Overall Budget Policy: The FY 2011 request for NIGMS is $2,125.090 million, an increase of $74.118 million or +3.6 percent over the FY 2010 enacted level.
Investigator-initiated research projects and early career investigator research are the Institute's highest priorities. NIGMS will continue to support new investigators and to maintain an adequate number of competing RPGs. Developing a strong scientific workforce is a core element of the NIGMS mission. In FY 2011, NIGMS will support new investigators on R01 equivalent awards at success rates equivalent to those of established investigators submitting new R01 equivalent applications. In addition to our research funding activities, we support this goal through a range of training programs.
In FY 2011, NIGMS also plans to emphasize support of genomics and other high-throughput technologies, translational medicine, benefitting healthcare reform, and reinvigorating the biomedical workforce. Intramural Research and Research Management and Support receive modest increases to help offset the cost of pay and other increases.
Funds are included in R&D contracts to support several trans-NIH initiatives, such as the Therapies for Rare and Neglected Diseases program (TRND), the Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet), and support for a new synchrotron at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, as well as increased support for other HHS agencies through the program evaluation set-aside.
» Cell Biology and Biophysics
» Genetics and Developmental Biology
» Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry
» Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
» Minority Opportunities in Research
» Research Training
» Research Management and Support
Cell Biology and Biophysics: The Cell Biology and Biophysics (CBB) program fosters the study of cells and their components. Physics- and chemistry-based technological advances, driven by new types of microscopy, structural biology tools and many other novel imaging techniques, have facilitated our understanding of life at the level of molecules and atoms. This basic research promotes the development of precise, targeted therapies and diagnostics for a range of diseases. In FY 2009, the program's Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) continued to make protein structure determination faster, easier, and cheaper, while contributing to our basic understanding of the relationship between gene sequence and protein structure. In FY 2010, the PSI will enter a new phase of funding that will extend to FY 2014. This third phase, PSI:Biology, will make PSI resources available to the broad scientific community to solve a range of medically relevant problems while developing technology to tackle increasingly complex structures.
Budget Policy: The FY 2011 budget estimate for this program is $597.763 million, an increase of $19.350 million and 3 percent over the FY 2010 Enacted level. The majority of CBB funds will be used to support investigator-initiated research projects in cell biology, biophysics, cellular imaging, and structural biology. In FY 2011, CBB will continue to support the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI), a project that began in FY 2000 that aims to make protein structure determination a rapid and inexpensive enterprise. CBB will also use FY 2011 funds to support programs in optical imaging and an AIDS-related structural biology program.
Genetics and Developmental Biology: The mission of the Genetics and Developmental Biology (GDB) program is to promote basic research that aims to understand fundamental mechanisms of inheritance and development. This research underlies more targeted projects supported by other NIH institutes and centers. Much of GDB's investigator-initiated research is performed in model organisms, an approach that continues to deepen our understanding of common diseases and diverse behaviors. In FY 2009, GDB supported research on the basic biology of embryonic stem cells by funding five program project grants. Furthermore, to rapidly exploit the potential of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell research, GDB funded administrative supplements to 30 NIGMS grantees wishing to extend their ongoing projects by using iPS cells as models to study differentiation, development and genetic reprogramming. In FY 2009, GDB also funded three new grants in response to an RFA to investigate systems-based approaches for understanding how genes that contribute to common diseases interact with each other and with external influences to bring about their effects. In FY 2010, GDB will continue this initiative and, to complement the NIH Roadmap's initiative to sequence the human microbiome, GDB will fund new grants that seek to understand the basic principles and mechanisms that govern the symbiotic systems dynamics of microbial communities.
Budget Policy: The FY 2011 budget estimate for this program is $548.546 million, an increase of $17.756 million and 3 percent over the FY 2010 Enacted level. As with FY 2010, most GDB expenditures will support individual investigators seeking fundamental knowledge about life processes. In FY 2011, GDB will continue to support an initiative to fund systems-based approaches for understanding how genes that contribute to common diseases interact with each other and with external influences to bring about their effects.
Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry: The mission of the Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry (PPBC) program is to support fundamental research in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, and physiology that contributes to understanding human biology in health and disease, and that generates knowledge for new diagnostics and therapeutics. PPBC funds the development of new chemistry, understanding of biochemical processes, and the discovery of new pharmacological principles. The program also funds research that explores clinical issues involving whole-body responses in important public health areas such as traumatic injury, burns, wound healing, and anesthesia. In FY 2009, the Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics (a partnership between NIH and the Center for Genomic Medicine in Japan) added ten new studies to the Pharmacogenetics Research Network-led consortium of research groups that study how genes affect an individual's response to medicines. The Metabolic Engineering funding initiative, a Federal interagency program, supports research aimed at using living systems to produce useful quantities of substances such as medicines and other health products. In FY 2009, PPBC expanded its effort to develop new methods for the synthesis of carbohydrate molecules and rapidly expand their chemical space.
Budget Policy: The FY 2011 budget estimate for this program is $441,023 million, an increase of $14.276 million and 3 percent over the FY 2010 Enacted level. PPBC will continue to emphasize the support of investigator-initiated research grants. In FY 2011, the Pharmacogenetics Research Network, which is working toward promoting the goal of personalized medicine, will advance with the addition of genome-wide association studies through national and international collaborations.
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology: The Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB) supports research that draws expertise from mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering and physics to answer problems in biomedicine. CBCB emphasizes integrated, systems approaches that pair computational studies with laboratory-based investigations. Other projects create virtual laboratories that address questions difficult to tackle in the laboratory. CBCB also encourages the development of tools and techniques to acquire, store, analyze and visualize data. In FY 2009, CBCB funded one new National Center for Systems Biology to advance the study of the complexity of biology and to train more scientists in this emerging field. This national effort, launched in 2002 and now totaling 11 centers, continues to broaden and enhance our understanding of the complex interactions between cells, tissues and organisms.
Budget Policy: The FY 2011 budget estimate for this program is $122.371 million, an increase of $3.962 million and 3 percent over the FY 2010 Enacted level. Highest priority will be given to investigator-initiated research, since this research will continue to yield information and tools for exploring complex biological systems. Two major initiatives employing FY 2011 funds are the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), which models the spread of infectious diseases, and the Centers for Systems Biology program, which currently funds 10 centers.
Minority Opportunities in Research: The mission of the Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) program is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities performing biomedical and behavioral research. Research support for faculty at minority-serving institutions is now offered at three different levels, dependent upon the applicant's level of development as a research scientist. Another major change is that these grants will now be administered by program officers across NIH who manage research in the scientific areas of the grants, rather than being administered solely by NIGMS staff. In FY 2009, MORE also funded a workshop grant to promote greater collaboration between biomedical and social scientists testing assumptions and hypotheses that undergird interventions for boosting careers in biomedical and behavioral research.
Budget Policy: The FY 2011 budget estimate for this program is $144.017 million, an increase of $4.195 million and 3 percent over the FY 2010 Enacted level. In FY 2011, NIGMS program staff will continue to reorganize existing programs to comply with recommendations issued from a working group of the NAGMS Council that advised the institute to rebalance its MORE portfolio. These efforts will place greater emphasis on student development and training. In FY 2011, MORE will also continue to examine the current state of research on interventions that influence the participation of underrepresented minorities in the biomedical and behavioral science.
