Tuesday, June 24, 2008

NCI's Vision for Cancer NanoMedicine


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NCI Participation in the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research
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NCI Participation in the NIH Roadmap

Past Highlights

1. What is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap for Medical Research?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap for Medical Research, launched in September 2003, is a series of far-reaching initiatives that are intended to accelerate the pace of life science discovery from bench into practice for the benefit of the public. The NIH Roadmap is focused on efforts that no single NIH Institute could tackle alone but that the agency as a whole must address. Spearhead by Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with input from over 300 nationally recognized leaders in academia, industry, government and the public, the NIH Roadmap addresses major opportunities and gaps in biomedical research. The three areas of focus include: New Pathways to Discovery, which will deepen our understanding of biology; Research Teams of the Future, focused on stimulating the creation of interdisciplinary research teams; and Re-engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise, a challenge to rethink how we approach health care. (For more information visit: http://nihroadmap.nih.gov and NIH Roadmap FAQs)
2. How did NIH develop the NIH Roadmap?

NIH consulted extensively with its stakeholders--scientists, health care providers, and the public--to identify and prioritize the most pressing problems facing medical research today that can be uniquely addressed by the NIH. The initiatives to be funded beginning in FY 2004, were selected because of their potential for having the biggest impact on the progress of medical research.
3. What are the NIH Roadmap themes and initiatives?

The NIH Roadmap initiative has three main themes:

New Pathways to Discovery: Initiatives within this theme address technologies and approaches necessary to meet contemporary research challenges such as grasping the emerging complexity of biology, understanding biological systems as well as structural biology; molecular libraries and imaging, nanomedicine, bioinformatics, and computational biology.
Research Teams of the Future: Initiatives within this theme include interdisciplinary research, high risk research, and public-private partnerships.
Re-engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise: Initiatives within this theme address the need for creating better integrated networks of academic centers that work together in developing strategies to reenergize the clinical research workforce.
4. What Roadmap Initiatives will be announced in Fiscal Year 2005?

Many funding opportunities including new initiatives and re-announcements exist to participate in the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. FY 2004 Initiatives that are being re-announced include:

Assay Technology Development
National Technology Centers for Networks and Pathways
National Centers for Biomedical Computing
Short Programs for Interdisciplinary Research Training
Interdisciplinary Health Research Training
NIH Pioneer's Awards
Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Programs.
Visit the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research Web site for up-to-date information on research announcements. http://nihroadmap.nih.gov

5. How are the NIH Roadmap Initiatives funded?

NIH Roadmap initiatives are funded through a combination of funds appropriated to the NIH Director's Discretionary Fund in the Office of the NIH Director, and from contributions from the NIH Institutes and Centers (0.34 percent of their budgets for FY 2004, and 0.63 percent of their budgets for FY 2005.)

The total published budget for FY 2004 is $128 million. It is estimated that NIH Roadmap initiatives will be funded at $237 million in FY 2005.

Through FY 2009, each Institutes and Center's annual contribution to the Roadmap is likely to be less than 1 percent of their appropriation.

6. How much of the NCI budget is supporting NIH Roadmap Initiatives?

NCI's contribution to FY 2004 NIH Roadmap Initiatives is $16.3 million. The Fiscal Year 2005 estimate is $30.7 million.

7. What is NCI's participation in the NIH Roadmap?

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is playing a role in a number of activities in the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. NCI is contributing its expertise to the theme areas and initiatives that align most closely with the Institute's strategic priorities and overall mission. The NCI is recognized for its leadership in the areas of imaging and for its extensive data on agents that have been developed or considered for development as drugs. This NCI expertise is being applied to advancing the Roadmap Initiative to develop a Comprehensive Trans NIH Imaging Probe Database, an effort that is closely integrated with the PubChem database initiative. The NCI is providing data for over 250,000 compounds that will be available through this public database.

NCI is actively participating in two initiatives intended to strengthen translational resources within the Re-engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise component of the NIH Roadmap. The NIH Roadmap Translational Research Core Services initiative is modeled after the NCI Rapid Access to Intervention Development (RAID) program and will give applicants access to impressive centralized contract resources and expertise. NCI's Developmental Therapeutics Program is providing the infrastructure and expertise for this initiative. The second area in which NCI is heavily involved is The Regional Translational Research Centers' (RTRC ) initiative, which is intended increase interactions between basic and clinical scientists in order to accelerate translational development of new drugs, biomarkers, and treatment strategic from the lab to clinical testing.

