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."