New AHRQ report shows increase in emergency department visits for dental conditions

A new report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows emergency department visits for dental conditions increased from 2009-2013. Use of the the emergency department for dental conditions was highest among 18-44-year-olds.

This report is consistent with a 2015 report by the Health Policy Institute (HPI) of the American Dental Association (ADA) that also showed an overall increase in emergency department visits for dental conditions between 2006 and 2012. The greatest use and increase in that study occurred in the the 26-34 age group. According to researchers at HPI, such visits cost the US health system $1.6 billion or $749 per visit in 2012.

To view the reports, please visit the following links:

FDA Requests Comments on “Cigar Warning Plans” Draft Guidance to Industry

AADR is submitting comments to the FDA on the “Cigar Warning Plans” draft guidance to industry. If you would like to contribute to AADR’s response, please send comments to Seun Ajiboye (sajiboye@iadr.org) by COB, September 20.

The main points of the guidance are:

1. All cigar packages must bear one of the required warning statements:

  • WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.
  • WARNING: Cigar smoking can cause cancers of the mouth and throat, even if you do not inhale.
  • WARNING: Cigar smoking can cause lung cancer and heart disease.
  • WARNING: Cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes.
  • WARNING: Tobacco smoke increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease, even in nonsmokers.
  • WARNING: Cigar use while pregnant can harm you and your baby OR SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Tobacco Use Increases the Risk of Infertility, Stillbirth and Low Birth Weight. (The last warning and Surgeon General Warning may be used interchangeably.)

2. Warning statements must be randomly displayed and randomly distributed throughout the US with each warning statement used as equal number of times as possible.

3. All advertising must display one of the warning statements, and warning statements on advertising must be rotated quarterly.

4. Individually sold cigars are not required to bear warning statements, but all 6 warning statements must be displayed by the retailer at the point of sale

5. Warning statement plans must describe how random display and distribution will be accomplished. Plans must be approved by FDA.

6. By May 10, 2018, all cigars manufactured, packaged, distributed, and sold in the US must bear warning statements.

Possible items on which to comment include but are not limited to:

  1. Definitions found in the guidance (also found on pg. 4 of the guidance).
  2. Requirement for random display and distribution.
  3. Warning statements.

Please see the complete draft guidance for more information.

 

National Science Foundation Seeks Comments on Updating Strategic Plan for 2017-2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is updating its strategic plan for 2017-2018 and is requesting feedback on their current Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. A brief summary of that plan can be found here, and the complete document can be found here.

How can you provide input? AADR members are strongly encouraged to provide feedback and input. You can either submit individual comments to NSF directly by Tuesday, September 27, 2016 or send them to Seun Ajiboye (sajiboye@iadr.org) by September 20, 2016 to include as part of AADR’s comments on NSF’s strategic plan.

Briefly, the NSF’s current strategic goals and associated objectives are:

  1. GOAL: Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering
    1. OBJECTIVE: Invest in fundamental research to ensure significant continuing advances across science, engineering, and education.
    2. OBJECTIVE: Integrate education and research to support development of a diverse STEM workforce with cutting-edge capabilities.
    3. OBJECTIVE: Provide world-class research infrastructure to enable major scientific advances.
  2. GOAL: Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education
    1. OBJECTIVE: Strengthen the links between fundamental research and societal needs through investments and partnerships.
    2. OBJECTIVE: Build the capacity of the Nation to address societal challenges using a suite of formal, informal, and broadly available STEM educational mechanisms.
  3. GOAL: Excel as a Federal Science Agency
    1. OBJECTIVE: Build an increasingly diverse, engaged, and high-performing workforce by fostering excellence in recruitment, training, leadership, and management of human capital.
    2. OBJECTIVE: Use effective methods and innovative solutions to achieve excellence in accomplishing the agency’s mission.

The “Agency Priority Goals (APG) and Long-term Performance Goals” are:

1. Increase public access to NSF-funded peer-reviewed publications.
2. Improve the nation’s capacity in data science by investing in the development of human capital and infrastructure.
3. Improve agency and awardee efficiency by leveling the award of grants across the fiscal year.

