NIH revolt

ScienceInsider has the latest news on the growing insurgency among biomedical researchers reacting to the news that NIH plans to break up National Center for Research Resources (NCRR). My former colleague at FASEB, Howard Garrison is quoted “It seems wasteful and destructive without a vision of why.”

NCRR has played a very important historical role in the history of the National Institutes of Health. We’ll have to see how this plays out.

A busy week

I’ve been swamped this week with an ONR Workshop and the new Krasnow construction project. But have been keeping a close eye on interesting netsam floating over the Web-Ocean. I’m really pleased about the new NIH investment in behavioral sciences, OppNet–kudos to colleagues who have been working towards this goal for a very long time!Link

Francis Collins takes the controls

Science Insider has the story. Money quote:

Asked about NIH’s intramural program, he is “resistant to the idea that [the program] is in need of some sort of dramatic redo” but is pondering whether to create a pool of intramural money that, like NIH’s Common Fund, could be used to fund crosscutting research quickly.

This is really interesting. We periodically hear the meme that somehow the intramural program is in trouble. I’ve always suspected it’s partly driven by envy (intramural scientists don’t have to apply for grants like those of us in the extramural community). But Collins standing up for the intramural program is refreshing and the idea of a rapidly deployable intramural pool is great.