additionally, during FY 2018, NINDS co-managed approximately $100 million of the Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)/AD Related Dementia funds that the National Institute on Aging (NIA) received. In both FY 2019 House and Senate budget markups, NINDS will receive $250 million for the Opioid Crisis Initiative and approximately $56 million for the BRAIN Initiative® via the 21st Century Cures Act. The FY 2019 President’s budget proposes a significant cut: –6.2 percent to NIH and –6.4 percent to NINDS.

During FY 2018, NINDS awarded an estimated 879 competing awards (~$367 million) and 1,979 noncompeting awards (~$845 million). For FY 2018, the estimated success rate for NINDS awards is 19.5 percent, and the NINDS competing research project grant (RPG) percentile pay line is 15.

Dr. Koroshetz introduced a model for making budgetary decisions in responses to changing appropriations and described how different levers could be applied in times of prosperity and hardship. For example, if available funds are reduced, administrative cuts on grants could be increased; high program priority (HPP) awards eliminated; and support for clinical trials, translational awards, and centers and program projects reduced. In addition, funding levels for training/diversity, trans-NIH programs, and the number of early stage investigators (ESIs) could likely be maintained; and support for Bridge Awards, increased.  Similar examples were described if available funds remained stable and increased.

Leadership Changes—New NIH Institute and Center Directors include Dr. Helene M. Langevin, Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), and Dr. Bruce J. Tromberg, Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Searches are ongoing for Directors of the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and National Institute on Nursing Research (NINR). For NINDS, Dr. Avindra Nath has been named Acting Scientific Director, and Dr. Lyn Jakeman is Acting Director of Neuroscience. Finalist candidates have been identified for a Director of the BRAIN Initiative®. Additionally, NINDS career opportunities include scientific review officers, program directors, project managers, and medical officers.

Trans-NIH Programs—Dr. Koroshetz highlighted several trans-NIH programs, including HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-Term) and the BRAIN Initiative®. HEAL will focus on improving treatment for opioid misuse and addiction and developing strategies for enhanced pain management. Current HEAL programs for pain span from discovery through preclinical development to clinical trials. NINDS is seeking scientists to work on this and other initiatives.  A new Advisory Council to the NIH Director (ACD) BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0 will revisit the priorities identified in the BRAIN 2025 report through the lens of progress to date, new scientific opportunities, and tools and technologies that have emerged from the BRAIN Initiative®. The BRAIN Neuroethics Subgroup (BNS) will develop a Neuroethics Roadmap and report back to ACD BRAIN WG 2.0. NIH released a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting feedback from the scientific community, patient advocates, and the general public to help inform the discussions of the BRAIN Initiative's® progress and potential updates to the plan moving forward.

NANDS ME/CFS Working Group—A new working group of the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council has been charged with providing scientific guidance to Council on how best to advance research on myalgia encephalitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) at NIH. The working group will: 1) assess current NIH ME/CFS research activities and the extent to which they address opportunities and gaps in ME/CFS research. 2) Consider mechanisms to bring new investigators to the field. 3) Identify ways to enhance ongoing biomedical research, collaboration and communication between advocacy organizations, individuals with ME/CFS, researchers, and federal agencies.

NINDS Science Advances—Basic science research led to a new study in C. elegans reporting that early-life stress (starvation) prevents male-specific pruning of neuronal connections, with lasting behavioral outcomes. Translational research led to NINDS-funded researchers developing a hydrogel containing heparin nanoparticles linked to the growth factor VEGF. When injected into the stroke cavity of mice, the hydrogel supported neurogenesis and axonogenesis, resulting in functional recovery. Intramural researchers found that in a mouse model, parkin and PINK1 prevent inflammation and neurodegeneration by clearing damaged mitochondria, thereby preventing increases in cytosolic and circulating mtDNA.