The NSF’s programs are as follows:

• Biological Sciences
• Computer and Information Science and Engineering
• Engineering
• Geosciences
• Mathematical and Physical Sciences
• Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
• International and Integrative Activities
• United States Arctic Research Commission
• Education and Human Resources
• Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction
• Agency Operations and Award Management
• Office of the National Science Board
• Office of the Inspector General

 

AADR supports American Heart Association’s recommendation to reduce added sugars in diets of children

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently released a scientific statement entitled, “Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children,” in which the authors conducted a literature review of original research and systematic studies on the relationship between added sugar and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in children and adolescents. From their research, AHA recommends the reduction of added sugar in the diets of children and adolescents. The statement comes just a year after the World Health Organization recommended that sugar intake should be less than 10% of the daily caloric intake of adults and children and that intakes less than 5% would reduce the incidence of noncommunicable diseases, specifically mentioning the reduction of dental caries as a health benefit of these guidelines.

The AHA scientific review analyzed the impact of sugar added to both food and beverages on CVD risk factors but paid special attention to the effect of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) because these drinks contribute a significant number of calories to the American diet. AHA conservatively estimates that children between the ages of 2 and 19 consume 80 grams of sugar per day. The review found that added sugars increase risk factors – obesity, blood pressure, and cholesterol for all children and insulin-resistance in overweight children – for CVDs.

To reduce the risk for CVDs, AHA recommends that children and adolescents consume no more than 8 ounces of SSBs and no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day and that caretakers avoid added sugar in the diets of children under 2-years-old.

AADR released a statement applauding AHA’s scientific statement and recommendations to limit added sugar consumption by children. AADR is committed to helping AHA implement these recommendations. Although the statement only briefly mentions dental caries, these recommendations will be effective in reducing dental caries and early childhood caries as well as CVDs.

NIDCR Seeks Comments on FY18 Research Themes

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is seeking public input on their proposed research initiatives for fiscal year (FY) 2018.  These themes are used during the annual budget development and in communication with NIH, the Department of HHS and Congress about future research goals.  The proposed research themes include the following:

  • Immunotherapy Strategies to Target Head and Neck Cancers
  • Implementation Science and Oral Health
  • Mechanisms of Oral HIV Vaccine-induced Immunity
  • Role of the Nervous System in Craniofacial Bones
  • Role of the Oral Microbiome in Oral HIV Pathogenesis, Vaccines and Host Immunity

How can you provide input? AADR members are strongly encouraged to provide feedback and input. You can either submit individual comments to NIDCR directly at  FY2018Comments@mail.nih.gov by Friday, September 9, 2016 or send them to Carolyn Mullen cmullen@aadr.org by August 22, 2016 to include as part of AADR and FNIDCR’s comments on the research themes.

NIDCR Director’s Dear Colleague Letter
Dear Colleagues:

As part of the budget planning process for Fiscal Year 2018, NIDCR is identifying topical themes for development into research initiatives. During this process, we welcome input from our scientific advisory boards, the extramural community, interested organizations, and the public at large.

What are Initiatives? Initiatives are a vehicle used by the Institutes and Centers to communicate future research goals to NIH, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Congress. NIDCR begins the initiative development process each year by identifying broad research topic areas, or themes. We then develop a specific initiative proposal for each theme, taking into consideration the input received. Themes identified for FY 2018 are listed below.

Please remember that initiatives are not a complete picture of the Institute’s planned research portfolio for the year indicated, nor do they signal that themes highlighted the previous year have been abandoned. Several initiatives from last year have become formal funding opportunities and are posted on NIDCR’s website. Others are still under development. Proposed FY 2018 Initiatives will be integrated into this larger landscape as they are considered for funding.

How can you provide input? Please send your comments and suggestions related to these specific theme areas directly to us at FY2018Comments@mail.nih.gov. If you want to suggest additional topic areas, or comment on the process for developing research initiatives, please send those suggestions to the same email address. Please submit all comments no later than Friday, September 9, 2016.

