A Executive Summary Meeting on June 14-16, 2001
Association of Anatomy, Cell
Biology and Neurobiology

Association of Chairmen of  
Departments of Physiology

Association of Medical and
Graduate Departments of

Association of Medical School
Microbiology and Immunology

Association for Medical School  

Association of Pathology Chairs

Association of Professors of
Human and Medical Genetics

Association of Medical School
Neuroscience Department  

H. George Mandel, Ph.D.
Professor and former Chairman
Department of Pharmacology
The George Washington
University Medical Center
2300 Eye St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: (202) 994-3542
Fax: (202) 994-2870

Vice Chairs:
Diana S. Beattie, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Biochemistry
West Virginia University
School of Medicine
Morgantown, WV 26506
Tel: 304-293-7522
Fax: 304-293-6846

Antonio Scarpa, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Physiology and
Case Western Reserve
University School of Medicine
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-4970
Tel: 216-368-5298
Fax: 216-368-5586

                                      August 28, 2001

Dr. Charles A. Blake
Secretary, AACBNC
Dept. Cell Biology and Neuroscience
University of South Carolina
School of Medicine
Columbia, SC 29208

Dear Charlie:

I am attaching the minutes of our last Caucus
meeting held in Washington June 14-16, together
with our agenda and the list of participants. From
your Association, Drs. Burr, Carmichael, Goodman
and Friedlander (as AMSNDC) attended. I am asking
that you disseminate this information to your chair
members, since your group has been supporting our

We had expert briefing from Howard Garrison (
FASEB), Kevin Mathis (Campaign for Medical
Research), and Dave Moore (AAMC’s Ad Hoc Group
for Medical Research Funding), who provided us
guidance on how to handle our visits on the Hill the
next day. Mary Woolley (Research!America) supplied
us excellent background on the strong interest of
the general public in supporting health research. We
then visited with staff of Congressmen Regula’s and
Obey’s offices (House Appropriations Committee for
NIH, Chairman and Ranking Democrat, respectively)
and pleaded for continued efforts to double the NIH
budget. With Mr. Ron Christy, representing Vice
President Cheney, we proposed the appointment of
a Presidential Science adviser, encouraged funding
not only for NIH but also for other related sciences,
and asked President Bush to spread the word that
NIH is the major governmental source of health
research support. We also described the major
financial crises of many medical centers due to
unintended governmental actions.

To Dr. Ehrenfeld of the NIH, we expressed our
concerns about the increasing cost of grants at the
expense of more new starts and asked that review
of amended grants be accelerated, and if revisions
were minor, that they be handled expeditiously. The
Caucus is getting ready to submit for publication
data on the freezing of success rates of unamended
NIH R01 applications during the past two years while
NIH research expenditures increased. We shared
our experiences with representatives from the
American Chemical Society, AAAS, NSF and the
American Society for Microbiology.

We were pleased that the AAMC has listened to our
plea to organize a basic science group to discuss
faculty and educational aspects of the basic
biomedical sciences, which followed our meeting.

We intend to meet again next year. Thanks you for
disseminating this information. Best wishes,

Sincerely yours

H. George Mandel, Ph.D.

Department of Pharmacology
The George Washington University Medical Center
2300 Eye Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

Agenda - June 14-16, 2001
Thursday, June 14     
6:30 p.m.     Registration & Supper                                                                           643 Ross
    Plans for this meeting - Dr. George Mandel, Caucus Chair
    Briefing for Meetings with Political Leaders -
    Dr. Howard Garrison, Director, Public Affairs, FASEB
    Mr. David Moore, Associate Vice President., AAMC
    Mr. Kevin Mathis, Legislative Director, Campaign for
    Medical Research  

Friday, June 15     

8 a.m.          Breakfast - Organizational meeting                                                      737
Ross                    Welcome - Dr. John F. Williams, V.P. Health Affairs, GWU,          

9 a.m.          Meeting with Ms. Mary Woolley, President, Research!                     737 Ross

10 a.m.        Meeting with Dr. Ellie Ehrenfeld, Director, NIH Center                     643 Ross
   for Scientific Review  

11:30 a.m.   Lunch                                                                                                       643 Ross

1 p.m.          Meeting with Mr. Ronald Christie, Deputy Assistant,              274
Executive                     V.P. for Domestic Policy, Office of the U.S. Vice                      
Office Building,
   President                                                                                        17th & PA Ave