Dr. Koroshetz congratulated the Neuroscience Scholars Program for winning the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

NINDS Portfolio Analysis—Dr. Koroshetz updated Council on NINDS’ investment in basic research, first discussed in 2012.  At this time, it was reported that NINDS’ investment in basic research had experienced a sharp decline between 1997 and 2011. Following this finding, the Institute embarked on a number of efforts to stem this tide, including the release of an FOA specifically soliciting fundamental basic research with an annual set-aside of $5M.  The BRAIN Initiative® has served to stabilize NINDS’ investment in basic research in recent years. 

Strategic PlanningNINDS Deputy Director, Dr. Nina Schor, will lead a new strategic planning effort. Setting the stage for this process, there will be a series of Council discussions presenting an overarching vision of the major NINDS Divisions and high-priority topic areas. It is anticipated that with a deeper understanding of how the Institute operates, Council will be better equipped to provide input on guiding Institute direction.  Dr. Koroshetz presented the current breakdown of NINDS’ portfolio across Basic-Basic, Basic-Disease Related, Applied-Translational and Applied Clinical research. He indicated Council will contribute to the discussion of the balance of the portfolio.

Early Stage/“At-Risk” Investigators Policy—The NIH ACD Working Group on the Next Generation Research Initiative has identified a need to protect junior investigators, stabilize career trajectories of successful, productive mid-career investigators, and enhance diversity across the biomedical workforce. In addition, the group introduced the concept of supporting investigators that were “at risk” of losing NIH support for their research. NINDS has historically provided bridge funding to at risk PIs. From FY12 to FY17, approximately 2/3rds of applicants that apply for an R01 are successful within 1-2 years after receiving a bridge award.

V.  National Academies consensus study report

Dr. Kenneth Maynard, Global Patient Safety Evaluation and Business Partner Relations, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Maynard presented highlights from a National Academies consensus study report, Breaking Through: The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers. Barriers include an absence of shared responsibility across the biomedical research enterprise, a decline in NIH funding level in real dollars since 2003, and a lack of evidence-based policy ideas.

Recommendations to research institutions include: limiting postdoctoral training to five years; providing or increasing stable nonfaculty research positions with salary and benefits; promoting documenting and disseminating efforts to reduce barriers to recruitment and retention of diverse researchers. The report also recommends that PIs provide high-quality training to prepare postdoctoral researchers for diverse and successful research careers.

Recommendations to NIH include: requiring that training, mentoring, diversity, and inclusion plans be part of grant applications; introducing policies to collect, analyze, and publish comprehensive and standardized outcomes data of pre-/postdoctoral researchers; increasing salary support for National Research Service Awards (NRSA); assessing feasibility and impact of capping salary support for NIH-funded postdoctoral researchers; and creating a next-generation researchers innovation fund for pilot projects from research institutions to accelerate transition to independent careers.

Recommendations to Congress include: allocating a defined budget to address report recommendations; establishing a public-private biomedical research enterprise council to address challenges to the next generation of biomedical researchers; and establishing or extending an employment tax credit to research and development firms for hiring recently graduated PhDs, MDs, and MD/PhDs.

VI.  NINDS Principal Investigator (PI) Age Distribution and Age at First R01-

Dr. Christine Torborg, Office of Science Policy and Planning, NINDS

Dr. Torborg summarized an analysis of NINDS PI age distribution. NINDS PIs within the initial five-year period of their first R01 receive more funds than PIs at any other career stage. The number of NINDS PIs younger than age 46 is stable. However, the percentage is decreasing as older PIs (>60 years old) get added to the system. The age at first R01 has increased three to four years since 1990, in spite of the implementation of ESI and New Investigator (NI) policies. Compared with PhD assistant professors from 1990, the 2016 cohort took one to two years longer to achieve each career stage such as achieving their assistant professorship, submitting their first R01, and receiving their first R01 award. Of note, 40 percent of PhD assistant professors had other NIH funding before getting their first R01.

Council members discussed the number of women leaving the field at each career stage, and angst among students about the challenge of pursuing an academic career.

VII.  Division of Translational Research (DTR): An Introduction

Dr. Amir Tamiz, Director, Division of Extramural Activities, NINDS

DTR aims to accelerate the application of basic research findings to patient use for neurological disorders and stroke by providing funding, expertise, and resources to the research community.  The Division’s portfolio includes exploratory/developmental R21s, phased mechanisms (R61/R33), Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program (R41, R42, R43, R44), and cooperative agreements (U01, UG3/UH3).