Thank you for your interest and input. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Martha J. Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Director
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Proposed NIDCR FY 2018 Research Themes (alphabetical by title)

Immunotherapy Strategies to Target Head and Neck Cancers Nearly 49,000 new cases of Head and Neck Cancers (HNCs) are diagnosed each year in the U.S.  The 5-year survival rate for individuals with HNC is relatively low at approximately 50% and has improved only marginally during the past few decades. The impact of current chemotherapies on HNC is limited by resistance to therapy, disease recurrence, and damage to normal cells and tissues. Furthermore, current treatments including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy often lead to side effects that reduce the quality of life for HNC patients. Immunotherapy is a targeted treatment approach that uses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer by mobilizing immune cells to specifically identify and eliminate cancer cells. However, cancer cells are adept at escaping the surveillance of the immune system and new approaches are required to improve the effectiveness of immunotherapies. One approach to improving the immune cell response is to inhibit the proteins that normally inactivate immune cells, a process called immune checkpoint inhibitor blockade. Advances in genomics and high throughput screening methods have opened the door to identifying molecular abnormalities (e.g. genetic changes) and aberrant signaling pathways specific to cancer cells. Some of these genetic changes in cancer cells can trigger the immune system to kill or clear the cancer cells. These technical advances have created opportunities for identifying HNC cell specific antigens, called neoantigens, that can then be used to develop targeted therapies that are less likely to kill or damage normal cells in the body. The primary goal of this initiative is to encourage basic and preclinical studies to identify and test HNC associated neoantigens as potential immunotherapy targets, alone or in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitor blockade that can then be used as effective therapeutic agents in the treatment of HNCs.

Implementation Science and Oral Health Implementation science is focused on identifying, understanding, and overcoming barriers to the adoption of evidence-based interventions in patient care. The lag time between evidence from research and adoption into practice is related to many factors, such as low demand, desire of patients and/or practitioners to continue old interventions, and lack of infrastructure to adopt the new intervention. The goal of this initiative is to encourage studies aimed at reducing the time between establishment of the evidence-base for interventions and their widespread uptake and adoption. Another element of this initiative is understanding the need to reduce the use of strategies and procedures that are no longer supported by the evidence, are potentially harmful, or have been prematurely widely adopted. Advances in implementation science have been made in other fields such as treatments for cancer and substance abuse; there is an opportunity to address the unique aspects of dentistry in this science field. This initiative will develop implementation strategies tailored for use in dental care and oral health settings.

Mechanisms of Oral HIV Vaccine-induced Immunity HIV/AIDS remains a major global public health problem. Approximately 50,000 new infections were diagnosed in the United States in 2014 and two million new infections worldwide. One of the highest priority areas in HIV prevention is the development of safe and effective oral prophylactic vaccines that protect against HIV acquisition. Despite recent advances, a protective HIV vaccine has yet to be developed. Multiple research gaps exist, including our limited knowledge of how immune cells produce protective anti-HIV antibodies after oral vaccination. This initiative encourages basic, translational, and pre-clinical research to 1) identify the genetic and immune mechanisms that regulate oral immune cell maturation to produce protective anti-HIV antibodies; 2) study the interactions between oral innate and cellular immunity that enhance the production of anti-HIV neutralizing antibodies; 3) study the biological function of these anti-HIV antibodies; and 4) test new oral prophylactic HIV vaccine candidates and strategies designed to trigger protective and long lasting immunity. These critical areas of research will be key to the development of safe and effective oral HIV vaccines to protect against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Role of the Nervous System in Craniofacial Bones In adults, bone tissue is constantly broken down and rebuilt during the process of homeostasis. The nervous system controls this process via longer range hormonal regulation and local innervation of the bone microenvironment. The nervous system is known to play a key role in the development and regeneration of craniofacial bone; however it is not clear how the nervous system functions in fully developed (adult) craniofacial bones in both health and disease. The goal of this initiative is to encourage research on the interactions between the nervous system and the dental and craniofacial skeletal complex. Understanding the nervous system’s role in the maintenance of mature craniofacial bone, will bolster efforts in regeneration and repair of the dental and craniofacial skeleton. Knowledge about the craniofacial neuroskeletal relationship could also lead to effective and targeted approaches to treat bone loss from periodontal disease or osteonecrosis of the jaw.