NCI is providing its cutting edge and visionary bioinformatics expertise to help build a national platform upon which clinical efforts can be built, integrated and networked. Finally NCI is also involved in the Research Teams of the Future theme, recognizing that interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research teams are necessary for making the next quantum advances in science.

The NCI and its research community are uniquely positioned to participate actively in the NIH Roadmap efforts which in turn will contribute to the NCI challenge goal to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer.

8. How does the NCI Nanotechnology Plan (CNPlan) relate to the NIH Roadmap Nanomedicine initiative?

NCI's Cancer Nanotechnology Plan is complementary to, yet distinct from, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Nanomedicine component of the Roadmap Initiative.

The NCI's Cancer Nanotechnology Plan (CNPlan)

The NCI's Cancer Nanotechnology Plan (CNPlan) focuses on using knowledge from basic research discoveries and translating that into clinical oncology applications. The endpoints of this effort will be technology platforms in the context of diagnostics and therapeutics. The CNPlan is complementary, not duplicative, to the NIH's Roadmap activity. The NCI:

Has a 5-year history of funding grant proposals focused on advancing the field of nanotechnology to address the immediate mission of the NCI,
Will use the results from this investment to continue to drive this initiative forward and encourage the development of nanotechnology platforms for cancer research and clinical application,
Will leverage the discoveries made as part of the Roadmap's Nanomedicine to promote development of new products for the clinic,
Has included a training component,
Encourages a multidisciplinary approach to nanotechnology,
Will collaborate with other Federal agencies in order to leverage resources, including the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The NCI has committed $144.3M in funding for cancer directed Nanotechnology in the next five years.
The NCI has advanced its agenda in nanotechnology in collaboration with those involved in the NIH Roadmap Nanomedicine Initiative. The NCI anticipates continued support and participation with the NIH Nanomedicine Implementation Group, as well as other working groups, where appropriate.

Nanomedicine component of the NIH Roadmap

The NIH Roadmap begins with challenges and opportunities associated with basic research, leading to fundamentally new clinical applications in 8-10 years.

The vision for the Nanomedicine component of the Roadmap is to:

Characterize quantitatively the physical and chemical properties of molecules in cells,
Gain an understanding of the engineering principles used in living cells to "build" molecules, molecular complexes, organelles, cells, and tissues,
Ultimately, use the knowledge of properties and design principles to develop new technologies, and engineer devices and hybrid structures, for repairing tissues as well as preventing and curing disease,
Fund Centers to use and develop nanotechnology to examine biological and disease processes pertinent to the missions of many of the NIH institutes,
Stimulate research scientists from physically oriented disciplines such as chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering to work with clinicians and biomedical scientists to cultivate new, multidisciplinary approaches to problem-solving and develop specific nanotechnologies that can be applied to biomedicine.
The NIH Roadmap has committed approximately $80M to the Nanomedicine Initiative.
9. How do NCI Strategic Priority Areas relate to the NIH Roadmap Areas?

NCI's seven strategic priority areas, which play a unique role in helping us reach our 2015 Challenge Goal to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer, relate closely with the NIH Roadmap themes. NCI's strategic priority areas include: molecular epidemiology; integrative cancer biology; cancer prevention, early detection, and prediction; strategic development of cancer interventions; an integrated clinical trials system; overcoming health disparities; and advanced technologies.

10. Where can I go to learn about the NIH Roadmap Initiatives?

A number of NIH Roadmap funding opportunities (including RFAs, RFPs, BAA, etc) have been issued to date (see Grants and Funding Opportunities for details). Others are being discussed by Roadmap Implementation Groups, which are made up of representatives from NIH Institutes and Centers.

The URL for the NIH Roadmap Web site is http://nihroadmap.nih.gov. As the NIH Roadmap initiatives move forward, plan and progress will be posted on the NIH Roadmap Web site.

Add your name to receive up-to-date information on Roadmap initiatives and funding opportunities. Go to Listserve and Click on "Subscribe to NIH Roadmap E-mail list"

The NIH home page can be found at http://www.nih.gov.

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