2:30 p.m.     Group A: Visit with Dr. Dan Kuebler, Staff of                     2306 Rayburn HOB,
   Congressman Ralph Regula, Chairman, House               Independence
Ave                     Appropriations Subcommittee, Labor, HHS
   and Education  

    Group B: Visit with Ms. Christina Hamilton, Staff of       2314 Rayburn
HOB,                       Congressman David Obey, Ranking Democrat,               
Independence Ave
    House Appropriations Subcommittee, Labor, HHS and

4 p.m.          Meeting with Dr. David Korn, Senior V.P., Division of                         43 Ross
    Biomedical and Health Sciences Research, AAMC and
    Anthony Mazzaschi, Director, CAS, AAMC

6:30 p.m.     Dinner                                                                                               Cosmos Club
                                                                                           2121 Mass. Ave. NW

Saturday, June 16

9:00 a.m.     Breakfast - Round Table discussion with guests                               643 Ross
    Dr. Maryanna Henkart, Director Molec. & Cell.
    Biosciences, NSF
    Ms. Caroline Trupp Gill, Senior Legislative Associate,
    Office of Legislative and Government Affairs, Am. Chem. Soc.
    Mr. Kei Koizumi, Director R&D Budget and Policy, AAAS
    Ms. Janet Shoemaker, Director, Public Affairs, Am. Soc. Microbiol.  

12:30 p.m.   Lunch & Adjournment
Executive Summary
Meeting on June 14-16, 2001

The Caucus, comprised of presidents and other officers of associations of chairs of
the basic science departments of U.S. Medical Schools, held its annual meeting in
the Department of Pharmacology, The George Washington University School of
Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C., on June 14-16. Twenty-two
representatives attended, including for the first time a member of the Association
of Medical School Neuroscience Department Chairpersons.

The evening before going to meet with our political leaders to support doubling the
NIH budget over a five-year period, we were briefed by local experts on the political
process regarding health research. This was especially important because of
normal turnover of officers in our constituent associations, so that about half of our
members at this meeting were new to the Caucus. Dr. Howard Garrison, Director of
Public Affairs, FASEB; David Moore, Associate Vice President, Office of Government
Relations, AAMC and a leader in the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding;
and Kevin Mathis, Director of the Campaign for Medical Research, provided
background information and advice. We also met with Mary Woolley, President of
Research!America, who provided strong evidence from surveys in many parts of the
country that the general public is enthusiastic about health research, is surprised
how little is spent nationally in relation to the cost of health care, and is unfamiliar
with the existence or function of the NIH.

We visited with Mr. Ronald Christie, Office of Vice President Cheney, and Deputy
Assistant to the Vice President for Domestic Policy. We reinforced our message to
double the NIH budget over the five-year period. President Bush had supported
this process but then did not allocate sufficient funds in his budget. We
recommended that President Bush visit medical centers to observe the efforts and
achievements for better health through research, that he mention to the nation that
the NIH is the principal source of funding for U.S. health research carried out at
medical centers nationwide, and that the NIH represents one of the successes of
our tax dollars. We also pleaded for increased support for research in other
agencies, such as NSF, CDC, FDA, EPA, Dep’ts of Agriculture and Energy, since
research in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, engineering etc. is vital to the
progress and successful execution of health research. We discussed the current
financial problems of so many medical centers and teaching hospitals, which,
because of the Balanced Budget Amendment and changes in the Medicare
program, have had disastrous fiscal consequences. We requested making
appointments where vacancies exist to fill leadership positions in the NIH, OSTP
and FDA to permit continuing progress in the nation’s scientific efforts. Note – an
OSTP Director has just been nominated – did they listen to the Caucus so quickly?

We also visited the offices of Congressmen Ralph Regula, the new chairman of the
House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, HHS and Education (responsible for
funding NIH) and David Obey, the ranking Committee Democrat.  Both Dr. Dan
Kuebler (A Ph.D. in molecular Biology) and Ms. Christina Hamilton, their principal
health staff members (the Representatives had returned to their home districts)
were extremely supportive of our aims of increasing the total NIH budget
appropriation. Since many disease advocates push Congress to fund their specialty
selectively, and scientists want to avoid political micromanagement of biomedical
research, we are supplying them examples of research targeted on one illness that
benefited other diseases quite unexpectedly. We expressed our gratitude to both
Congressmen for their past support of NIH and health research.              

