FYI from the NHLBI Index

September 2009: Vol. 10, Issue 2
Summaries of Meetings
and Announcements of Upcoming Events

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council's June Meeting

Upcoming NHLBI Workshops and Working Groups

Upcoming 2009 and 2010 Events


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council's June Meeting

June 10, 2009

Dr. Nabel welcomed members to the 234th meeting and announced two Institute changes. First, the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and the Division of Prevention and Population Sciences will be merged into the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences to align the Institute's administrative structure with its cardiovascular programs, which now effectively span basic, clinical, and population research. Dr. Michael Lauer, currently Director of the Division of Prevention and Population Sciences, will serve as Director of the new Division, and Dr. Sonia Skarlatos, currently Acting Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, will serve as Deputy Director. Second, the Institute is seeking a Director for its new Office of Global Health.

The Institute initiated several global health activities this year. In June, it awarded contracts (jointly with Minneapolis-based UnitedHealth Group) to establish nine global health Centers of Excellence to form a worldwide network of research and training centers to build institutional and community capacity to prevent and control chronic diseases in developing countries.

Dr. Nabel announced two changes in NHLBI leadership: First, Dr. Gregory Morosco, who served as Director of the Division for the Application of Research Discoveries, retired recently after more than 25 years with the Institute. He played an instrumental role in the Institute's educational and outreach programs for health professionals, patients, and the public. Dr. Rob Fulwood is serving as Acting Director. Second, Mr. Donald Christoferson, the NHLBI's Executive Officer, will retire in July after 37 years with the NIH. He was recently awarded the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive. Mr. Timothy Wheeles will serve as the NHLBI’s Acting Executive Officer.

Dr. Nabel reviewed the Institute's FY 2010 President's Budget, which represents a 1.1 percent increase over the FY 2009 Conference budget. No major changes have been made since FY 2009 in any of the budget categories.

Dr. Nabel summarized the NIH scientific research and funding approach to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and described NHLBI ARRA funding plans. The NHLBI will receive about 10 percent of the $7.4 billion provided to NIH ICs for scientific research. NHLBI ARRA funding plans are to accelerate implementation of the NHLBI Strategic Plan, fund programs that will demonstrate significant advances in 2 years, and create or preserve jobs, especially to support new and early-stage investigators. The NHLBI ARRA web site ( provides additional information, guidelines for grantees, FAQs, and links to additional ARRA resources.

Dr. Nabel discussed the proposed process the NHLBI developed to facilitate Council nominations of peer reviewers for study sections and NHLBI review committees. Council members will be able to complete reviewer nomination forms via the Electronic Council Book. The Council concurred with the proposed process and nomination forms will be available on the Electronic Council Book for the next Council meeting.

Dr. Nabel reviewed the NHLBI Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37), which is intended to provide long-term research grant support to investigators whose research competency and productivity are distinctly superior and who are likely to continue to perform in an outstanding manner. Investigators may not apply for a MERIT award; instead, they are selected by the NHLBI on the basis of their current grant applications and their present and past grant support. Although generally supportive of the program and its award process, Council members recommended instituting a more stringent review of potential nominees to ensure that all nominees are exceptionally productive researchers.

Ms. Paula Polite, Council member and Manager of Quality Programs, Division of General Services, Memphis, Tennessee, reported on the tenth annual NHLBI PIO meeting held on June 8-9, 2009. She thanked the NHLBI and reported results of an informal survey indicating that participants found the meeting content and opportunities for networking and meeting with NHLBI staff to be beneficial. She emphasized that participants find the "Meet the NHLBI Staff" portion of the meeting to especially helpful for building relationships. Dr. Nabel indicated the importance of this event to the Institute.

Dr. Sidney C. Smith, Jr., Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina, and Senior Advisor, Cardiovascular Research Translation and Application, NHLBI, presented a status report on the development of NHLBI CVD risk factor guidelines. He summarized the guidelines development process and discussed the new Web-based approach being used to develop guidelines.

NHLBI staff presented 7 new initiatives and 8 renewals, 2 ideas, and 2 requests by other ICs for secondary support, all of which had been reviewed in October by the Board of External Experts. The Council was supportive of the initiatives presented, but made a number of specific recommendations for consideration prior to their release.

Full minutes of Council meetings and summaries of the initiatives are available.

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Upcoming NHLBI Workshops and Working Groups

PIO representatives will be accommodated on a space-available basis and will be responsible for their own travel expenses.

Workshop: Getting from Genes to Function in Lung Disease

Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Date: September 3-4, 2009
Contact: Dr. Susan Banks-Schlegel


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Upcoming 2009 and 2010 Events

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council 235th Meeting

Date: September 1, 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD

Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance 2009 International TSC Research Conference

Date: September 23-26, 2009
Location: Bloomingdale, IL

Pulmonary Hypertension Association 2009 PH Resource Network Symposium

Date: September 24-26, 2009
Location: Arlington, VA

Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation Living with Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)

Date: September 26, 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date: October 10, 2009
Location: Tampa, FL

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. 37th Annual Convention

Date: September 30 - October 3, 2009
Location: Orlando, FL

Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, Inc. Twenty-first Annual Fanconi Anemia Scientific Symposium

Date: October 1-4, 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) 2009 Annual Meeting & Medical Education Conference

Date: October 9-11, 2009
Location: Chicago, IL

Cooley’s Anemia Foundation Ninth Cooley's Anemia Symposium

Date: October 9-11, 2009
Location: New York, NYMarco Island, FL

Preeclampsia Foundation Patient Symposium

Date: October 23, 2009
Location: Chicago, IL

Narcolepsy Network 24th Annual Patient Conference

Date: October 23-25, 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL

National Hemophilia Foundation 61st Annual Meeting

Date: October 29–31, 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA

American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2009

Date: November 14-18, 2009
Location: Orlando, FL

American Association for Respiratory Care 55th AARC International Respiratory Congress

Date: December 5–8, 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX

Parent Heart Watch 5th Annual Conference

Date: January 15–18, 2010
Location: Arlington, TX

National Sleep Foundation Sleep Health & Safety 2010 Conference

Date: March 5-6, 2010
Location: National Harbor, MD

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