Issue Date: February 28, 2011
NIH Advisory Board Okays Reorganization
NIH is forging ahead with its decision to abolish the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) to make way for a bold new drug discovery center called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS; C&EN, Feb. 14, page 25). A key advisory board, which recommended the creation of NCATS in December, heard details about the reorganization during a teleconference on Feb. 23. Only two board members expressed concerns about the fate of NCRR’s programs, all of which will be transferred to NCATS or other institutes and centers within NIH. NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence A. Tabak, who is leading an effort to evaluate NCRR’s programs, pointed out that changes to the reorganization plan have been made because of stakeholder input. For example, NCRR’s Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) program is now proposed to move to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. In a previous plan, it had been assigned to an interim unit under the Office of the Director. The change comes after 14 senators expressed concern about moving the IDeA program from a permanent institute to an interim unit.
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