FYI from the NHLBI Index

January 2004: Vol. 4, Issue 3
Summaries of Meetings
and Announcements of Upcoming Events

Dr. Alving Talks with Virginia Women about Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Councilís Fall Meetings

  • September 4, 2003
  • October 29, 2003

Upcoming 2004 Events

Dr. Alving Talks with Virginia Women about
Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy

On Saturday, October 25, Dr. Alving sat down with participants at a Women’s Issues Conference hosted by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) to talk about the results of the Women’s Health Initiative, postmenopausal hormone therapy, and health concerns of menopausal and postmenopausal women. During the 45-minute session titled Hormone Replacement Therapy: Fact and Fiction, Dr. Alving answered questions and discussed information in the NHLBI Facts About Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy booklet, the Food and Drug Administration Menopause and Hormones fact sheet, and Fast Facts on Osteoporosis from the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases – National Resource Center. She emphasized the importance of diet and exercise to women of any age, and reminded women about the importance of regular visits to a health care provider regardless of whether they take replacement hormones or not.


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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council’s Fall Meetings

September 4, 2003

Members of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) were welcomed to the 211th meeting by Dr. Barbara Alving, Acting Director of the NHLBI. Dr. Alving announced that Dr. Claude Lenfant retired as Director of the Institute, effective August 30, and that she is serving as Acting Director until a new director is appointed. Dr. Lawrence Friedman will serve as the Acting Deputy Director in addition to continuing his duties as the NHLBI Assistant Director for Ethics and Clinical Research. Dr. Alving also announced that during September two NHLBI programs will be recognized officially – the Sickle Cell Disease Program and the Cholesterol Education Program.

Dr. Carl Roth, Associate Director for Scientific Program Operation, presented a budget overview for FY 2004. A small increase is projected in the number of research project grants. Dr. Roth then paid tribute to Dr. Claude Lenfant, praising him for his high standards and outstanding leadership. Dr. Lenfant served as the Director of the Institute from July 1982 - August 2003. Dr. David White, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Chair of the Task Force appointed to review the 1996 National Sleep Disorders Research Plan, discussed the Executive Summary of the 2003 Plan.

Dr. John Thomas, Division of Blood Diseases and Resources (DBDR), reviewed the Institute’s stem cell research programs. Dr. Jean Henslee-Downey, DBDR, described the NHLBI Specialized Centers of Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) in cell-based therapies for repair and regeneration of damaged heart, lung, and blood tissues. The Council enthusiastically supported these programs. Dr. Raynard Kington, Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), summarized the recommendations of the Congressionally mandated Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the organizational structure of the NIH.

During the closed portion of the meeting, the Council concurred on the award of 122 grants for a total cost of $51,527,499.

October 29, 2003

Dr. Alving, Acting Director of the NHLBI, welcomed members to the 212th meeting of the NHLBAC. She introduced Dr. Robert Jesse, the new ex officio Council member representing the Department of Veterans Affairs, and announced four new Council members, Dr. Roberto Bolli, Dr. Richard C. Boucher, Jr., Ms. Mary H. Deer, and Dr. Robert F. Lemanske, Jr.

Dr. Amy Patterson, Director of the Office of Biotechnology Activities in the Office of the Director, NIH, discussed steps the NIH is taking to harmonize clinical research regulatory policies and processes. Dr. Gordon Bernard, NHLBAC member and Medical Director of the Vanderbilt University Institutional Review Board (IRB), described the challenges faced by the university’s IRB. Council members voted unanimously to send Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director, NIH, a resolution, which expresses their concerns that the current complexity of regulations to protect human subjects in research settings is limiting scientific progress without necessarily enhancing the protection of subjects.

Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, Director of the Clinical Research Program of the NHLBI Division of Intramural Research, introduced Drs. Neal Young and John Barrett, intramural scientists from the Hematology Branch. Dr. Barrett summarized the progress made in allogenic bone marrow stem cell transplants at the NHLBI over the past decade. Dr. Young reviewed the research undertaken by the Hematology Branch involving intensive immunosuppression of severe aplastic anemia.

Dr. Friedman, Acting Deputy Director, NHLBI, recommended that at least 15 percent of the competing T32 budget be devoted to new awards and returning to two application receipt dates with applications funded bi-annually. The Council agreed with the recommendations. Dr. Bruce McManus, Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), described the mission of the CIHR and the activities of the ICRH. He discussed three joint research initiatives that are part of the Canada – U.S. Collaboration in Circulatory and Respiratory Health.

Sixteen initiatives were presented to the Council for their approval. The Council was supportive of all submitted proposals, with members making selected recommendations for their improvement. Dr. Alving will take them into consideration, along with other budget issues, when determining which proposals to implement.

During the closed portion of the meeting, the Council concurred on the award of 196 grants for a total cost of $118,697,000.

The next National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) meeting is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on February 12, 2004. 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 this summary. Full minutes of Council meetings are available.

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Upcoming 2004 Events


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council

Dates: February 12, May 13
Location: Building 31C, Conference Room 10, NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
Details: Meetings are open to the public.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

Date: February 14
Details: The Congenital Heart Information Network sponsors this national awareness day to help reduce childhood deaths from congenital heart defect related deaths.

Women's Health Research for the 21st Century: Women and Heart Disease

Date: March 18
Location: Building 10, Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
Details: NHLBI representatives will discuss the signs, symptoms, and modifiable risk factors of heart disease in women and interventions to encourage heart-healthy lifestyles. The seminar is open to the public and sponsored by the Office of Research on Women's Health, NIH.

LAM Foundation Research Conference

Dates: March 26-28
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Details: The objectives of this conference are to advance LAM research, to improve LAM clinical practices, and to provide support and inspiration to patients, physicians, and investigators.

Frontiers of Knowledge in Sleep and Sleep Disorders: Opportunities for Improving Health and Quality of Life

Dates: March 29-30
Location: Natcher Conference Center, NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
Details: Health care providers, public health and education experts, policy makers, patient advocacy organizations, and sleep medicine specialists will review the gaps between knowledge and effective health care related to sleep and develop an action plan for improving public health. The National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, the NHLBI, the NIH, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Trans-NIH Sleep Research Coordinating Committee are sponsors.

Adult Congenital Heart Association National Conference

Dates: April 23-25
Location: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Details: Patients, their families, and health care professionals will discuss ways to improve health care and support for adults and adolescents with congenital heart disease.

2nd National Steps to a HealthierUS Summit

Dates: April 29-30
Location: Baltimore, MD
Details: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this summit will focus on chronic disease prevention and health promotion and will feature presentations on asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

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