NCAB Hears Update on NCI Budget
At the National Cancer Advisory Board's (NCAB) February 5 meeting, NCI Director Dr. John Niederhuber briefed committee members on a variety of issues, including the Institute's operating budget for fiscal year (FY) 2008. The $4.8 billion appropriation is essentially flat compared with FY 2007, requiring NCI leaders to initiate 3-percent reductions across each NCI division, office, and center. This will include reducing: competing research project grants from 1,312 to 1,283; patient accruals for Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) trials; and funding for long-term cancer survivorship research by $1.7 million. He also stressed the importance of NCI's Bypass Budget report as the leadership's "professional judgment" for what could be accomplished with NCI's current capabilities.
Another highlight during the morning session was a presentation by NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni. He shared data on the aging of NIH-funded investigators. This accelerating trend threatens to "de-prime the pump" in the coming years for developing new investigators who are able to get first-time grants and renewal grants, said Dr. Zerhouni.
The NCAB meeting will conclude tomorrow afternoon. A full copy of the meeting agenda can be found at http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/ncab/145_0208/agenda.pdf. A videocast of the 2-day meeting can be found later this week at http://videocast.nih.gov/PastEvents.asp.
EDRN Report Released
The fourth report from NCI's Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), Investing in Translational Research on Biomarkers of Early Cancer and Cancer Risk, was released last week. The report is available at http://prevention.cancer.gov/files/edrn4th.pdf. Information about EDRN is available at http://edrn.nci.nih.gov/.