Dear NHLBI Colleagues:
From Oct. 11 to 13, on behalf of the NIH and Dr. Francis Collins, I attended the 57th meeting of the European Medical Research Council (EMRC) and European Science Foundation (ESF) in Strasbourg, France. The EMRC is made up of 37 medical research councils in 30 European countries. Its mission is to promote innovative medical research and its clinical application towards improved human health. The ESF includes 79 member organizations. Medical research is a relatively small component of its activities. The NHLBI has been engaged with both organizations to address challenges in conducting non-commercial clinical trials and to discuss policy revisions in the European Union.
On the first day, I presented an overview of current NIH activities in clinical and translational research. Topics included NIH funding opportunities, how we make investments in translational medicine and therapeutics, global health, and efforts to harmonize across government, institutions, and industry. I emphasized both what the NIH is doing as a whole (such as the Cures Acceleration Network, Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, Rapid Access to International Development pilot program, etc.), and what the largest of the Institutes are doing (NHLBI, NIAID, and NCI). There was extensive discussion. In addition to the topics presented, there was a lot of interest in open access and data sharing.
Moving forward, we plan to collaborate on several ESF strategy documents, called Forward Looks, which enable Europe's scientific community to define future research agendas at national and European levels in collaboration with policymakers. The current active Forward Look project is "Implementation of Medical Research in Clinical Practice."
What we accomplished: NIH and NHLBI are actively engaged with our European colleagues in removing barriers to collaboration in both medical research and the conduct of multinational studies.
|Council of Europe headquarters, Strasbourg|
|Cathedral of Notre Dame, Strasbourg|
|The Rhine in Strasbourg|