Dr. Ellie Ehrenfeld, Director of NIH Center for Scientific Review, described the
progress to reorganize the study section review system in line with current
scientific activity and the increasingly interdisciplinary role of research. Extramural
experts are contributing in this effort to assure that science drive the review
process, not the other way around. Dr. Ehrenfeld is open to suggestions from
scientists to assure that the process is going in the right direction.  Many Caucus
members felt that the modular grant concept was increasing the average cost of
grants, and that the extra moneys would be better spent on additional grants.
Several NIH Institutes already have data showing costs increasing beyond scientific
inflationary increases. In addition, the limited data now available to grant reviewers
on concurrent other funding of applicants, and the decreased ability of detecting
overlapping support, also have raised grant costs. Although reviewers should not
spend undue time on budget minutiae, the NIH apparently lacks the resources to
examine this problem sufficiently. We asked for a review of these policies, which
NIH is planning. We encouraged speed-up in the review of amended applications,
especially when the requested revisions were minor. Such acceleration would
avoid needless delays in initiating valuable research approaches, would increase
scientists’ output and morale, and decrease unproductive time and effort. We also
encouraged more funding of unusually imaginative but relatively inexpensive
grants lacking extensive preliminary data, even though they may not be in the  “safe
science” category. The use of additional reviewers for applications prior to triage,
as is thepractice in some NIH Institutes, may prevent rejection of misinterpreted
grant applications.

Dr. David Korn, Senior Vice President, and Tony Mazzaschi, Director, Council of
Academic Societies, AAMC, described recent activities regarding patient protection,
and rules regarding small animals. A new CAS Basic Science Leadership Forum is
being organized to discuss faculty and educational matters pertaining to basic
biomedical sciences.  Our Caucus has previously advocated a more active role for
preclinical faculty within the AAMC, which in the past had focused more on deans
and hospital functions. We proposed that AAMC consider the changing role of basic
science in teaching at medical schools, educational formats, stability of faculty
salaries, tenure and disciplinary reorganizations. The Caucus will continue to focus
on NIH support for research and interaction with government leaders.

Dr . Mandel reported on data he had acquired from the NIH on the success rate of
new R01 grant applications, as initially submitted, which for FY2000 showed the
same 80% rejection rate as described for FY1998 in the Caucus’ Letter to Science  
(The NIH budget for FY 1998 preceded the budget doubling campaign, begun since
that time).  Although the number of applications submitted increased only minimally,
the 30% growth of the NIH budget in the two-year interval went largely to increase
grant size, rather than to increase the number of new starts and competing
renewals.  The decision on new grant starts is complicated because NIH budgets
after FY2003 may not increase adequately to meet commitments being made now.
We discussed this important question, which was described right after our meeting
in the June 15 issue of Science. Nevertheless, the Caucus agreed that the data
acquired should be disseminated, hopefully in Science, to bring attention to this
vexing problem. There was a consensus that the quality of new applications had
increased enormously in recent years, and that there were sufficient outstanding
new research ideas that more of them should be explored.  Certainly efforts should
be made to accelerate the reapplication process, and to minimize it.       

Saturday morning we heard from Caroline Trupp Gil, Office of Legislative and
Government Affairs, American Chemical Society; Dr. Maryanna Henkart, Director of
Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, National Science Foundation; Kei Koizumi,
Director of R&D Budget and Policy, AAAS; and Janet Shoemaker, Director of Public
Affairs, American Society for Microbiology. Any increase in research support for
scientific disciplines other than biomedical fields in the FY2002 budget has been
minimal at best, and we emphasized our strong dependence on the success and
funding of these disciplines so vital for success of biomedical research.

Our next meeting is being planned for spring 2002.

Respectfully Submitted,

H. George Mandel, Ph.D.
Dr. Thomas C. Westfall
Professor and Chair
Dept. Pharm. and
Physiol. Sci.
St. Louis University
School of Medicine
1402 S. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63104-1083
Tel: 314-577-8553
Fax: 314-577-8554

Association of
Pathology Chairs  

Dr. Abbott Julian Garvin
Professor and Chair
Dept. Pathology
Wake Forest University
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC  
Tel: 336-716-2650
Fax: 336-716-5346

Dr. Mary Lipscomb (2)
Professor and Chair
Dept. Pathology
Univ. of NM Sch. of Med.
915 Camino de Salud
BMSB 335
Albuquerque, NM  
Tel: 505-272-9228
Fax: 505-272-8084

