Community Liaison Council Meeting Minutes — Thursday, June 15, 2017

Opening Remarks

John Burklow, Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL), Office of the Director (OD), NIH

Mr. Burklow opened the meeting at 4:02 p.m. He announced that President Trump has reappointed Dr. Francis Collins as NIH Director—the first time an NIH Director has been kept on by an incoming administration. Since 1971, the President has appointed both the NIH Director and the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI); prior to that, the Surgeon General made the appointments. President Trump also recently appointed Dr. Norman E. Sharpless as NCI Director. Dr. Doug Lowy, who had served as acting NCI Director since 2015, will return to his former role as NCI Deputy Director.

Mr. Moss announced that Dr. Alfred Johnson was named Office of Research Services (ORS) Deputy Director for Management and that Mr. Timothy Tosten was named ORS Acting Director. Mr. Tosten will be invited to future CLC meetings.

Removal of Debris from Lot 41 on the Southern Property Border by the Black Security Fence

Brandon Hartz, Office of Research Facilities/OD

Mr. Hartz said that he recently received comments from neighbors about debris piling up on the southern property border. He was pleased to get this feedback from the neighborhood. His investigation found that the debris piles included compost, dirt, cones, a dumpster, a trailer, concrete slabs, and gravel. It was not clear where all this debris had come from, but some of the loose debris was spilling outside of the NIH perimeter fence. Within the last month, Mr. Hartz’s crew has filled a dozen dumpsters in cleaning up the debris. Mr. Hartz showed “before” and “after” slides to illustrate the improvement. The grounds staff are now keenly aware that they should not allow debris to accumulate. Mr. Clifford said the takeaway here is that if the neighbors have an issue, they should always speak up, and it will be addressed.

Q&A

  • Ms. Bok thanked Mr. Clifford for cleaning the peripheral sidewalk outside of the fence during big snowstorms, noting how much it helps residents get around.
  • Ms. Witt asked about the sidewalk along Old Georgetown Road originally scheduled as part of the Bethesda Base Realignment and Closure improvements. It was not funded, and the Maryland State Highway Administration said that it would be done in connection with the Cedar Lane and Old Georgetown Road connection. Ms. Miller said she heard that it would be done in July.

C105122: Dr. Rosenberg Modular Facility, South of NMR Lot Between Buildings 30 and 49

Anthony Clifford, Office of Research Facilities/OD

The Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI SB) does not have sufficient space in the CRC to expand the work of Dr. Steven Rosenberg’s lab, which uses cell therapy treatments to stimulate the immune system to fight the common cancers that kill up to 550,000 patients each year. The facility in the CRC, which has been used since 2005, was designed prior to the establishment of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). To maintain compliance with cGMP, the NCI SB had to decrease the size of the facility and can now manufacture only enough treatment products to treat six patients each month. This research cannot be effectively conducted without the ability to treat 15 to 20 patients per month.

Since it is not possible to expand the existing facility, a new tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) production facility will be built to serve Dr. Rosenberg’s research. It will be located at the back of the Clinical Center on the southwest side near the hospital and be able to produce 20 TILs per month. The new facility will be modular; pieces will be brought to the campus and assembled like a puzzle. It will require Food and Drug Administration compliance in design, construction, and equipment installation, processes, and operation. The facility will be equipped with International Standards Organization (ISO) 7 and ISO 8 clean rooms, storage and support lab rooms, and offices.

Because the site was not designed for a permanent building, the facility will be a temporary one, expected to be in use for 4 to 5 years. It is an expensive project; the equipment alone will cost more than $2 million. The project must be completed as quickly as possible because of the urgency of the research. Mr. Clifford said he expects to have a contract in place by September or October and have the facility operational and available to the NCI SB by the fall of 2018. After 5 years, the building could be unbolted from its slab and reused elsewhere.

Q&A

  • Ms. Bok asked whether there was a pathogen level. Mr. Clifford said that it is a clean, not infectious, facility. The required cleanliness equipment is what uses up a lot of space.
  • Ms. Bok observed that it is wonderful to be able to move Dr. Rosenberg’s innovative science along faster.

Q&A/Comments/Concerns

  • Ms. Bok said that the aerators in Stoney Creek Pond that repel mosquitos and should be running full time are not working. She reported that the County said the issue is a problem with an NIH electrical line. Mr. Hartz said he would follow up on this. Mr. Moss noted that the water was also supposed to be agitated so that birds would stay away. Ms. Bok said that ducks are sitting on the aerator and that there is green scum everywhere. She is concerned that this is a public health issue.
  • Mr. Moss asked about the fencing that was to be put around the very steep culvert at the Cedar Lane intersection. NIH was required not to leave it unprotected. Mr. Hartz said he would check on it.
  • Mr. Moss said the Northwest Child Care Center near the firehouse would open later in the year but could start accepting children in July. The landscaping is currently underway.
  • Ms. Bok asked about the progress of the industrial water storage (IWS) and thermal energy storage system (TESS) water tanks. Mr. Clifford said they should be finished by the end of the year and operational after Christmas. The TESS tank water can be chilled and used at night, when electricity is less expensive. There has also been a major overhaul of the utility plant to modernize it and make it more efficient. For example, last year, on a hot day, it took six chillers to keep NIH going; this year, at the same temperature, only four chillers were needed, representing a big savings in electrical costs. Mr. Clifford noted that the water tanks would have plant materials around them to improve the appearance. In a related area, Mr. Clifford said that NIH buys natural gas on the spot market; this also represents a significant savings in energy costs.
  • Mr. Moss reported that the 39-year-old, two-level underground parking in Building 10 is deteriorating. Work to shore up the ramps will begin this summer and will leave only one entrance. Traffic will be rerouted, but there will be no impact on the neighborhood. Mr. Clifford added that the problem with parking garages is that cars carry salt, which seeps down into the reinforcing rods and corrodes them. The rods then push against the concrete and break it. In the long run, the garage might have to be abandoned.
  • Mr. Moss reported plans for a major project involving intersection improvement and walkways on campus. Flashing lights have already been installed at some intersections to stop traffic for pedestrians, and others will be added. Mr. Clifford added that a similar project was done at the Children’s Inn, because drivers using the visitors’ entrance from Cedar Lane did not have a good view of the sidewalk. Flashers were installed for the safety of pedestrians.
  • Mr. Moss said that within the next two weeks, the area adjacent to the existing WMATA elevator to the Metro would be closed off. There will be detours for the pedestrian walkway around the elevator shaft off Rockville pike. This work is not expected to affect traffic beyond the road closures that are already in place.

Participants had no other questions or items for discussion.

Adjournment

Mr. Burklow adjourned the meeting at 5:04 p.m.

Next Meeting: October 19, 2017

Participants

CLC Members
Karin Bok, Edgewood Glenwood Citizens Association
Ginny Miller, Wyngate Citizens Association
Marilyn Mazuzan, Town of Oakmont
Deborah Michaels, Glenbrook Village Homeowners Association
Jeannette Wade, Whitehall Condominium Association
Andrea Witt, Huntington Parkway Citizens Association

NIH
Amy Blackburn, Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL)/Office of the Director (OD)
John Burklow, OCPL/OD
Anthony Clifford, Office of Research Facilities/OD
Brandon Hartz, Office of Research Facilities/OD
Brad Moss, ORS/Office of Research Facilities/OD
Sharon Robinson, OCPL/OD

Guests
None

This page last reviewed on December 28, 2017