FYI from the NHLBI Index

December 2002: Vol. 3, Issue 3
Summaries of Meetings
and Announcements of Upcoming Events

Public Representatives Attend NHLBI Working Group on Future Directions in Sarcoidosis Research

NHLBI Participates in New Jersey Health Forum

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council Fall Meeting

  • September 5, 2002
  • October 24, 2002

Upcoming Events

Public Representatives Attend NHLBI Working Group on Future Directions in Sarcoidosis Research

On August 22 and 23, 2002, investigators with expertise in pulmonary diseases, genetics, identification of infectious agents, immunology, molecular biology, and inflammatory bowel disease gathered at the NHLBI to discuss future directions in sarcoidosis research. As in most working groups, the researchers reviewed the current status of what is known about the disease, identified gaps in research, pinpointed obstacles to progress, and explored other research areas that may be applicable.

Complementing the research focus was a discussion in which representatives from the National Sarcoidosis Networking Society of America, Sarcoid Networking Association, Sarcoidosis Awareness Network, Sarcoidosis Research Institute, Sarcoidosis Research Support, and Sarcoidosis Support Group of Greater Washington expressed their views as patients and family members of patients who have sarcoidosis. They stressed the critical need for improved diagnosis and treatment, and shared experiences from their efforts to increase community awareness of sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosis is a disease associated with inflammation that can appear in almost any organ, but it most often starts in the lungs or lymph nodes. Its cause is unknown.

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NHLBI Participates in New Jersey Health Forum

An estimated 200 New Jersey residents attended a health forum dedicated to the promotion of heart and circulatory health for senior citizens. Dr. Teri Manolio, Director, Epidemiology and Biometry Program, Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications, NHLBI, presented an overview of the NIH and stressed the importance of its activities relative to public health. She provided examples of recent cardiovascular disease research advances and discussed how lifestyle choices can improve health and well-being. The event, which was hosted by Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) in conjunction with St. Barnabas Medical Center, occurred October 21, 2002.

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The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council Fall Meetings

September 5, 2002

Dr. Lenfant called the 207th meeting of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) to order and announced that September was National Cholesterol Education Month and Sickle Cell Awareness Month.

Sickle Cell Research ...

The Institute is also celebrating the 30th anniversary of the National Sickle Cell Disease Program, which was created by an Act of Congress in 1972. A booklet describing the accomplishments of the program was distributed to the NHLBAC. Dr. Charles Peterson, Director, Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, described highlights of NHLBI support for sickle cell disease research and gave examples of ongoing and future research programs such as efforts to improve the safety and efficacy of bone marrow transplantation, to identify genetic modifiers, to understand hip and lung complications, and to train clinical investigators.

NAEPP Expert Panel Summary Report

The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) Expert Panel recently released an update of the guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Dr. James Kiley, Director, Division of Lung Diseases, briefly described how the NAEPP update is being disseminated. Dr. Homer Boushey, Professor of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, described the process of updating the report and gave an overview of how research translates into clinical practice, and Dr. George Rush, Deputy Director, National Center for Primary Care, Morehouse University School of Medicine, explained how the guidelines were being disseminated, especially through NHLBI-funded centers that treat uninsured and underserved patients.

During the closed portion of the meeting, the Council concurred on the award of 144 grants for a total cost of $63,253,977.

October 24-25, 2002

Dr. Lenfant welcomed members of the NHLBAC to the 208th meeting of the Council. He acknowledged the contributions of departing Council members Drs. Allen Cowley, Paul Douglass, Amelie Ramirez, Robert Rosenberg, and Roger Spragg. Newly appointed members Drs. Maria Costanzo and Ngai Nguyen, whose 4-year terms begin November 1, were introduced and welcomed.

Dr. Lenfant described a Women’s Health Initiative Conference to review the outcome of the hormone replacement therapy clinical trial. He explained that the progestin/estrogen arm of the trial was stopped after analysis of the data revealed evidence of increased risk of breast cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary embolism.

Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics

Dr. Herbert Geller, Associate Director for Education in the NHLBI Division of Intramural Research (DIR), spoke about mentoring and training in the DIR. The Office of Education was created in 2002 to assist with recruitment of high-quality trainees, to help trainees acquire the necessary scientific and technical skills, and to promote fellows as they attempt to establish research careers. Dr. Elliot McVeigh, senior investigator, NHLBI Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics (LCE), presented an overview of the research being conducted in the LCE.

The NIH Council of Public Representatives (COPR) released a report last year on Human Research Protection in Clinical Trials. Ms. Rosemary Quigley, a member of the COPR and Assistant Professor at the Center for Medical Ethics and Heart Policy at the Baylor College of Medicine, provided her viewpoint on the report and spoke of the effectiveness of the approaches used in clinical studies.

Twelve initiatives were presented to the Council for their approval. While the Council was supportive of all submitted proposals, members made specific recommendations. Dr. Lenfant will take these recommendations into consideration, along with other budget issues, when determining which proposals will be implemented.

During the closed portion of the meeting, the Council concurred on the award of 162 grants for a total cost of $ 75,236,132.

The next National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) meeting is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on February 6, 2003. It is open to the public and will be in NIH Building 31C, Conference Room 10.

The FYI from the NHLBI staff thanks Ms. Sue Byrnes, member of the NHLBAC and Director of the LAM Foundation, for her efforts in preparing the summaries. Full minutes of Council meetings are available.

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Upcoming Events

American Heart Month

Dates: 2/1/03 - 2/28/03
Details: The 2003 theme is "Be an American Heartsaver!" Learn CPR, support AED programs in your community, and help save lives.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) meeting

Dates: 2/6/03
Location: 8:30am - 2:00pm, NIH Main Campus, Building 31C, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD.
Details: All NHLBAC meetings are open to the public.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

Dates: 2/14/03
Details: Join the international coalition of families, non-profit organizations, support groups, and health professionals in efforts to increase public awareness of congenital heart defects and childhood heart disease.

6th International Congress on Pediatric Pulmonology (CIPP VI)

Dates: 2/28/03 - 3/2/03
Location: Lisbon, Portugal.
Details: CIPP VI will offer updates on major aspects of pediatric pulmonology, including issues pertaining to pediatric pulmonology in developing countries.

2003 LAM Research Conference

Dates: 4/4/03 - 4/6/03
Location: Cincinnati, OH.
Details: The LAM Research conference will integrate the ideas of established lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) investigators with top scientists who have parallel interests in molecular genetics, pathology, smooth muscle biology, lung remodeling and cell biology.

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