|NIH Expands Initiative to Encourage Bench-to-Bedside Research
The National Institutes of Health has awarded nearly $4 million to fund 19 bench-to-bedside
medical research projects designed to speed translation of promising laboratory
discoveries into new medical treatments.
For the first time, applications for these awards, first given in 1999, were
open to research teams made up of NIH intramural and extramural collaborators
from medical schools, health-care organizations and private industry. All but
one of the funded projects include extramural partners; nine of the 19 projects
involve researchers from two or more NIH institutes or centers.
“The new bench-to-bedside awards program is a good example of NIH’s commitment
to transforming medicine through discovery,” said Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., NIH
Director “It encourages innovative partnerships between extramural and intramural
researchers and opens new opportunities for advancing medical science.”
The bench-to-bedside research program was created within the NIH Clinical Center,
NIH’s clinical research hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, as a way to encourage
collaborations among basic scientists in the laboratories and clinical investigators
who work with patients, said John I. Gallin, M.D., NIH Clinical Center Director. “Historically
a hallmark of this program has been support for projects that involve partnerships
between basic and clinical scientists from across institutes at NIH. The new
component started this year profoundly expands the partnerships in medical research
to government and non-government scientists.”
This year, awards were made in four categories funded by the NIH Office of Rare
Diseases; the NIH Office of AIDS Research; the National Center on Minority Health
and Health disparities; and the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health. A fifth
category is co-funded by sponsoring institutes and, for the projects’ extramural
components, the NIH National Center for Research Resources. Project teams receive
up to $200,000 over two years to support their work.
This is the first year projects in minority health and health disparities and
women’s health have been specifically funded. Quality of the science, promise
for becoming an active clinical trial, and potential for offering a new medical
treatment or better understanding an important disease process were among selection
Eight teams received funding for investigations focusing on rare diseases: National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH Clinical Center, Harvard University, Georgetown
University Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center; NHLBI, NIH Clinical
Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center; NHLBI and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,
with associate investigators from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
and Kidney Diseases and the Medical College of Virginia; National Cancer Institute
and NHLBI, with associate investigators from the National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; NCI, with associate investigators
from the University of Southern California, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
and Wayne State University, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University
of Washington and Mayo Clinic College of Medicine; NIH Clinical Center, NCI,
University of Toronto/Ontario Cancer Institute, with associate investigators
from the University of Illinois; NIDDK, NHLBI, and the University of Maryland;
and NHLBI, NIH Clinical Center, with associate investigators from NCI, NIDDK
and Drexel University.
Four teams will conduct AIDS-related studies: National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases and St. Michael’s Medical Center; NCI, NIAID and Johns
Hopkins University; NIH Clinical Center, NCI, San Francisco General Hospital
and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC-Frederick), with associate
investigators from Mulago Hospital, Makerere University, in Uganda; and NIDDK
and the Children’s National Medical Center.
The work of four teams target minority health and health disparities: NIH Clinical
Center and NHLBI; National Institute on Drug Abuse and University of Pennsylvania;
National Human Genome Research Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Center; and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIDDK and
the University of Wisconsin.
A team from NIDDK and Oregon State University will conduct research related
to women’s health.
The NIH National Center for Research Resources is co-funder for two projects,
one conducted by NIDDK and Washington Hospital Center and another involving the
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Eye Institute,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania.
More information on these projects is online, http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/btb/awards.shtml.
The NIH Clinical Center is the clinical research hospital of the National
Institutes of Health. Through clinical research, physicians and scientists
translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies and interventions
to improve the nation's health. For more information, visit http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research
Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal
agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical
research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common
and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.