A Executive Summary Meeting on June 26 – 28, 2003
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 of Medical School
Pharmacology Chairs

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

Antonio Scarpa, MD, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Physiology and
Case Western Reserve
University School of Medicine
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-4970
                                                July 18, 2003

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 26-28, together
with our agenda and the list of Caucus participants.
AACBNC was represented by Drs, Goodman, Hendrix
and West. I request that you disseminate this
information, including this summary, to your fellow

We had been briefed by colleagues from the AAMC,
FASEB, Campaign for Medical Research and
Research!America in order to present a united front.
The issues we felt most important were:

1. To thank our political leaders for doubling the NIH
budget during the past 5 years.
2. To let these individuals understand that the NIH
budget needs to grow by 8-10% annually to sustain
the momentum of new discoveries in health
3. To inform them of major accomplishments in the
fight against disease.
4. To request sizeable increases in the budgets for
closely related disciplines complementary to the
biomedical sciences.
5. To continue the flow of foreign scientists and
students to work with us.
6. To assist US academic medical centers in their
financial struggles
7. To accelerate translation of basic science
discoveries to the bedside.

We discussed these concerns with Rachel Levinson,
OSTP, the Science Adviser organization for
President Bush. We also visited the offices of major
Senators and Congressmen involved in NIH
appropriations. We had the opportunity of meeting
with Dr.Elias Zerhouni, Director of the NIH, and his
senior staff where we emphasized the R01 grant as a
key to creativity, and its relatively low success rate.
We raised our concern about the impending
“reorganization” of the Department of HHS and
“outsourcing” activities to non-governmental
organizations. Dr. Rita Colwell, Director of the NSF,
described their activities complementary to
biomedicine, their coordination with the NIH, and
their expectation of budgetary increases, which we
strongly supported. With Dr. Michael Martin of NIH’s
Center for Scientific Review we mentioned the study
section reorganizations which have been a concern
for discipline-related health research, the value of
early listing of scientists on the newly formed study
sections, and the need for faster appeals from
unsuccessful grant applicants. AAMC’s Anthony
Mazzaschi described their increasing contacts with
basic science chairs, development of future
leadership roles for chairs, improved
communications, and the availability of 3 new
pamphlets on the successful medical school
department chairs. Caroline Trupp Gil of the
American Chemical Society described that large
organization’s outreach program and again
the importance of individual scientists speaking up
for the importance and their own achievements in
health research, especially in their own home

Thanks for distributing this information.

Sincerely yours          

H. George Mandel, Ph.D
Meeting Attendees - June 26-28, 2003
Association of Medical
School Neuroscience
Department Chairs

Dr. Gary D. Paige (1)
Professor & Chair
Dept. Neurobiology &
Univ. Rochester Medical
601 Elmwood Ave.,
Box 603
Rochester, N.Y. 14642 Tel: 585-275-2591

Dr. Barry E. Stein (2)
Professor & Chairman
Dept. Neurobiol. &
Wake Forest Univ. Sch.
Med. Ctr. Blvd
Winston-Salem, NC
Tel: 336-716-4368
Fax: 336-716-4534

Association of
Professors of Human &
Medical Genetics

Dr. Bruce R. Korf (1)
Professor & Chairman
Dept. Genetics
Univ. Alabama at
720 20th St. South
Suite 230
Birmingham, AL
Tel: 205-934-9411
Fax: 205-934-9488

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

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:

Association of Anatomy,
Cell Biology and

Dr. Mary J. C. Hendrix (1)
Professor and Head
Dept. Anatomy & Cell
Univ. Iowa
1-100 Bowen Sci Bldg
51 Newton Rd.
Iowa City, IA 52242-1109 Tel:
319-335-7755 Fax 319-335-7770

Dr. James R. West (2)
Professor & Head
Dept. Anatomy &
Texas A&M U Hlth
228 Reynolds Med. Bldg
College Station, TX 77843-1114
Tel: 979-845-4991 Fax:

Dr. Steven R. Goodman
(4) Professor and Head
Dept.Molecular & Cell. Biol
Univ. Texas at Dallas Box
830688, F.O.3.1
Richardson, TX
Tel: 972-883-4872
Fax: 972-883-2409

Association of Chairmen
of Departments of

Dr. Peter M. Cala (2)
Professor & Chair
Dept. Physiology
Univ. Cal-Davis Sch. Med.
One Shields Ave. Davis,
CA 95616
Tel: 530-752-1285
Fax: 530-752-5423
Association for Medical
School Microbiology and
Immunology Chairs