Role of the Oral Microbiome in Oral HIV Pathogenesis, Vaccines, and Host Immunity The oral microbiome is a dynamic community of self-maintained microorganisms that are essential to preserve human oral and systemic health. Microbiomes are found throughout the body, including the gut and oral cavity. The gut microbiome has been linked to changes in HIV pathogenesis and host immunity. The oral microbiome is also implicated in changes in HIV pathogenesis and host immunity, however, these processes are not as well understood. The goal of this initiative is to encourage basic and translational research on the role of the oral microbiome in oral HIV pathogenesis, oral immunity, and oral prophylactic HIV vaccine efficacy. Additional research in these areas will help identify new preventive and therapeutic strategies for modulating the oral microbiome to decrease HIV pathogenesis and improve oral vaccine efficacy and immunity to HIV.

 

Six Weeks in Washington, DC: Update by the Gert Quigley Fellow

By KyuLim Lee, AADR Gert Quigley Fellow 2016-2017

KyuLim Lee at the US CapitolAs a DMD/PhD student in-training, I have always enjoyed attending AADR meetings, because it is an opportunity to not only share my passion for science but also meet new faces and reconnect with old ones. While in the past meetings I have always been eager to learn and attend sessions discussing topics surrounding my comfort zone, the 2016 AADR meeting in Los Angeles, CA was special in that I stumbled upon a Hands-On Workshop hosted by the National Student Research Group (NSRG) titled, “Advocacy: Your Future Depends On It.” During this workshop, the importance of advocating for research and research funding was introduced to me, as well as the exciting fact that students like us can make a big impact. The AADR Gert Quigley Fellowship was unique in that it would provide a student with a hands-on opportunity to learn the ins and outs of advocacy and science policy.

As the 2016-2017 AADR Gert Quigley Fellow, I spent these past 6 weeks in Washington, DC being exposed to all arenas of science policy and advocacy, learning about the legislative processes involved in research funding. From attending appropriation bill mark ups to briefings that discussed recent “national topics” such as Zika and e-cigarettes, I realized that policy and science cannot be separated. Scientific evidence is constantly incorporated during different stages of policy development, which in turn affects decisions such as funding priorities, as well as the allocation of nation’s research dollars. As a Fellow, I witnessed the advocacy efforts flourish into reality. Both the House and Senate bills proposed significant increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) funding for fiscal year (FY)17 as a result of AADR and other members’ efforts.  Because it is election year, we are not quite sure what will happen, but a short term continuing resolution (CR) is expected to fund federal government through November. While Congress is in recess currently, we continued on with our advocacy efforts and attended coalition meetings to brainstorm and propose strategies to help push Congress to enact legislation that will provide the highest possible funding level for NIH and NIDCR.

KyuLim Lee at NIDCRMy research experience has taught me an important aspect of research: a cure for a disease is not discovered overnight. They result from years of incremental research, which is only possible through continuous funding. Educating the members of Congress and their staff about dental research funded through the NIDCR at the Coalition for Health Funding Public Health Fair, I learned first-hand how excited the members are to hear about the ongoing work in our dental community and the value of dental research to our profession. More importantly, opportunities like this served as a chance to inform Congress on why continuous funding is essential to our scientific field.

Basic science research is my passion and looking into the micro-molecular level of a certain pathway or disease is so intriguing. Attending meetings on Capitol Hill and learning about the intricate role Congress plays in providing funding, I realized it’s important for researchers to look at science in a macro-level as well, staying engaged in policy issues and advocacy. Scientists are passionate about their research and see the importance of presenting the data from their research projects, whether that’d be in a lab meeting or a research conference. To me, this is exactly how advocacy works. But on a larger scale. And instead of science being presented to lab members, we can present it to Congress, to show them how important our research is, and to help them understand the value of their work and how that impacts us at home. There are various facets one can partake to start advocating. This includes something as simple as responding to action alert emails or as involved as sending letters of support or scheduling a meeting with their members of Congress.

I look forward to continuing my work as the Gert Quigley Fellow this year as an active member of the AADR Government Affairs Committee and National Student Research Group. If you want to learn more about the Gert Quigley Fellowship and/or become more involved with AADR advocacy please contact Carolyn Mullen, director of government affairs at cmullen@iadr.org.

