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Senate panel blocks NIH from revising translational research awards

A congressional spending panel has backed scientists running a $516 million network of bench-to-bedside research centers in their fight with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, over how it manages the network. It's the latest step in a long-running tug-of-war over the direction of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) program.

The CTSAs were created in 2006 by then–NIH Director Elias Zerhouni as part of his larger push to turn lab findings into treatments. In 2012 they became the lion's share of the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH. Since then, CTSA investigators have clashed repeatedly with NCATS Director Chris Austin.

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Congress rejects Trump proposals to cut health research funds

WASHINGTON — Back in March, when President Trump released the first draft of his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, he asked lawmakers for deep cuts to one of their favorite institutions, the National Institutes of Health — part of a broad reordering of priorities, away from science and social spending, toward defense and border security.

US Capitol Building

Six months later, Congress has not only rejected the president's N.I.H. proposal; lawmakers from both parties have joined forces to increase spending on biomedical research — and have bragged about it.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bipartisan bill last week providing $36.1 billion for the health institutes in the fiscal year that starts next month. Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri and the chairman of the subcommittee responsible for health spending, said it was the third consecutive year in which he had secured a $2 billion increase for the agency, amounting to an increase of about 20 percent over three years.

The audience erupted in applause when Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, announced the increase at a hearing of a separate Senate committee.

Mr. Trump had proposed to cut funds for the health institutes by $7.5 billion, or 22 percent, to $26.6 billion. Congress pushed back hard.

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NIH’s All of Us Research Program expands national network of medical centers

Awardees will help enroll participants in long-term precision medicine research effort.

Three sets of health care provider organizations will add to a growing network of trusted leaders charged with implementing the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program, an ambitious effort to advance research into precision medicine. Combined, the new awardees will receive $13.8 million to enroll interested individuals, gather participant health information and help retain participants in the program through ongoing engagement efforts. These awardees will extend the geographic coverage of the program and strengthen its reach within underserved communities, including lower-income, Hispanic and Latino, African American, American Indian and rural communities.

The All of Us Research Program is a bold effort to gather data over time from more than 1 million people living in the United States, with the ultimate goal of accelerating research and improving health. Researchers will use data from the program for studies on a variety of health conditions, to learn more about the impact of individual differences in lifestyle, environment and biological makeup. All of Us participants play an integral role in how we will approach improving health and treating disease in the future.

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NIH’s All of Us Research Program expands national network of medical centers

Awardees will help enroll participants in long-term precision medicine research effort.

Three sets of health care provider organizations will add to a growing network of trusted leaders charged with implementing the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program, an ambitious effort to advance research into precision medicine. Combined, the new awardees will receive $13.8 million to enroll interested individuals, gather participant health information and help retain participants in the program through ongoing engagement efforts. These awardees will extend the geographic coverage of the program and strengthen its reach within underserved communities, including lower-income, Hispanic and Latino, African American, American Indian and rural communities.

The All of Us Research Program is a bold effort to gather data over time from more than 1 million people living in the United States, with the ultimate goal of accelerating research and improving health. Researchers will use data from the program for studies on a variety of health conditions, to learn more about the impact of individual differences in lifestyle, environment and biological makeup. All of Us participants play an integral role in how we will approach improving health and treating disease in the future.

"We want this program to reflect the rich diversity of our country," said Eric Dishman, director of the All of Us Research Program at NIH. "Expanding our national network of health care provider organizations enhances our ability to reach communities traditionally underrepresented in medical research. Working with participants across the country, we hope to contribute to medical breakthroughs that may lead to more tailored disease prevention and treatment solutions in the future."

Awardees include:

  • Southern All of Us Network: University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB); Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama; Huntsville Hospital, Alabama; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans; Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans; Tuskegee University, Alabama; UAB Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama; UAB School of Medicine's Montgomery Internal Medicine and Selma Family Medicine programs, Birmingham, Alabama; University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson; University of South Alabama Health System, Mobile; and University Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
     
  • SouthEast Enrollment Center: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Florida; Emory University, Atlanta; Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta; and the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium led by the University of Florida in Gainesville.
     
  • All of Us, Wisconsin: Marshfield Clinic Research Institute; BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

The All of Us Research Program plans to continue building the network of health care provider organizations over time to engage a large participant community that reflects the geographic, ethnic, racial and socioeconomic diversity of the country.  The network includes regional medical centers, community health centers and medical centers operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The program is currently in beta testing. To learn more and to sign up for updates, please visit www.joinallofus.org


About the National Institutes of Health ( NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov. 

Precision Medicine Initiative, All of Us, the All of Us logo, and "The Future of Health Begins with You" are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Originally published at allofus.nih.gov.

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Michelle Maclay, Communications Director