Research Training: The Research Training program provides research training support for the next generation of biomedical and behavioral scientists. In addition to training Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students, the program supports postdoctoral fellows through advanced and specialized training in basic, translational and clinical research. This program also features 12 predoctoral institutional training grant areas (T32s), which provide broad-based, multidisciplinary research training in several areas of biomedicine. Independent of institutional training grant activities, the program also supports the training of students and fellows working in individual-investigator laboratories, as well as mentored career development awards in six clinically related areas. In FY 2009, the program continued its new T32 training grant in molecular medicine and made two new awards in its recently established institutional training grant to support basic behavioral scientists (now in its third year). Also in FY 2009, the program continued the Community for Advanced Graduate Training, a Web-based tool to facilitate interactions and recruitment efforts between the NIGMS Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs and the Institute's predoctoral T32 programs. FY2009 saw the start of a new predoctoral fellowship for pharmacy students enrolled in a formally combined PharmD./PhD program in the biomedical, behavioral or clinical sciences.
Budget Policy: The FY 2011 budget estimate for this program is $209.221 million, an increase of $11.664 million and 5.9 percent above the FY 2010 Enacted level. Consistent with overall NIH policy, NIGMS will be providing a 6% stipend increase. Maintaining a healthy pipeline of researchers is critical to maintaining the vibrancy of the scientific enterprise. NIGMS will continue to support rigorous research training programs that foster intellectual creativity, learning of quantitative skills, and exposure to topics in human health. In FY 2011, NIGMS will continue its new program supporting the research training of basic behavioral scientists and will promote its new molecular medicine program.
Intramural: The Institute has a small, but unique, intramural research program that supports postdoctoral research fellows for up to three years each. The Pharmacology Research Associate (PRAT) program provides scientists who have backgrounds in the basic or clinical sciences with multidisciplinary training in how drugs interact with living systems. For scientists who are already well-versed in pharmacology, the program offers experience in new fields. A number of former program participants have gone on to distinguished careers in academia, industry and government, and one has won a Nobel Prize.
Budget Policy: The FY 2011 budget estimate for the Intramural Research program is $2.7 million, an increase of $84 thousand and 3.2 percent over the FY 2010 Enacted level. NIGMS will continue its PRAT program, which provides training for outstanding fellows who conduct research in intramural laboratories of other NIH institutes and centers or in Food and Drug Administration laboratories. After their NIH training, the PRAT fellows continue their careers as faculty at leading universities, in the pharmaceutical industry, or at government agencies, contributing pharmacology expertise and helping to meet national needs.
Research Management and Support: NIGMS Research Management and Support (RMS) activities provide administrative, budgetary, logistical and scientific support in the review, award and monitoring of research grants, training awards, and research and development contracts. RMS functions also encompass strategic planning, coordination, and evaluation of the Institute's programs, regulatory compliance, international coordination and liaison with other Federal agencies, Congress and the public. To enhance the efficiency of grants administration functions, RMS funds continued to be used to develop and maintain an NIGMS information technology architecture that is integrated with NIH enterprise information systems. In FY 2010, RMS funds will be used to support scientific meetings, conferences and workshops to advance biomedical research. RMS funds will also continue to be used to support information technology tools to facilitate the peer review process, conduct portfolio analysis and assist with document management. In FY 2010, RMS funds will be used to develop formal disaster recovery plans for NIGMS' information technology infrastructure, including plans for dealing with sustaining mission-critical operations during a pandemic or other emergency. The Institute also plans to use RMS funds to convert over 80,000 legacy grant files to an electronic format ultimately resulting in enhancements to reporting capabilities.
Budget Policy: The FY 2011 budget estimate for RMS is $59.449 million, an increase of $2.831 million and 5.0 percent over the FY 2010 Enacted level. In FY 2011, RMS funds will continue to support meetings with the biomedical and behavioral research community that will assist NIGMS in assigning priorities and setting its research agenda. To enhance the efficiency of grants administration functions, FY 2011 RMS funds will develop and maintain an NIGMS information technology architecture that is integrated with NIH enterprise information systems. In FY 2011, NIGMS will also promote innovations in administration and management to minimize paperwork and administrative burden, such as a more robust Intranet that will align with NIH-wide enterprise architecture.