NIH Opens Its Doors to Research for Extramural/Intramural Collaboration

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Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD

John I. Gallin, MD

Ten projects that will enable nongovernment researchers to conduct clinical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, were announced recently. Through these 3-year, renewable awards of up to $500,000 per year, scientists from institutions across the United States will collaborate with government scientists at the NIH Clinical Center.

“This initiative will provide top scientists outside NIH the opportunity to utilize the sizable resources of our clinical center,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “The collaborative process they undertake with researchers here on campus will set a framework for important biomedical discoveries and needed treatments,” Dr. Collins said.

The new grants will provide extramural researchers from academia and industry with direct access to the broad resources of the NIH Clinical Center. Outside scientists will be able to test promising laboratory discoveries using emerging technologies and tools and collaborate on clinical protocols in partnership with NIH investigators.

“We are very excited about opening the doors of the Clinical Center to our extramural colleagues who will bring additional cutting-edge research projects and new partnerships that will enrich ongoing efforts translating scientific discovery into tomorrow’s cures at the Clinical Center and in partnering institutions around the country,” said John I. Gallin, MD, Director of the NIH Clinical Center.

Endeavor to Stimulate Collaboration

The awards will support projects on a variety of diseases and health conditions, including three specific to cancer research (see page 77), namely, clinical trials of a new drug treatment to prevent relapse in childhood acute myelogenous leukemia, genetic makeup of certain types of prostate cancer, and stem cell gene therapy following R-EPOCH for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in AIDS patients, to gain insights that could yield new information for prevention and treatment efforts.

“These are the first awards in this unique program,” said Sally Rockey, PhD, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research. “We need to do all we can to stimulate collaborations among the country’s best scientific minds in and outside the NIH campus,” Dr. Rockey said. ■

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