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Emerging Science, Tech Advances- NIH/FDA initiatives

Programs to create a new center for the study of stem cells and to increase capacity to deal with global health issues were among 7 scientific initiatives announced recently by NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. The programs are all scheduled to begin during fiscal year 2010. Dr. Collins indicated that

[the] strategic investments will yield critical new resources, scientific knowledge, and strategic partnerships across a broad landscape of basic biology, behavioral science, global health, and clinical medicine.
The research programs will distribute $17.8 million in NIH Common Fund (http://commonfund.nih.gov) support in fiscal year 2010, and additional funds in future years. These scientific programs include:
-Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures Program: This program, called LINCS, will build a community resource of scientific information to drive understanding of how components of biological systems, such as genes and proteins, function normally to maintain health or become disrupted by genetic and environmental stressors to cause disease. This resource will accelerate discoveries of the inner working of biological systems that can be targeted for use in new and better treatments.
-Science of Behavior Change Program: This program examines how human biology, culture and society together influence a person's ability to adopt healthy behaviors and maintain them over time. This initiative will address effective motivation strategies that might be developed to curb unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, poor diet and lack of exercise.
-NIH Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cell Center: This program creates a national iPS Cell Center, under the NIH Intramural Research Program, to drive the translation of scientific knowledge about stem cell biology into new cell-based treatments.
-Global Health Program: This program is designed for increasing capacity for global health research by enhancing education, training and research opportunities in developing countries.
-Regulatory Science Program: This collaborative program (recently announced) NIH and FDA will encourage rapid and efficient use of new knowledge, technologies, and innovations in the development, investigation and regulatory review of medical products. The main goal is to ensure the development of safe and effective products based on the highest quality science in United States.

(1) http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2010/od-25.htm

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