 

 

House Bill Proposes Increased Funding for NIH & NIDCR

Today, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriation bill was approved by the House Appropriations Committee by a 31-19 vote. This legislation proposes $33.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) an increase of $1.25 billion over FY16 and $425.6 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) which is $12.2 million over the enacted FY16 level of $413.4 million. Some of the increases for NIH were provided for the following initiatives:

  • $300 million, an increase of $100 million for Precision Medicine;
  • $1.26 billion, an increase of $350 million for Alzheimer’s disease research;
  • $195 million, an increase of $45 million, for the BRAIN Initiative to map the human brain;
  • And increases to every Institute and Center to continue investments in innovative research that will advance fundamental knowledge and speed the development of new therapies, diagnostics, and preventive measures to improve the health of all Americans.

The House proposed funding level is significantly less than the Senate LHHS bill which proposed $34 billion for NIH and $430.5 million for NIDCR. During the full committee mark-up Rep. Cole (R-OK), Chair of the LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee indicated the committee would like to build upon the $2 billion increase provided for NIH last year. He also stated the House funding level for NIH in this bill to be viewed as the “floor,” and not the ceiling and hoped the funding level for NIH can increase even further in the final appropriations bill.

The House LHHS Committee report also included report language pertinent to NIDCR. Specifically:

  • Mission: The mission of NIDCR is to improve the Nation’s oral, dental and craniofacial health through research and research training. NIDCR accomplishes its mission by performing and supporting basic and clinical research; conducting and funding research training and career development programs to ensure that there is an adequate number of talented, well-prepared, and diverse investigators; and coordinating and assisting relevant research and research- related activities. The Committee expects the Institute to systematically coordinate through other HHS agencies to share new scientific information to ensure it reaches the community and providers through various other HHS outreach programs.
  • Biomaterials: The Committee understands biomaterials are an important section of biomedical research. The Committee encourages NIDCR to consider efforts to encourage an increased focus on the development and innovation of dental materials.

However, since the overall allocation for this bill is $569 million below the FY16 enacted level, the proposed increased funding came at the expense of other important public health programs. Specific cuts include:

  • $110 million for the CDC Office of Smoking and Health
  • $54 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Below is additional information about programs of importance to AADR:

  • HRSA Title VII Training in Oral Health Care received $35.8 million which is level with FY16. The Committee recommends $35,873,000 for Training in Oral Health Care programs, which is the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the fiscal year 2017 budget request. Within the funds provided, the Committee includes not less than $10,000,000 for General Dentistry Programs and not less than $10,000,000 for Pediatric Dentistry programs. These programs serve to increase the number of medical graduates from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds and to encourage students and residents to choose primary care fields and practice in underserved urban and rural areas. HRSA is directed to provide continuation funding for predoctoral and postdoctoral training grants initially awarded in fiscal year 2015 and continuation funding for section 748 Dental Faculty Loan Repayment grants initially awarded in fiscal year 2016.
  • HRSA Area Health Education Centers. The Committee encourages HRSA to support AHEC oral health projects that establish primary points of service and address the need to help patients find treatment outside of hospital emergency rooms. The Committee is aware that some State dental associations have already initiated programs to refer emergency room patients to dental networks. HRSA is urged to work with these programs.
  • HRSA Dental Reimbursement Program. The Ryan White Part F program provides for the Dental Reimbursement Program (DRP), which covers the unreimbursed costs of providing dental care to persons living with HIV/AIDS. Programs qualifying for reimbursement are dental schools, hospitals with postdoctoral dental education programs, and colleges with dental hygiene programs. The Committee is concerned that although the program has provided oral health care to many people living with HIV/AIDS, it has not kept pace with the number of individuals in need. The Committee requests an update in the fiscal year 2018 budget request on the non-reimbursed costs covered by the DRP.
  • HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau Prenatal Oral Health – Set-aside for Oral Health. The Committee has included$250,000 for demonstration projects to increase the implementationof integrating oral health and primary care practice. The projects should model the core clinical oral health competencies for non-dental providers that HRSA published and initially tested in its 2014 report, ‘‘Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice.’’
  • HRSA Rural Health Training in Oral Health Care and Rural Health.—The Committee encourages HRSA to work with States to develop and facilitate public education programs that promote preventive oral health treatments and habits via increased oral health literacy in rural and underserved areas. The Committee believes that prevention centered programs represent a cost effective way to address oral health access. The Committee also encourages the Office of Rural Health Policy to support these programs. Further, the Committee encourages HRSA to include innovative public education programs as eligible for funding as part of the State Oral Health Workforce Improvement Program.
  • HRSA Program Management. The Committee is disturbed to learn that despite its directive in House Report (110–231) to establish a Chief Dental Officer (CDO) position, HRSA has not maintained the appointment. The Committee understands that since the beginning of 2012 the position has been downgraded to Senior Dental Advisor and moved several layers below HRSA leadership and decision makers. This has occurred in spite of the Administration’s commitment in 2010 to establish the Oral Health Initiative, which highlighted several HRSA initiatives to improve access to oral health care, especially for needy populations. The Committee directs HRSA to restore the position of HRSA Chief Dental Officer with executive level authority and resources to oversee and lead HRSA dental programs and initiatives. The CDO is also expected to serve as the agency representative on oral health issues to international, national, State, and/or local government agencies, universities, oral health stakeholder organizations, etc.
  • CDC Division of Oral Health received $18 million which is level with FY16. The Committee expects the DOH to distribute new waterline safety guidelines to dentist offices and clinics, to coordinate with NIH to conduct follow up research where needed, and for CDC to work with professional organizations to educate dentists and dental students of such guidelines.