Dr. Richard Coico (1)
Professor and Chair
Dept. Microbiol. &
CUNY Medical School 138th St. &
Convent Ave. New York, NY
10031-9100 Tel.: 212-650-6628
Fax: 212-650-7797

Dr. Diane E. Griffin (2)
Professor & Chair
Dept. Molec.Biol.&
Johns Hopkins Boomberg
Sch. Publ. Health
615 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore,
MD 21205
Tel: 410-955-3459
Fax: 410-955-0105

Dr. Bellur S. Prabhakar
Professor & Head
Dept. Microbiol. &
Univ. Illinois at Chicago
Coll. Med.
835 S. Wolcott Ave., MC
Chicago, IL 60612-7344
Tel: 312-996-4945
Fax: 312-996-6415

Association of Medical &
Graduate Departments of

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

Dr. Louis B. Hersh (1)
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Biochemistry
Univ. of KY Chandler Med.
800 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536-0298
Tel: 859-323-5549
Fax: 859-323-1727

Dr. Robert E. Rhoads (2)
Professor & Head
Dept. Biochem & Molec.
LSU Hlth Science Ctr.
1501 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71130-3932
Tel: 318-675-5161
Fax: 318-675-5180
Association for Medical
School Pharmacology

Dr. Kenneth L. Dretchen
Professor and Chair Dept.
Georgetown Univ. Sch.
3900 Reservoir Road
Washington, D.C.
Tel: 202-687-7007
Fax: 202-687-2585

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. Gary O. Rankin
Professor & Chairman
Dept. of Pharmacology
Joan C. Edwards Sch.of
Marshall Univ.
1542 Spring Valley Dr.
Huntington, WV
Tel: 304-696-7313
Fax; 304-696-7391

Association of Pathology

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

Dr. David S. Wilkinson
Professor and Chairman
Dept. Pathology
Virginia Commonwealth
Box 980662
Richmond, VA 23298-0662
Tel.: 804-828-0183
Fax: 804-828-2869

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

Agenda - June 26-28, 2003
Thursday June 26

6 p.m.         Registration                                                                                    643 Ross Hall
    Plans for this meeting - Dr. George Mandel, Caucus Chair
    Dr. Diana Beattie, Caucus Vice Chair

6:30 p.m.    Orientation and briefing for upcoming meetings with political leaders
    David Moore, Associate Vice President., AAMC
    Kevin Mathis, Legislative Director, Campaign for Medical Research
    Bill Leinweber, Vice President, Research!America
    Carrie Golash, Sr. Science Policy Analyst, FASEB

Friday, June 27

8:30 a.m.    Breakfast                                                                                         643 Ross Hall

10:00 a.m.  Meeting with NIH Director and Staff                                   Bldg 1, Rm 151,NIH

         Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director, and
         Drs. Michael Gottesman, Raynard Kington, Brent Stanfield,
         Linda Seto, Robin Kawazoe, and Ruth Kirschstein

11:30 a.m.  Group l visit with Betty Loo Taylor, Staff of Senator Arlen Specter,
         Chair, Senate Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education                      
         Appropriations (NIH)                                                                    188 Dirksen

    Group 2 visit with Jason Grove, Staff of Congressman Ralph Regula,         
         Chair, House Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education         
         Appropriations (NIH)                                                                 2306 Rayburn

12:30 p.m.  Lunch                                                                                              643 Ross Hall

    Groups visiting House of Representatives:
2:00 p.m.    Visit with Kate Winkler, Staff of Congresswoman Nita Lowey  2329 Rayburn
         NIH Approp. Subcommittee

2:15 p.m.    Visit with Bill Duncan, Staff of Congressman Ernest Istook,   2404 Rayburn
         NIH Approp. Subcommittee

2:30 p.m.    Visit with Susan Sweat, Staff of Congressman Roger              2455 Rayburn
         Wicker, NIH Approp. Subcommittee

3:00 p.m.    Visit with Brad Stein, Staff of Congressman C.W.”Bill”            2407 Rayburn
         Young Chair, House Approp. Committee

4:30 p.m.    Visit with Jane Sung, Staff of Congressman Steny Hoyer, NIH Approp.       
         Subcommittee                                                                        1705 Longworth

    Groups visiting the Senate:
1:15 p.m.    Visit with Erik Fatemi, Staff of Senator Tom Harkin ,                          123 Hart
         Ranking Democrat, NIH Approp. Subcommittee

2:00:p.m.    Visit with Cynthia Roach, Staff of Senator Thad Cochran,           113 Dirksen
         NIH Approp. Subcommittee

