T H E   N I H   C A T A L Y S T     M A R C H  –   A P R I L   2006




Because the intramural program provides an ideal environment for the conduct of high-risk, high-impact research, it makes sense to think about ways in which intramural scientists can work together to attack problems that cannot easily be solved elsewhere. This perspective is the heart of the NIH Roadmap.

Nonetheless, we have heard talk from many an intramural scientist that our intramural research program has been less involved in the current NIH Roadmap initiative than seems warranted. And they wonder why.

Although several Roadmap projects do involve the intramural program —including the imaging probe development center, the high-throughput chemical library screening facilities, the RAID expansion program for preclinical drug development, enhancement of the Clinical Research Training Program, and interdisciplinary training activities—most of the Roadmap activities, in fact, have been focused on extramural scientists.

The goals of the original NIH Roadmap were to identify specific science areas that needed support in order to accelerate progress in generating new tools for basic laboratory investigation, clinical research, and training. These specific programs were developed after substantial input from both extramural and intramural scientists and were intended to provide broad-based support for research activities that would enhance research programs in all of our Institutes and Centers.

Initially, we encouraged the intramural program to think of ways to complement some of the Roadmap activities, and many of our scientists have taken up the challenge to develop new highways and byways to accomplish goals similar to those defined in the original Roadmap.

It is time now to expand these explorations to create new scientific frontiers.

In thinking about how an intramural Roadmap can best contribute to the overall biomedical research effort, it is clear that we must take full advantage of the resources and talent we have and forge entirely new directions that can revolutionize research and clinical applications.

—Michael Gottesman
Deputy Director for Intramural Research

Elias Zerhouni
Director, NIH



In response to Michael Gottesman's editorial in the January-February 2006 NIH Catalyst, "Finding Ways to Cast a Wider Net":

To the Editor,

A grass-roots organization of tenure-track and tenured faculty is forming as a trans-NIH initiative with the endorsement of the DDIR to aid in the recruitment of new faculty to NIH.

The Recruitment Group will work together with search committees after a candidate has been identified. Volunteers will meet informally to address a candidate's specific scientific or personal issues, and discuss the unique benefits of research at NIH.

The idea is to provide a personal and friendly introduction to NIH and match job candidates with similar faculty who are thriving in intramural NIH. We also plan to create a website to provide information about housing, schools, and other aspects of life at NIH specifically directed at the questions frequently asked by job applicants.

At the moment we are looking for two types of volunteers: 1) those who'd like to be on the executive committee and help develop the idea and manage it and 2) those who would prefer not to be on the committee but would rather serve as a faculty contact willing to talk to and meet with top candidates to tell them about your experiences. 

If you are interested in either capacity in helping in the future recruitment of outstanding faculty candidates to NIH, please contact:

Julie Segre, 301-402-2314

or Mike Lenardo, 301-496-6754.



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