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Nutrition Research and the NIH Roadmap

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Presentation on theme: "Nutrition Research and the NIH Roadmap"— Presentation transcript:

1 Nutrition Research and the NIH Roadmap
Elizabeth Wilder, Ph.D. Acting Associate Director Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Director, NIH

2 Where does Nutrition Fit Within the NIH Roadmap?
What is the Roadmap? What types of programs constitute the Roadmap? How does the Roadmap address Nutrition? How can Nutrition researchers make best use of the NIH Common Fund? American Society for Nutrition

3 American Society for Nutrition
What is the NIH Roadmap? The NIH Roadmap is a series of cross-cutting programs designed to foster the development of transformative solutions to grand challenges in health research. It is funded via the NIH Common Fund. The CF only funds Roadmap programs. American Society for Nutrition

4 NIH and the Future of Medicine: Roadmap for Medical Research
Developed to increase synergy across NIH and to incubate new ideas Not a single initiative but 865 new awards 716 investigators 193 Institutions in USA 41 states Award rate1 FY % FY % FY % FY07 9.2% FY2007 NIH Budget = $28.9 B Non-Roadmap 98.3% Roadmap 1.7% 1 Award Rate differs from Success Rate for it includes all research grant mechanisms of support, incl. training awards American Society for Nutrition

5 Transforming Medicine: the NIH Roadmap
The NIH Roadmap is designed to foster the development of transformative solutions to grand challenges in health research Addressing fundamental knowledge gaps Providing infrastructure that supports basic, clinical and translational research across the spectrum of NIH interests Supporting investigators in new ways that encourage innovation, interdisciplinarity, and partnership American Society for Nutrition

6 Collaboration at the NIH: Distinguishing Features of Roadmap Programs
Although the NIH Institutes and Centers have distinct missions, many issues/scientific interests span IC boundaries, and the ICs regularly collaborate on these topics. Special criteria exist for Roadmap programs. Potential New Roadmap initiatives must: Be expected to transform the way research is conducted Promote and advance the individual missions of NIH ICs to benefit health Require participation from NIH as a whole and/or address an area(s) of science that does not clearly fall within the mission of any one IC or OD program office Have a public health benefit from the research results being in the public domain American Society for Nutrition

7 How does the Roadmap address Nutrition?
The NIH Roadmap consists of 13 integrated programs, each designed to address a grand challenge in health research. 9 of the programs have made awards; 5 of these support nutrition or obesity research 3/4 of the new programs are expected to be of especially high interest to the Nutrition Research Community American Society for Nutrition

8 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs)
Encourage the development of new methods and approaches to clinical and translational research Improve training and mentoring to ensure that new investigators can navigate the increasingly complex research system Design new and improved clinical research informatics tools Assemble interdisciplinary teams that cover the complete spectrum of medical research Forge new partnerships with private and public health care organization

9 Interdisciplinary Research
Challenge: Cultural and logistical barriers to Interdisciplinary approaches and teamwork within the Research Community Roadmap Approach: Training: melding disciplines Consortia: bridging dept boundaries w/in academic institutions NIH Changes: Recognition of Multiple PIs; New review Practices for IR; new Ways to manage awards Innovative Tools to bridge behavioral/social sciences and biology

10 Interdisciplinary Research Consortia
Taskforce for Obesity Research at Southwestern (TORS) - Harnesses expertise from highly diverse disciplines, with a goal of defining the behavioral, metabolic, genetic and molecular mechanisms contributing to obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Effect of Dietary Macronutrient Composition and Weight Loss on Liver Substrate Metabolism and Liver Fat Content in Humans Genetic Susceptibility to Adverse Metabolic Consequences of Obesity Fatty Acid Synthesis in Specific Hypothalamic Neurons: Control of Appetite and Energy Homeostasis Interdisciplinary Research Training Program

11 IR Consortia Interdisciplinary Research Consortium on Stress, Self-Control, and Addiction - Yale

12 New in FY08: Human Microbiome Project
What microbes live in humans? How do they contribute to health? To disease? Might the microbiota be manipulated to improve health? The human body contains ten times as many microbial cells—bacteria and other micro-organisms—as it does human cells. These microbes, which are found in locations throughout the body, are thought to have a profound influence on many biological processes, including development, immunity, and nutrition. However, technical difficulties in isolating and studying many of these organisms have limited our ability to fully understand the effects of the microbiome on human health and disease.

13 The goal of the Human Microbiome Project is to characterize the microbial content of sites in the human body and examine whether changes in the microbiome can be related to disease.

14 The Human Microbiome Project
The goals of this Program are: develop needed novel technology and informatics support demonstration projects that address whether changes in the microbiome can be related to disease. provide reference data sets

15 Epigenomics: the Next Step in Understanding the Human Genome

16 Questions How plastic/stable is the epigenome of a given cell type?
What environmental/nutritional factors alter the epigenome and under what conditions? What are the phenotypic consequences of these changes? What diseases/conditions result? Might it be possible to reverse or prevent detrimental epigenomic changes?

17 The Roadmap Epigenomics Program
The Roadmap Epigenomics Program will: Develop comprehensive epigenome maps from many cell types; Develop standardized platforms, procedures, and reagents for epigenomics research Support discovery of novel epigenomic marks Conduct demonstration projects to evaluate how epigenomes change in disease, with age, or following environmental exposures; Develop new technologies for single cell epigenomic analysis and in vivo imaging of epigenetic activity; and Create a public data resource to accelerate the application of epigenomics approaches.

18 Director’s New Innovator Award
Award supports New investigators who have not yet obtained a traditional NIH R01 grant Goal: to support highly innovative research projects with potential for exceptionally great impact on biomedical or behavioral science Each grant is for five years and up to a total of $1.5 million in direct costs NIH made 29 New Innovators awards in September 2007

19 New Innovator in Nutrition Research
Dr. Kjersti Aagaard-Tillery, Baylor “Characterization of the Fetal Primate Epigenome and Metabolome” The novel innovation and significance resides within the potential to provide 1) an expanded understanding of the mechanism through which a maternal high fat diet reprograms primate gene expression, and 2) a simple intervention (essential nutrient supplementation with neither diet nor behavioral modification) with tremendous potential impact given the current obesity epidemic and the lack of efficacious therapeutics.

20 The “toxic environment”

21 Why do people behave the way they do when they know better?
Health and Behavior Why do people behave the way they do when they know better? What strategies might be most successful in effecting behavior change?

22 Science of Behavior Change
Three year Pilot Program What is the biology underlying motivation and changes in motivation? What are current practices for incenting people to change behaviors? Which are most effective? What new strategies may be suggested from prior efforts and from basic neuroscience? How can we test these strategies most effectively?

23 Nutrition Research Looking Forward
How can Nutrition Researchers continue to make good use of the NIH Common Fund? Maintain fluid communication with the NIH at multiple levels Know your Program Directors, talk to them Let NIH Leadership know of fundamental barriers to your research Talk to OPASI Informal communication is always welcome Requests for Input – annually (to be launched shortly) Continue to take advantage of existing initiatives Apply for funding Take advantage of resources, data, new technologies

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