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NIH Has New Working Groups on Genetics and AIDS

NIH Has New Working Groups on Genetics and AIDS

BETHESDA, Md--At the 98th Meeting of the National Cancer Advisory
Board (NCAB), Dr. Richard Klausner, director of the National Cancer
Institute (NCI), congratulated everyone at the NCI on weathering
the first year of structural changes under his new leadership.

Among the changes, he said, are two new director's working groups
on genetics: Developmental Diagnostics will look at "the
post-genome world as it applies to cancer," he said, while
the Cancer Genetics group will look at which type of national
infrastructure will best facilitate a research base for genetic
susceptibility.

"I would like to see a cancer genetics network up and running
where individuals can go for the best counseling and testing available,"
he said.

He noted that the new program of accelerated executive review
is off to a good start, with 16 applications reviewed and 10 awarded
funding. "This accelerated process is helping us to fund
grants quickly while taking peer review seriously," he said.

Changes in AIDS Funding

Dr. Klausner said that the most significant change in the 1997
NIH budget will be in how AIDS money is handled. "We have
a $225 million budget this year for AIDS research at NCI, and
we need to decide how much of that should go to generic AIDS research
and how much to AIDS cancers," he said. An AIDS Malignancy
working group is now advising the director on AIDS research priorities.

"While we can't know the exact boundaries for AIDS and which
research will help, we are developing a coding system to show
which research is AIDS related," he said. "We are looking
more closely at AIDS malignancies and how they are related to
cancer research.We also have direct AIDS research in that we work
daily with HIV patients."

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