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ESSCB Funding Committee Meeting 12/18/2008 Awards:Targeted Research and Investigator-Initiated Research

The webcast of the ESSCB Funding committee meeting held December 18 2008 is archived for the public to view on the NYS DOH website.(1) At this meeting, the Funding Committee voted on recommendations made by their national peer review contractor, American Institute of Biological Sciences.(2) ESSCB By-Laws require that the Funding Committee provide for the establishment of one or more Independent Scientific Peer Review Panels (ISPRP) as needed to review applications submitted to the committee. The ISPRP reviews/ranks applications based upon criteria, requirements and standards adopted by the Funding Committee for the specified requests for proposals or requests for applications and makes recommendations to the Funding Committee for the award of grants and contracts.(3)
At this Funding Committee meeting, Board members approved certain Targeted Research Award and Investigator-Initiated Research Award Recommendations, together comprising over 90 separate awards.
New York is well positioned to be a leader in the field of stem cell research. The State of New York has committed to invest $600 million in stem cell research over 11 years. Categories for target distribution during the 5 year plan (targeted plan expenditure total of $300 million) of the Empire State Stem Cell Trust fund include research, scientific training, infrastructure development, ELSIE, and Administration. (4)
Here are some rough counts I’ve made based on my notes sketched while viewing this webcast on a one time basis. As it is year end, I would guess the info is welcomed news for many people. For that reason, I am happy to share here in this post what I noted for purposes of the Supra blog visitors alone. Authoritative reports, ESSCB Meeting minutes as approved and the news should be your first sources for reliance to find accurate and complete info on this subject matter. Of course watching the webcast itself is a solid source. Revisions will probably ensue.
ESSCB Funding Committee approvals included:

6 Idea Apps. together granting about $ 1.3 million
14 Principal investigator Apps. together granting about $16.3 million
32 Generic research Apps together granting about $7.6 million
46 Generic investigator Apps together granting about 45.5 million.

21 awards for over $ 14 million associated with Columbia University,Columbia Medical Center/School, (1 award to Barnard College);
10 awards for over $ 6 million associated with the University of Rochester;
9 awards for over $6 million associated with Albert Einstein College of Medicine
9 awards for over $7 million associated with Mount Sinai School of Medicine;
7 awards for over $3 million associated with New York University,
6 awards for over $5 million associated with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center;
5 awards for over $3 million associated with Regeneration Institute/Foundation,
4 awards for over $3 million associated with SUNY Buffalo;
3 awards for over $2 million associated with SUNY Stony Brook;
2 awards for over $2 million associated with Hunter CUNY ;
Remaining awards for over $1 million associated with Health Research Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Upstate Medical U. Albany Medical College ($240,000) and Roswell Park Cancer Institute ($960,000).
Listening to the titles of the App research proposals provides a fascinating glimpse into some of the latest stem cell research. The magnitude and detail involved in voting alone on the award applications will assure most viewers that the ESSCB Funding Committee work is hard work.
Other Funding Committee agenda items were discussed and important issues addressed and held over for discussion at the next meeting to be held Feb 12, 2009.
(1) http://www.nyhealth.gov/events/webcasts/archive/
(2) http://spars.aibs.org/
(3) http://www.stemcell.ny.gov/about_esscp_bylaws.html Note:During this Funding Committee meeting, in the case of conflicts of interests constituting “Absolute Disqualifications”, Board members with such conflicts immediately left the meeting and remained absent during the period when the application was under consideration, as required by the COI procedure set out in the ESSCB By-Laws.
(4) http://stemcell.ny.gov/docs/NYSTEM_Strategic_Plan_FINAL.pdf

-- NYSTEM's website presentation notes that Applications (Apps) under review for targeted research (iPS) comprised 79 letters of intent, 41 Apps received, and 38 Apps passing Admin. review. Investigator initiated research applications comprised 508 letters of intent, 329 Apps received and 321 Apps passing Admin review. ...NYSTEM’s challenges and opportunities are noted as: a new, high-profile , large funding program, Board and staff, Federal leadership changes, NYS contracting process (a NYSTEM Contract is not an NIH-grant), contract monitoring and program evaluation, State and Federal financial crisis.
--The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) has a long and distinguished history of serving the scientific community. As part of this service, in 1963 the Scientific Peer Advisory and Review Services (AIBS SPARS) division was established to perform peer review and related scientific services.
Two of AIBS SPARS' long-standing clients are the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC)and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).
AIBS SPARS provides scientific support for including: multiple peer review mechanism services for intramural and extramural programs including Military Infectious Disease Research, Combat Casualty Care, Gulf War Illness, Neurotoxin Exposure and Treatment, Force Health Protection, Bone Health and Military Medical Readiness, Technology in Metabolic Monitoring, and Peer Reviewed Medical Research. (USAMRMC)
AIBS SPARS organizes and facilitates the Medical Research Program for DDCF. Our staff perform Web site development and hosting, RFP development and advertisement, application template development, preproposal and proposal submission receipt and processing, proposal compliance review, scientific panel and mail review services, applicant notification of funding decisions and distribution of critiques, tracking and archiving of proposals, progress report development and review, grant renewals, and general applicant support services, such as notification to applicants of proposal receipt and fielding questions from applicants.
See their website for more info on other interesting clients.
AIBS SPARS Peer reviews are conducted by mail/teleconference or in person, depending on the proposal/program being reviewed. All reviewers receive a modest payment for each review in which they participate, and if the peer review is conducted in person, all travel expenses are paid by AIBS SPARS.
--ESSCB continues to do its work pursuant to Public Health Law Article 2, Title 5-A,Section 265 a-f .The Funding Committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board is responsible for soliciting applications for research projects to be considered for funding from the Empire State Stem Cell Trust Fund, developing eligibility requirements and standards, evaluating proposals, and making recommendations to the Commissioner of Health for the award of grants.
Implementing statutory requirements governing conflicts of interest (COI) regarding any employee of the ESSCB board or member of the funding or ethics committees, ESSCB By-Laws specifically further require that the ISPRP shall be composed of individuals with expertise in biomedical research.... To reduce the potential for conflicts of interests by members of the ISPRP, members of the panel shall not live or work in New York State and shall provide sufficient information, in the time and manner prescribed by the convener of the panel, to enable the convener to identify any potential conflicts of interest. Merit Based Peer Review Guidelines are also set forth in the By-Laws and are required to be followed in the review of grant applications.
-- Specifically with respect to COI, ESSCB By-Laws states that “Absolute Disqualifications” are:
1) No member of the Board or of a committee of the Board shall make, participate in making, or in any way attempt to use his or her position to influence a decision to approve or award a grant, loan or contract to:
i. His or her employer or relative, or any entity in which the member of the Board, or his or her relative, has a financial interest; or
ii. An organization in which such member of the Board, or his or her relative, is an officer, director or partner of such organization.

2) When a Board or committee member, or his or her family has an interest, financial or otherwise, whether as owner, officer, director, fiduciary, employee, colleague, consultant, or supplier of goods or services, in an entity, institution, organization, facility, agency or program (hereafter collectively referred to as "entity") whose application is before the Board or a committee of the Board for consideration or determination for a grant from the Empire State Stem Cell Trust Fund created pursuant to section 99-p of the State Finance Law, that member shall (i) identify such interest to the Board or committee at any meeting when the application or request is to be considered, (ii) absent himself or herself from any portion of any meeting when such application is considered, and (iii) not participate in any vote of the Board or committee on such application. For purposes of this Article, "family" shall include a spouse, children, sibling, and any relative living in the member's household.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 30, 2008 4:58 PM.

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