News
Senate HELP Committee to Hold Hearing on NIH Nomination in October
In a Sept. 8 statement, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.) indicated that the committee will hold a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli to be NIH director in October. The statement notes that Chairman Sanders plans to “discuss what [Dr. Bertagnolli] is prepared to do at the NIH to substantially lower the outrageous price of prescription drugs in America. The NIH has done excellent work to research and develop new prescription drugs and treatments that have improved the lives of the American people and people throughout the world. But it has not done a good job in making sure that prescription drugs developed with taxpayer funding are sold at a reasonable price. According to a June HELP Committee Majority Staff Report, the average price of new treatments over the past 20 years that NIH scientists helped invent is $111,000. That has got to change. A prescription drug is not safe or effective if a patient who needs that drug cannot afford to purchase it.”
White House Requests Supplemental Disaster, Ukraine, and Border Funding
On August 10th, the White House sent Congress a request for emergency supplemental funding to provide additional resources for security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to support Ukraine; the Disaster Relief Fund within the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and border enforcement and management at the Southwest U.S. border. The request does not include any additional funding for the National Institutes of Health. The White House has requested the funds to be included “as part of a potential short-term continuing resolution for the first quarter of FY 2024.”
Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Vice Chair Susan Collins (R-Maine) issued a joint statement August 11th, indicating that they would “be consulting with Senators on both sides of the aisle, on and off committee, to craft a bill that will pass the Senate.” Separately, Chair Murray and Vice Chair Collins indicated in a Sept. 6 statement that the Senate will begin floor consideration of three of the annual spending bills shortly. It is not yet clear when the Senate may consider the FY 24 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill.
Dr. Tabak: Statement on the Retirement of Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan
Lawrence Tabak, DDS, PhD, in performing the duties of the NIH Director, issued an August 31 statement on the upcoming retirement of the Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Patricia Flatley Brennan, R.N., Ph.D. “Under her leadership, Patti has positioned NLM as a global scientific research library with visible and accessible pathways to research and information that is universally actionable and meaningful to empower researchers, clinicians, patients, and caregivers,” Dr. Tabak noted. Dr. Brennan will retire on September 30, 2023. Stephen Sherry, Ph.D, Director of NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information and NLM Associate Director for Scientific Date Resource, will serve as Acting NLM Director while a national search for a new NLM Director is conducted.
NIH Establishes Maternal Health Research Center of Excellence
In a recent blog post, it was announced that the NIH has established the Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence to develop and evaluate innovative approaches to reduce pregnancy related complications and deaths and promote maternal health equity. The centers of excellence include 10 research centers, a data innovation and coordinating hub, and an implementation science hub. “Through collaborations with community partners and others, the Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence will generate critical scientific evidence to help guide clinical care and reduce health disparities during and after pregnancy,” said Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., director of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
NIH-Funded Study Associates Air Pollution from Different Emission Sources with Incident Dementia
A recent NIH-funded study suggests that higher rates of new cases of incident dementia are linked to long-term exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution. The information was collected from a group of 27,857 individuals who were 50 years or older and had joined the Health and Retirement Study. The findings suggest interventions that reduce air pollution may decrease the lifelong risk of developing dementia. “As we experience the effects of air pollution from wildfires and other emissions locally and internationally, these findings contribute to the strong evidence needed to best inform health and policy decisions. These results are an example of effectively using federally funded research data to help address critical health risks,” said Richard J. Hodes, M.D., director, National Institute on Aging (NIA).
NIH Unveils Comprehensive Proteogenomic Dataset to Help Cancer Researchers Unravel Molecular Mysteries
The NIH will release a dataset of standardized genomic, proteomic, imaging, and clinical data from individual studies to help researchers worldwide uncover new insights into cancer development and progression. The launch of this dataset supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Cancer Moonshot goal of accelerating cancer research through improved sharing of data. The pan-cancer proteogenomic dataset will be publicly available through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Research Data Commons repositories.
Open Mike: The FY 2024 Loan Repayment Program Cycle is Here
Mike Lauer, MD, NIH deputy director for external research, informed readers in an August 30 blog post that applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP) awards opened on September 1, 2023. The LRP program aims to recruit and retain well-qualified health professionals for careers in biomedical or behavioral research. Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the various extramural LRP categories to find the one that fits their research best. The application deadline is November 16, 2023.