Dr. Tamiz highlighted DTR accomplishments, including refocusing the Anticonvulsant Screening Program on identifying differentiated agents to address the unmet needs in epilepsy, including drug refractory epilepsy, epileptogenesis and disease progression, and special epilepsy populations.  This program, now the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP), deposits compound and assay information into the Public Access to Neuroactive & Anticonvulsant Chemical Evaluations (PANAChE) database which serves as an open access drug discovery resource. Other DTR program successes include: the hand-off of 6 products by the CounterACT program (Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats) with 5 more expected by 2020; the advancement of at least two lead compounds through the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network into clinical trials; the retooling of legacy programs such as the Cooperative Research to Enable and Advance Translational Enterprises (CREATE) for Biotechnology Products and Biologics (Bio) and for Neural Devices, as well as Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE); and the launch of a neuroscience biomarker program.

Members asked about the role of outside groups in providing input to DTR. Members brought up the importance of engaging patient advocacy groups.

VIII. Initiatives Requiring Concept Clearance

  1. Unbiased Data Independent Acquisition (DIA) Proteomics for Accelerating Medicines Partnership Parkinson’s Disease (AMP PD)
    Dr. Marg Sutherland, Neurodegeneration Cluster, NINDS

    In January 2018, the AMP PD project was launched to identify and validate diagnostic, prognostic, and progression biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease. The proposed initiative will support unbiased proteomics analysis of longitudinal CSF samples from AMP PD cohorts using a data independent acquisition mass spectrometry platform.  Data from the projects will be uploaded to the AMP-PD knowledge portal which would be open and available to the research community.
  2. AMP PD Data Analysis
    Dr. Marg Sutherland, Neurodegeneration Cluster, NINDS
    Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster
    Dr. Sutherland presented a second AMP PD concept focused on encouraging the use of available whole-genome sequencing and harmonized clinical data already in the cloud and building algorithms to enhance understanding of PD diagnosis and progression that would drive biomarker discovery.
    Council discussed the number of genes that need to be sequenced to find PD genes.
  3. Optimization of Non-Addictive Therapies [Small Molecules and Biologics] to Treat Pain
    Dr. Chuck Cywin, Division of Translational Research, NINDS

    Dr. Cywin described a proposed initiative to support pre-clinical optimization and development of safe, effective, non-addictive small molecule and biologic therapies to treat pain. The proposed funding opportunity would aim to encourage grant applications for investigator-initiated comparative effectiveness research using the phased UG3/UH3 cooperative funding mechanism. A successful program would result in the assembly of two investigational new drug (IND) applications. NINDS expects to fund 6-8 projects under the UG3 mechanism and anticipates 2-3 projects would be funded under the UH3 phase. This initiative will have additional grant supplements for various research-related activities.

  4. Translating BRAIN/Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC)/HEAL Discoveries into Effective Stimulation Devices for Pain
    Dr. Nick Langhals, Repair and Plasticity Cluster, NINDS

    Dr. Langhals described an initiative designed to translate diagnostic and therapeutic devices into humans that improve patient outcomes and decrease or eliminate the need to prescribe opioids. The work would be accomplished through several new activities and Requests for Applications (RFAs) that expand the SPARC program, span the translational pipeline from pain target discovery and device optimization through regulatory approval (i.e., investigational device exemption) to small clinical trials. Five different RFAs will be published to solicit applications for the program.
  5. Pain Effectiveness Research Trial Initiative
    Dr. Jeremy Brown, Division of Clinical Research, NINDS

    Dr. Brown presented a proposal for NINDS to join the Pain Effectiveness Research Trials initiative that will target therapies for a broad array of pain conditions through phase III clinical trials. The funding opportunity announcements would focus on comparative effectiveness research, pain therapy trials, and pain treatment paradigms to inform patients and the medical community on how best to treat painful conditions while minimizing the potential for addiction.