 What is Next? This is an important step in the legislative process. Given that it is an election year it is very likely that Congress will approve a short term continuing resolution funding the federal government through the November elections. Depending on the outcome of the election Congress will either develop an omnibus appropriation bill funding the federal government through the rest of the year; approve another short term continuing resolution or just approve a year long continuing resolution.

AADR will continue to closely monitor these developments and advocate on behalf of our members to secure the higher level funding for NIH, NIDCR and other oral health programs in the upcoming months.

 For More Information:

  • Click here to read the House Appropriations Committee Summary of the bill.
  • Click here to read the FY17 LHHS Bill Report Language.

 

AADR Supports First CHF Public Health Fair on Capitol Hill

By KyuLim Lee

CHF Public Health Fair

Carolyn Mullen, AADR Director of Government Affairs and KyuLim Lee, AADR Gert Quigley Fellow showcase our members work on salivary diagnostics.

AADR was proud to co-sponsor and exhibit at the Coalition for Health Funding’s (CHF) first Public Health Fair on July 13th CHF, established in 1970, is the oldest and largest nonprofit coalition working to preserve and strengthen public health investments. The Coalition is comprised of over 95 member organizations and together is the leading voice for preserving and strengthening public health investments.

The CHF Public Health Fair took place in the House Cannon Caucus Room, Washington, DC. The overarching goal was to educate members of Congress and their staff about the value and importance of public health. The event was formally initiated with welcoming remarks by Representatives Rob Wittman (R-VA) and Gene Green (D-TX). Rep. Wittman stressed that with the emerging diseases, public health is more important than ever and it truly is public health and public health professionals that will be a critical part of health care solutions in the future.

The great work of over 45 exhibitors, including federal agencies, was demonstrated at this fair. Each booth represented individuals working every day in communities across the nation to make America a healthier place, whether it be through preventive health such as early screenings and community health initiatives, health research that identifies cures, services that ensure access to care by needed individuals, health surveillance that prevents and responds to diseases, or education of the next generation public health professionals.

Exhibitors at the CHF Public Health Fair set up their booths in the House Cannon Caucus Building

AADR and Friends of NIDCR showcased salivary diagnostics research funded by National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and great promise saliva has as a diagnostic/screening tool for both oral and systemic diseases. Our booth also included two point of care salivary diagnostics devices including the Programmable Bio-Nano-Chip (p-BNC) developed by the McDevitt Group and another the Electric Field-induced Release and Measurement 16 1.0 (EFIRM16 1.0) developed by EZLife Bio. Inc.

For More Information:
Click here to read our fact sheet about salivary diagnostics
Click here to learn about the Coalition for Health Funding

Senate Committee Approves Legislation Reauthorizing NSF

On June 23, 2016 the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, Transportation approved the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S.3084). This legislation reauthorizes the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for fiscal year (FY) 2017 and FY18. Importantly, the bill proposes a 4% increase in funding for NSF from FY17-FY18. According to the bill sponsors Sens. Gardner (R-CO) and Peters (D-MI) this legislation was introduced to “maximize science research by reducing administrative burdens for researchers, enhancing agency oversight, improve research dissemination, and reform federal science agencies to increase the impact of taxpayer-funded research.”