Dr. George K.
Michalopoulos (4)
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Pathology
Univ. of Pittsburgh Sch. of
S410 BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Tel: 412-648-1040
Fax: 412-648-9846

Association of Medical
School Neuroscience

Dr. Michael J. Friedlander
Professor & Chair
Dept. Neurobiology
Univ. Alabama  at
1719  6th Ave. South
516 Circ
Birmingham, AL
Tel:  205-934-0100
Fax: 205-934-6571

(1)      President
(2)      President-Elect
(3)      Past President
(4)      CAS                                        

Dr. H. George Mandel
Professor and former
Dept. Pharmacology
GWU School of Medicine
2300 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC  20037
Tel:  202-994-3542
Fax:  202-994-2870

Association of Anatomy,
Cell Biology and

Dr. David B. Burr
Professor and Chair
Dept. Anat. and Cell
Indiana University Sch. of
MS 5035
Indianapolis, IN  46202
Tel: 317-274-7496
Fax: 317-278-2040

Dr. Stephen W.
Professor and Chair
Dept. Anatomy
Mayo Clinic
Stabile Building 9
Rochester, MN  55905
Tel: 507-284-3743
Fax: 507-284-5075

Dr. Steven R. Goodman
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Cell. Bio. and   
Univ. S. Ala. Coll. of Med.
307 N. University
MSB 2042
Mobile, AL  36688-0001
Tel: 334-460-6490
Fax: 334-460-6771

Association of Chairmen
of Departments of

Dr. Donald M. Bers (1)
Professor and Chair
Dept. Physiology
Loyola University
Stritch School of Medicine
2160 S. First Avenue
Maywood, IL  60153-5500
Tel: 708-216-1018
Fax: 708-216-6308
Dr. William H. Dantzler (3)
Professor and Head
Dept. Physiology
Univ. Arizona Coll. of Med.
Health Science Center
Room 4103A
Tucson, AR  85724-5051
Tel: 520-626-7646
Fax: 520-626-2382

Dr. L. Gabriel Navar (4)
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Physiology
Tulane Univ. Sch. of Med.
1430 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, LA  
Tel: 504-588-5251
Fax: 504-584-2675

Dr. Antonio Scarpa (4)
Vice Chair, NCBBSC
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Physiol. and
Case Western Res. Univ.
School Of Medicine
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH  
Tel: 216-368-5298
Fax: 216-368-5586

Association for Medical
School Microbiology and
Immunology Chairs

Dr. Randall K. Holmes (4)
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Microbiology
Univ. Colorado Hlth. Sci.
Campus Box B-175
4200 E. Ninth Avenue
Denver, CO  80262
Tel: 303-315-7903
Fax: 303-315-6785

Dr. Richard W. Moyer (2)
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Molecular Genetics
University of Florida
P.O. Box 100266 HSC
Gainesville, FL  
Tel: 352-392-7077
Fax: 352-846-2042

Dr. Catherine L. Squires
Professor and Chair
Dept. Mol. Biol. and
Tufts University Sch. of
136 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111-1800
Tel: 617-636-6947
Association of Medical
&Graduate Departments
of Biochemistry

Dr. Nathan N. Aronson
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Biochem. and
Molec. Biol.
University of South
307 University Boulevard
MSB 2152
Mobile, AL  36688-0002
Tel: 334-460-6402
Fax: 334-460-6127

Dr. Diane S. Beattie (4)
Vice Chair, NCBBSC
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Biochemistry
W. VA Univ. Sch. of Med.
P.O. Box 9142
Morgantown, WV  
Tel: 304-293-7522
Fax: 304-293-6846

Dr. Louis B. Hersh
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Biochemistry
Univ. of KY Chandler
Med. Ctr.
800 Rose Street
Lexington, KY  
Tel: 859-323-5549
Fax: 859-323-1727

Association for Medical
School Pharmacology

Dr. Arthur P. Grollman (4)
Professor and  former
Dept. Pharmacology
SUNY at Stony Brook
BST 8, Room 140
Stony Brook, NY  
Tel: 631-444-3080
Fax: 631-444-7641

Dr. Lorraine J. Gudas
Professor and Chair
Dept. Pharmacology
E409 Cornell Univ. Med.
1300 York Avenue
New York, NY  
Tel: 212-746-6250
Fax: 212-746-8858

Dr. Israel Hanin
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Pharm. and Exp.
Loyola University Medical
Stritch School of
Medicine2160 S. First
Maywood, IL  60153-5589Tel:
Fax: 708-216-6596