FYI from the NHLBI Index
September 2008: Vol. 9, Issue 2
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.
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