January Council Meeting Was Almost Business as Usual

The first NIAID Advisory Council meeting of the year proceeded as usual—with one notable exception and an instance of fortuitous timing.

  • The notable exception: Eric Dishman, invited guest speaker and director of NIH’s All of Us Research Program, came down with the flu and was unable to attend.
  • Fortuitous timing: this was not an event that was part of Council; however, during the meeting Alex Azar was sworn in as HHS Secretary.

Otherwise, it was business as always, starting with NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci’s remarks. He covered the latest budget status, legislative updates, and other information items, including the nomination and impending confirmation of Mr. Azar. To watch Dr. Fauci’s presentation, go to NIAID Advisory Council Meeting—January 2018. For a summary, continue reading.

Also in keeping with past sessions, program staff presented concepts during the open subcommittee meetings, links for which we provide below.

The Budget

Dr. Fauci could not discuss the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 before its February 12 release date. Therefore, he spoke about the FY 2018 budget, noting that NIH is operating under a continuing resolution (CR) until February 8 (since extended to March 23) and that we “remain guardedly optimistic that the final FY 2018 budget will be at least flat from FY 2017.”

Given the CR, NIAID has an interim Financial Management Plan and interim NIAID Paylines for FY 2018.

A Look at Who’s New

Dr. Fauci announced new additions to Council as well as familiar faces in new positions at NIAID.

  • Drs. Mark Feinberg, Stanley Lemon, and Robin Patel began their terms as Council members. To learn more about them, go to Biographical Sketches of NIAID Council Members.
  • Dr. Seema Nayak is the new director of the Office of Clinical Research Resources in the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
  • Dr. Tara Schwetz moved from the NIH Office of the Director to NIAID as the new chief of the Strategic Planning and Evaluation Branch, part of the Office of Strategic Planning, Initiative Development, and Analysis.
  • Ms. Shamay Knox is the new chief of the Acquisition Management and Operations Branch within the Office of Acquisitions.

Other Noteworthy Items

NIH opened its doors to welcome several prominent visitors, including then CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, then Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan, and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams as well as delegations from Brazil, China, Georgia, and South Korea.

Dr. Fauci ended his remarks by following up on several topics, such as HIV/AIDS, pandemic preparedness, Zika, and the challenges of seasonal and pandemic influenza.

Subcommittee Synopses

During Council subcommittee meetings, NIAID scientific staff outline concepts, the earliest planning stage of potential research initiatives—requests for applications, program announcements, and solicitations. View the meeting videocasts below to explore these discussions.

Approved Concepts

Though not all concepts approved by Council become initiatives, they indicate our research priorities. Find our most recent concepts on the following pages:

For a list of other approved concepts, see Concepts: Potential Opportunities.

More About Council

To find out more about Council, e.g., what it does, how it operates, go to Advisory Council. You’ll also find there the dates for upcoming meetings; the next one is on June 4, in case you want to plan ahead.

Content last reviewed on March 6, 2018

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