| NIH-NSF to Convene Interagency Conference on
Life and Physical Sciences
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science
Foundation (NSF) are convening the “Research at the Interface
of the Life and Physical Sciences: Bridging the Sciences,”
on November 9, 2004, at the Natcher Conference Center on the main
campus of the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.
The objectives of the conference are to identify opportunities,
grand challenges, and issues at the interface of the life and physical
sciences that could result in major advances and to develop approaches
for bridging these traditionally separate fields.
“Strengthening and encouraging research at the interface
of the life and physical sciences is crucial in leveraging our national
resources. This interdisciplinary approach to research will undoubtedly
provide unprecedented collaborative opportunities, as well as remarkable
advances in the future that are underpinned by breakthroughs in
both areas,” said Elias Zerhouni, M.D., NIH director.
"The progress of medicine in the past 100 years is one of
the great success stories in human history. It simply would not
have occurred without continuous fundamental research in physical
sciences and engineering,” said Arden Bement, NSF acting director.
“To sustain the pace of progress, we must enhance the hugely
productive synergy between the physical and life sciences."
Planning for this conference is the result of language in the FY
2004 House Appropriations Report that recognized the importance
of research at the interface of the life and physical sciences.
NIH and NSF were asked to convene a conference of Federal agencies
whose missions involve the conduct or support of research in the
life and physical sciences to discuss ways to strengthen research
at the interface. One recommendation resulting from the initial
meeting held May 10, 2004, was to convene scientific researchers
in order to obtain community input on effectively bridging the life
and physical sciences.
Structured as a one-day, interactive meeting, the conference will
be co-chaired by Dr. Jose Onuchic, professor of physics and co-director
of the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, University of
California, San Diego; Dr. Ken Dill, professor of biophysics and
associate dean of research, School of Pharmacy, University of California,
San Francisco; and Dr. Claire Fraser, president and director of
The Institute for Genomic Research, Rockville, Maryland. A core
of invited extramural scientists will serve as primary discussants
to address the conference objectives. Representatives from appropriate
Federal agencies will also attend and participate as agency resources.
Attendance at the conference is open to the public, although seating
is limited. No registration fee is required. Individuals interested
in attending should send an e-mail to [firstname.lastname@example.org],
indicating their potential contribution to the conference objectives
and providing contact information. The deadline for responding is
October 15, 2004.
Additional details on the life and physical sciences conferences
can be found at the following link: [http://www.nibib.nih.gov/].