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NIH Envisions Future of Biomedical Research

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health has formed a working group to examine what the nation's biomedical research workforce will look like in the future, and what it will need to do to help build that workforce.

NIH said on Wednesday that its working group will seek to answer some specific and some broad questions, and that it will provide recommendations to the Advisory Committee to the Director.

The group will gather input from the extramural community including students, postdoctoral fellows, investigators, scientific societies, and grantee institutions.

Their work will focus on several central questions about the biomedical research workforce including:

• How large should the workforce be?

• What types of positions should be supported to enable people to have successful careers and to continue to advance biomedical and behavioral sciences?

• What is the best way to support those types of decisions?

• What types of training should be provided?

"The working group will help lay the foundation for ensuring that we have the biomedical workforce we will need to usher in the next generation of scientific discoveries," NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement.

The group also will use NIH and external sources to develop a model for a sustainable and diverse workforce that will be used to inform decisions about how to train the right number of people for the appropriate types of positions in order to advance biomedical research.

The new NIH working group includes: Co-chair Shirley Tilghman, president of Princeton University; Co-chair Sally Rockey, NIH deputy director for extramural research; Sandra Degen, VP for research at the University of Cincinnati; Laura Forese, COO, CMO, and senior VP of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; James Jackson, director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Leemor Joshua-Tor, dean of the Watson School of Biological Sciences, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Richard Lifton, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the Yale School of Medicine; Garry Neil, corporate VP of the Corporate Office of Science and Technology at Johnson & Johnson; Naomi Rosenberg, dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University School of Medicine; Bruce Weinberg, a professor at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Ohio State University; and Keith Yamamoto, executive vice dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California.

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