During the committee mark-up many Senators applauded the bipartisan effort to reauthorize these federal agencies. However, Sen. Fischer (R-NE) indicated her opposition to the bill because the increased authorization levels were not fully offset. According to an analysis by the American Institute for Physics her opposition may indicate that the Senate will have trouble passing the bill by unanimous consent.

While the Coalition for National Science Funding expressed their appreciation for the bill the Coalition encouraged the Committee to include, “a longer authorization (timeframe) that sets aspirational funding targets to inform appropriators of the resources the agency needs to accomplish its important mission.”

What is next? Given the limited legislative calendar it is unclear when or if the Senate will have enough time to consider this legislation. AADR will continue to monitor these efforts in conjunction with the broader science advocacy community.

Additional Information: This bill contains other important provisions listed below.

Highlights of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S. 3084)

Authorization of Appropriations

  • Authorizes $7.5 billion in fiscal year 2017 and $7.8 billion in fiscal year 2018 for NSF
  • Authorizes $974 million in fiscal year 2017 and $1.013 billion in fiscal year 2018 for NIST

Maximizing Basic Research

  • Peer review – Reaffirms the NSF’s merit-based peer review process
  • Broadening research opportunities to stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) for underutilized regions to reflect its established record
  • Cybersecurity research – Directs research to increase in the protection of computer systems from cyber threats.
  • Transparency and accountability – Codifies reforms to increase transparency and accountability in the NSF grant-making process.
  • Oversight implementation – Requires NSF to address concerns about waste and abuse by improving oversight of large research facility construction, updates a conflicts of interest policy, and reforms management of the Antarctic research program.

Reducing Regulatory Burdens

  • Interagency working group – Establishes an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and OSTP-led interagency working group to reduce administrative burdens on federally-funded researchers.
  • Obsolete reporting requirements – Repeals obsolete federal agency reporting requirements as well as previous authorizations for programs that have not been implemented.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Education

  • Outside advisory panel – Authorizes a STEM education advisory panel of outside experts to help guide federal STEM education program decision making.
  • Expands opportunities for women – Expands NSF grant programs to increase participation and expand STEM opportunities to women and other under-represented groups.
  • Scientific and Technical collaboration—Requires the OMB in consultation with OSTP and the heads of other relevant agencies to revise current policies and streamline processes for attendance at scientific and technical workshops while ensuring appropriate oversight, accountability and transparency.

Manufacturing, Commercialization, and Leveraging the Private Sector

  • Crowdsourcing Science – Expands opportunities for crowdsourcing research input and citizen science participation by organizations and individuals.
  • Manufacturing – Updates NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program for small and medium sized businesses by adjusting the federal cost-share requirement and implementing new accountability and oversight requirements.
  • Promoting entrepreneurship – Authorizes and expands NSF’s Innovation Corps program to promote entrepreneurship and commercialization education, training, and mentoring of federally-funded researchers.
  • Commercialization grants – Authorizes and expands grants to promote the commercialization of federally-funded research.

 

For full press release: https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2016/6/commerce-approves-american-innovation-and-competitiveness-act-nine-other-bills-multiple-nominations

NIH Announces Single IRB Policy to Streamline Reviews of Multi-Site Reserach

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released a new policy regarding the use of a single institutional review board of record for multi-site research. This policy establishes the expectation that all sites participating in multi-site studies involving non-exempt human subjects research funded by NIH will use a single Institutional Review Board (sIRB) to conduct the ethical review required by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations for the Protection of Human Subject at 25 CFR Part 26.
This policy will apply to all competing grant applications (new, renewal, revision, or resubmission) with receipt dates on or after May 25, 2017. It also includes contract solicitations issued on or after May 25, 2017. However ongoing, non-competing awards will not be expected to comply with this policy.

According to Dr. Collins, “Today, the time it takes to go from a sound research idea to the launch of a new, multi-site clinical research study is too long. A major contributor to the delay is that too many institutional review boards (IRBs) are reviewing the protocol and consent documents for the same study, often with no added benefit in terms of the protections for research participants. To address this bottleneck, NIH has issued a new policy to streamline the review process for NIH-funded, multi-site clinical research studies in the United States.”

For more information please click the following links below: