Mackall Takes On New Appointment
Dr. Crystal L. Mackall has been appointed acting chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB) in NCI's CCR. She is chief of the Immunology Section and has served as deputy chief of POB since January 2005. Dr. Mackall is board certified in internal medicine, pediatrics, and pediatric hematology/oncology, and has received international recognition for her work on T-cell immune reconstitution. Dr. Mackall leads an active translational research program, which incorporates basic studies in immunobiology with clinical trials of immunotherapy for pediatric cancer, for which she received an NCI Director's Award in 2003. She also received the NIH Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award in 2000 and the NCI Mentor of Merit Award in 2003.
NIH Review of Research Applications Expedited
A pilot study focused on new investigators applying for an R01 grant will speed up NIH peer reviews of research grant applications. The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) process currently takes 6 months and involves more than 15,000 outside scientific experts. "Our goal is to reduce the grant review process by half," said Dr. Toni Scarpa, director of CSR.
The study, to be initiated in February across 40 of CSR's scientific review panels, will allow researchers to readily address reviewer concerns by revising and resubmitting their applications for the next review cycle - more than 4 months earlier than before.
To evaluate the study, CSR will assess the views of applicants, reviewers, and both NIH and CSR staff. For more information, go to http://cms.csr.nih.gov.
Workshop Discusses Affinity Capture Resources in Proteomics
A critical component of NCI's Clinical Proteomic Technologies Initiative for Cancer is the development and characterization of reagents and resources. On December 12-13, NCI held the Proteomic Technologies Reagents Resource Workshop to discuss affinity capture resources in proteomics.
Participants, including leading proteomic investigators and representatives from 25 companies, discussed in vitro capture systems and applications, affinity characterization, validation, target selection, throughput capabilities, and database development. The Human Protein Atlas was also presented as an antibody characterization approach for the research community.
Proteomics holds potential for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The workshop identified roles NCI could play in overcoming barriers in proteomics, including antibody characterization, quality assurance, and availability.
State Tobacco Prevention Programs Inadequately Funded
States are once again failing to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs at recommended levels despite collecting record amounts of tobacco-generated revenue from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, according to the latest report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, issued November 30. The report, A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Seven Years Later - cosponsored by the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and American Lung Association - finds that in the current budget year, only Maine, Colorado, Delaware, and Mississippi are funding tobacco prevention programs at a level that meets minimum recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).