Upcoming Events
 NEW  NIMH “The Evolution of Mental Health Research” Symposium – September 13
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is set to commence its 75th anniversary celebrations with a symposium entitled “The Evolution of Mental Health Research.” This event will highlight the significant progress made over the past 75 years and will feature well- respected speakers and mental health research experts. The symposium is scheduled to take place on September 13, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Natcher Conference Center, located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. Click here to learn more.
2023 Rally for Medical Research – Sept. 14
Join advocates from around the country for the 2023 Rally for Medical Research! The Hill Day will take place on Thursday, September 14, with advocates meeting their congressional representatives and their staff. The evening before, on September 13, we will host a reception on Capitol Hill to celebrate medical research with all partners and participants. Together, we will continue to call on our nation’s policymakers to make funding for NIH a national priority and raise awareness about the importance of continued investment in medical research. Register today.
 NEW  Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus Briefing: NIH 101 – Sept. 14
Join Keith Yamamoto, PhD, for a briefing on NIH 101. The briefing is on Sept. 14 at noon, in Rayburn 2045. Boxed lunches will be available. Rally attendees are also invited! Please RSVP here or contact Lynn Marquis, lmarquis@coalitionforlifesciences.org.
 NEW  Research!America’s National Health Research Forum – Sept. 19-20
Research!America will host the 2023 National Health Research Forum on Tuesday, September 19 and Wednesday, September 20. The two-day forum will feature discussions with top federal officials, research leaders, and distinguished national media as we explore health and R&D related issues that are vital to the wellbeing of our nation, our economy, and patients in the U.S. and across the globe. Click here to register and learn more.
Requests for Public Comment & Funding Opportunities
NIH Accepting Submissions for Institutional Excellence in DEIA in Biomedical and Behavioral Research Prize Competition – September 12
The NIH Institutional Excellence in DEIA Prize Competition aims to recognize transformative cultures, systems, projects, and processes developed by academic institutions to promote inclusive excellence and create environments that foster and value a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). NIH will award up to 10 prizes of $100,000 each through the competition, with up to half of the prizes set aside for consideration for limited-resourced institutions. To participate, registration is required by Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 5:00 pm ET. Please visit the prize competition website to learn more.
NIH COVID-19 Resources
NIH resources related to the RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) Initiative.
NIH COVID-19 resource for applicants and grantees including guidance for various aspects of research and grant application processes, as well as FAQs and COVID-19 funding opportunities.
COVID-19 “Updates History” webpage that details relevant updates for applicants and grantees by date.
Funding opportunities specific to COVID-19 lists active and expired funding opportunities across NIH related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 research.
NIH COVID-19 Research Website provides a central location for up-to-date information about NIH research and its strategic role in COVID-19 research.
HHS COVID-19 awards tracking website including data on awards made by all HHS awarding agencies with supplemental appropriations.
Combat COVID website including information for those who have never had COVID-19, have been infected, have recovered, and for health care providers.
Job Postings
Executive Director of Government Relations, Morehouse School of Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine seeks a health care policy expert for the position of Executive Director of Government Relations. The candidate will serve as the school’s legislative representative to a broad range of health-related higher education organizations and government entities, work collaboratively with the President’s Chief of Staff to manage and coordinate communications between the President and various stakeholders and constituent groups, represents the institution on public policy and legislative issues as well as monitoring legislative hearings, and more. Click here for more information and to apply.
Assistant Director of Government Relations, COSSA
The Assistant Director is responsible for managing COSSA’s legislative and executive branch outreach and advocacy activities, as well as engaging in direct lobbying on issues of importance to the COSSA membership and the social and behavioral science community. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and salary range to wnaus@cossa.org. Additional detail is available here.
Director of Public Affairs/Communications Specialist, COSSA
This is an exciting opportunity for an individual who is passionate about translating the value of social and behavioral science research to external audiences, including policymakers and the public. She/He/They will help develop and execute a proactive, effective, and inspiring communications and media plan that engages key audiences in innovative and compelling ways. They will carry out creative marketing and communications assignments to build awareness about our initiatives and impact for various audiences. They will also provide support to the team in building communications materials such as presentation decks, website content, reports, and newsletter articles, to name a few. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and salary range to wnaus@cossa.org. Additional detail is available here.

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