FYI from the NHLBI Index

September 2008: Vol. 9, Issue 2
Feature Articles

Ninth Annual PIO Meeting Recap


Ninth Annual Public Interest Organization Meeting Recap

The NHLBI held its Ninth Annual Public Interest Organization (PIO) meeting June 9-10, 2008, in Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting opened Monday afternoon with a presentation by Dr. Robert Balaban, NHLBI Scientific Director, who discussed research occurring on the NIH campus in the NHLBI’s Intramural Program, and Dr. Keith Horvath, Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery for the NIH Heart Center at Suburban Hospital. Dr. Horvath described how the NHLBI collaborates with Suburban Hospital in using state-of-the-art technologies to bring the best in cardiac research to the community.

Tuesday’s program began with a talk by Dr. Josephine Briggs, Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She presented statistics on the use of natural products in the U.S. and revealed some recent findings on the use of practices such as Tai Chi and acupuncture. Dr. Briggs also stressed that doctors and patients must discuss all of the treatments and therapies the patient takes in order to ensure properly managed care. Judging from the number of questions, her presentation resonated with the attendees

Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, NHLBI Director, discussed the Institute’s investment in genomic studies such as the Framingham Heart Study and its related SHARe resource. She explained new NIH policies that make such data-rich studies available to secondary researchers in order to maximize the return on research investments, while implementing proper safeguards to ensure data confidentiality.

A panel presentation convened NIH staff and a PIO representative to discuss the latest NIH resources and the NHLBI budget. The panel gave attendees an opportunity to hear first-hand about new resources available to the public, such as the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT), which will make information about the NIH easier to locate and the Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) resource, which will report more consistent figures on NIH funding patterns. RCDC will be particularly useful to PIOs serving communities with diseases or disorders that are funded by more than one NIH institute or center.

Another panel illustrated the promising research advances in Marfan syndrome and featured basic research, PIO, and NHLBI perspectives. The panel was followed by concurrent sessions: one addressed psychosocial issues faced by patients with heart, lung, blood, and sleep diseases and disorders; and the other explored clinical trials experiences from the viewpoints of two PIOs that serve very different patient populations.

The meeting closed with an opportunity for participants to meet the NHLBI staff and to continue to network with other PIO representatives.

Modified 9/19/08
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