    Council noted that the HEAL initiatives are paid for by dedicated HEAL funding. Council asked about funding for small businesses and noted that there is SBIR set-aside funding under HEAL.

IX.  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, 2018.

NINDS employees present for portions of the meeting included:

Dr. Amy Adams
Dr. Deborah Babcock
Ms. Kelly Baker
Dr. Patrick Bellgowan
Dr. Francesca Bosetti
Dr. Chris Boshoff
Dr. Andrew Breeden
Dr. Jeremy Brown
Mr. Ryan Calabrese
Mr. Roger Campbell
Dr. Emily Carifi
Ms. Stacey Chambers
Dr. Daofen Chen
Dr. Robin Conwit
Dr. Roderick Corriveau
Dr. Angel de la Cruz
Dr. Diana Cummings
Dr. Charles Cywin
Dr. Will Daley
Dr. Karen David
Dr. Edgardo Falcon
Ms. Stephanie Fertig
Dr. Robert Finkelstein
Dr. Jane Fountain
Dr. Jordan Gladman
Dr. Jim Gnadt
Dr. Maureen Gormley
Dr. Amelie Gubitz
Dr. Mohamed Hachicha
Ms. Preeti Hans
Dr. Adam Hartman
Mr. Brandon Hartsell
Ms. Monique Hill
Dr. Mir A. Hossain
Dr. Nina Hsu
Dr. Lyn Jakeman
Dr. Scott Janis
Dr. David Jett
Dr. Michelle Jones-London
Dr. John Kehne
Dr. Jimok Kim
Dr. Brian Klein
Dr. Jim Koenig
Dr. Steve Korn
Dr. Doe Kumsa
Dr. Walter Koroshetz
Dr. Pascal Laeng
Ms. Christine Lam
Dr. Nick Langhals
Dr. Tim LaVaute
Dr. Miriam Leenders
Dr. Marilyn Moore-Hoon
Dr. Cara Long
Dr. Codrin Lungu
Ms. Quynh Ly
Dr. Ernie Lyons
Dr. Laura Mamounas
Dr. Linda McGavern
Ms. Barbara McMakin
Dr. Carolina Mendoza-Puccini
Dr. Daniel Miller
Dr. Jill Morris
Dr. Meghan Mott
Dr. Claudia Moy
Dr. Birgit Neuhuber
Dr. Glen Nuckolls
Ms. Oreisa O’Neil
Dr. Michael Oshinsky
Dr. David Owens
Dr. Katie Pahigiannis
Ms. Josabeth Paredes
Dr. Shamsi Raeissi
Dr. Khara Ramos
Dr. Nagarajan Rangarajan
Dr. Shanta Rajaram
Dr. K. Paul Reza-Zadeh
Dr. Robert Riddle
Dr. Heather Rieff
Dr. Becky Roof
Dr. Jonathan Sabbagh
Dr. Cristina Saugar-Lanchas
Dr. Alisa Schaefer
Dr. Paul Scott
Ms. Shalini Sharma
Dr. Beth-Anne Sieber
Dr. Victoria Smith
Dr. Shardell Spriggs
Dr. Marg Sutherland
Dr. Christine Swanson-Fischer
Dr. Amir Tamiz
Dr. Anna Taylor
Dr. Carol Taylor-Burds
Dr. Michael Tennekoon
Dr. Christine Torborg
Dr. Brian Trummer
Dr. Lauren Ullrich
Dr. Ursula Utz
Ms. Andrea Varea
Dr. Joanna Vivalda
Dr. Letitia Weigand
Dr. Vicky Whittemore
Dr. Ling Wong
Dr. May Wong
Dr. Ye Yan
Dr. Robert Zalutsky

Other federal employees present for portions of the meeting included:

Mr. Peter Attilio, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) – US Army
Dr. Seetha Bhagavan, Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH
Dr. Biao Tian, Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH
Dr. Laurent Taupenot, Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH
Dr. Paul Sato, Office of AIDS Research (OAR), NIH
Ms. Alex Yaszemski, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)
Dr. Wei-Qiu Zhou, Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH

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

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.