FYI from the NHLBI Index

May 2009: Vol. 10, Issue 1
Feature Articles

NHLBI Hosts 10th Annual PIO Meeting

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

NHLBI Hosts 10th Annual PIO Meeting

The NHLBI will hold its Tenth Annual Public Interest Organization (PIO) meeting on June 8–9, 2009, at the Bethesda Marriott on Pooks Hill Road in Bethesda, Maryland. Previous annual meetings have received glowing reviews by PIO attendees. This tenth annual meeting, with its focus on timely, important topics, promises not to disappoint. This year’s meeting program will again encourage significant networking time with members of fellow PIOs as well as with NHLBI staff.

The meeting begins Monday afternoon, June 8, with registration at 4 pm and a keynote address that will be offered by Dr. Lawrence Tabak. Dr. Tabak is Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and also serves as Acting Deputy Director of NIH. His talk will include a discussion of the role of NIH in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Registration resumes at 7:30 am on Tuesday, June 9. The program will begin at 9 am with a presentation by Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, Director, NHLBI, and will feature an array of speakers from PIOs, the NHLBI, and the NIH. A program highlight that is certain to be of interest to everyone is a discussion led by PIO representatives on how to maintain effectiveness during tough economic times. Another presentation will discuss how specific areas of research needs are identified by the Institute and eventually translated into research efforts and clinical practice.

Dr. Elaine Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, will give a presentation on how discoveries in dog genetics are relevant to human diseases. Dr. Lana Skirboll of the Office of the Director, NIH, will join Dr. John Thomas of the Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, NHLBI, to discuss the new stem cell policy as it applies to the NIH. The meeting will close with an opportunity for PIO representatives to meet NHLBI staff members who have expertise in heart development and diseases, vascular diseases, lung diseases, airway diseases, blood diseases and resources, and sleep and sleep disorders.

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act or ARRA) was signed into law by the President on February 17, 2009. The ARRA is an unprecedented stimulus and investment effort designed to jump-start the economy and to create or save millions of jobs. A portion of ARRA funds will be used to invest in biomedical innovation and improve public health.

The Recovery Act provides a one-time 34 percent budget increase of $10.4 billion to the NIH. Of that amount, the NHLBI will receive approximately 10 percent of the $7.4 billion (an amount proportional to the NHLBI’s appropriation level) that is to be invested by the NIH Institutes and Centers to support scientific research.

Dr. Nabel has affirmed that the NHLBI intends to invest its ARRA funding in research to advance basic discoveries of the causes of diseases, promote the translation of basic discoveries into clinical practice, and foster training and mentoring of emerging scientists and physicians. The funding plan strikes an important balance between the Institute’s commitment to investigator-initiated research grants and “signature” projects.

A section of the NHLBI website is dedicated to providing detailed information about the Institute’s participation in the ARRA. Please visit http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/recovery for more information.

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