Amidst these uncertain times, the current COVID-19 pandemic is prevalent in headlines and constantly on our minds, and it’s easy to overlook the contributions that NIH is making toward other aspects of the biomedical enterprise.
We are wrapping up May Stroke Awareness Month. At NINDS, stroke is in our name and we are strongly committed to funding research in stroke, from basic to translational to clinical studies.
The past few weeks have been an unsettling time for all of us. The rapidly evolving public health emergency associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has upended our lives.
Rare diseases often don’t have the same name recognition that other neurological disorders might, such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, or stroke. While NINDS devotes ample efforts toward research programs on understanding and treating these prevalent disorders, rare diseases have equally important stories to tell.
The end of a decade – and the start of a new one – brings a certain state of reflection that can differ from the usual year-to-year perspective. As I look back on the last decade, and particularly in the last year, I am heartened and encouraged by the significant strides that NINDS has made and continues to make through funding awards, facilitating collaborations, launching new initiatives, and transitioning leadership roles.
I am incredibly pleased to announce the recent launch of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) Parkinson’s Disease (PD) Knowledge Portal. NIH has joined forces with public, private, and non-profit partners to provide a platform that will lower barriers to identifying and validating biomarkers that could be used in PD diagnosis, prognosis, mapping disease progression, and finding new therapeutic targets.
September is Pain Awareness Month, and amid a dual national crisis of inadequate pain management and opioid misuse and addiction, it is important to remember that those suffering from pain face a deeply personal crisis.
For this Director’s Message, I’m delighted to share this stage with NINDS Deputy Director Dr. Nina Schor, who is heading up the enormously important process of developing the next Strategic Plan for our Institute.
NIH is deeply committed to ensuring research integrity. There have been a number of high-profile stories in the media involving undisclosed foreign support and/or affiliations on applications for NIH funding, and, in some circumstances, diversion of proprietary information in NIH grant applications.