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NIH shores up plan to axe resource center and open new translational hub

Cross posted from Nature Medicine’s Spoonful of Medicine blog.

It’s official. Before the end of the year, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to dissolve its National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and open a new center devoted to translational research.

Speaking at a NCRR advisory council meeting on 25 January, Lawrence Tabak, deputy director of the NIH and co-director of the NCCR task force, presented a tentative framework for breaking up of the center, redistributing its programs and budgets, and reassigning all NCRR employees to comparable positions within the agency.

NIH officials first disclosed the plan to get rid of the NCRR last week on the institute’s blog Feedback NIH. Under the proposed arrangement, the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) — which was given the green light by the NIH’s Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) last month — would take on the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program, while other branches of the agency, including the National Institute of General and Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, would absorb other smaller programs. Meanwhile, an ‘interim infrastructure unit’ within the director’s office would oversee the bulk of NCRR’s portfolio until the most suitable agencies to administer them can be determined.

Read the rest of this entry at Spoonful of Medicine.

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