by Clifford Lane, Clinical Director, NIAID

The changing face of the Clinical Center (CC) is also bringing changes to its Medical Board, giving the body a more prominent, dynamic role in the decision-making process for clinical research at NIH. Traditionally, the mission of the Medical Board, which represents and acts for the Medical Staff, has been to advise the Director of the CC and help develop policies governing standards of medical care. Until recently, the expertise of the advisory panel in other areas has gone largely untapped. However, the new challenges and opportunities for intramural research have prompted the Board to take a hard look at both its makeup and its mission.

The Medical Board is currently composed of the Clinical Directors of the Institutes and Centers that have intramural clinical research programs, the CC's Deputy Directors, the CC's Associate Director for Nursing, a representative of the CC Department Heads, and a representative of the Junior Staff. The Board met Jan. 12-13 in Annapolis, Md., to review the issues that currently confront investigators interested in clinical research at NIH. The Board drew up the following list of goals that it plans to pursue over the next year:

The work in these areas will involve members of the Medical Board, members of the CC, and members of the Institutes. Volunteers interested in helping with this work are encouraged to contact their Clinical Directors. The recently established Clinical Research Interest Group should serve as a key forum for ensuring that the thoughts and concerns of all NIH investigators with an interest in clinical research are addressed. For more information on the Clinical Research Interest Group, contact Jack Klippel (phone: 496-3374; e-mail:
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