2:30 p.m.    Visit with Liz Connell, Staff of Senator Ted Stevens
         Chair, Senate Committee on Appropriations                                  522 Hart

4:15 p.m.    Dr. Rita R. Colwell, Director, National Science Foundation      643 Ross Hall

6:30 p.m.    Dinner with Rachel Levinson, Assistant Director Life              Cosmos Club
         Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy    2121 Mass Ave.NW
         (White House)  

Saturday, June 28

8:30 a.m.    Breakfast                                                                                         643 Ross Hall

9:30 a.m.    Dr. Michael Martin, Center for Scientific Review, NIH              643 Ross Hall

10:00: a.m. Anthony Mazzaschi, Associate Vice President, Biomedical     643 Ross Hall
         and Health Sciences Research and Director, Council of
         Academic Societies Affairs, Association of American Medical Colleges

10:45 a.m. Caroline Trupp-Gil, Office of Legislative and Government       643 Ross Hall
         Affairs, American Chemical Society .

12:00 p.m. Lunch & Adjournment                                                                     643 Ross Hall

Executive Summary Meeting on June 26-28, 2003
The Caucus, comprised of presidents and other officers of associations of chairs of
the basic science departments of U.S. Medical Schools, now in its 14th year, held its
annual meeting in the Department of Pharmacology, The George Washington
University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C., on June 26-
28, 2003. Nineteen representatives attended.

On June 26, before meeting with our political leaders we were briefed by local
experts on the political process regarding health research, the present status of
funding for the NIH, and the dim prospects for an adequate increase in funding for
FY2004. This briefing 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. David Moore, Associate Vice President, Office of
Government Relations, AAMC and a leader of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical
Research Funding; Kevin Mathis, Director of the Campaign for Medical Research;
Carrie Golash, Senior Science Policy Analyst, FASEB; and Bill Leinweber, Vice
President of Research!America, reiterated the importance of thanking our political
leaders for the doubling of the NIH budget during the last 5 years, our need to
document the major achievements in health research because of the doubling, the
further need of an annual increase of about 8-10% to keep up the momentum that
would otherwise be lost, and the importance of translating the discoveries from the
laboratory to the patient. At this time the Senate and House have approved granting
the NIH 3.7% and 2.5% increases, respectively, but there has not yet been a final
resolution. We were asked to do our best to convince members of the NIH
Appropriations Committees of the need for a substantial increase, that surveys in all
states of the U.S. where they were conducted showed the population was extremely
enthusiastic about increases in health research, that we should not lose potential
opportunities to reduce suffering from disease, and that bright young people
should not be discouraged from entering scientific careers. Again, it was
emphasized that scientists should contact their representatives on the Hill while at
home in their own Districts, an approach that has been even more productive than
visiting directly on the Hill where these political leaders are extremely busy.

On June 27 we visited Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of the NIH, who had assembled
his senior staff to participate (Drs. Michael Gottesman, Raynard Kington, Brent
Stanfield, Linda Seto, Robin Kawazoe and Ruth Kirschstein). We discussed the
special value of the R01 NIH grant as a key to creativity, and the relatively low
success rate in spite of major increases in the NIH budget. Because of increases in
the number of grant applications, the need to expand grant size, and the great
importance of clinical research (which is expensive) to translate the achievements
of basic science to better health, there are limitations as to what can be afforded.
We were impressed that Dr. Zerhouni clearly recognized all these issues but was
constrained by budgetary limitations. In a newly devised “Road Map” (soon to be on
the web), he stressed the need to further integrate bioscience, the emphasis on
clinical input into research, and the constant reevaluation of new scientific
challenges. We raised the issue of the proposed consolidation of the Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) and the interest in “outsourcing” of
administrative duties formerly carried out by the NIH, which might now go to private
and non-scientific industrial organizations (A-76). Dr. Zerhouni did not anticipate
serious changes in the research grant program or scientific administrative
positions, but the matter would be discussed with HHS. He also agreed on limiting
unnecessary regulatory burdens.

Groups of Caucus participants then visited the offices of Congressmen Ralph
Regula, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, HHS and
Education (responsible for funding NIH); four other members of that Subcommittee,
Representatives Roger Wicker, Nita Lowey, Ernest Istook and Steny Hoyer; as well
as Congressman C.W.”Bill” Young, chairman of the parent House Budget
Appropriations Committee. Other Caucus members visited the offices of Senators
Arlen Specter (chairman), Tom Harkin (Ranking member), and Thad Cochran of the
Senate NIH Appropriations Subcommittee, and Senator Ted Stevens, Chairman of
the parent Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. We expressed our gratitude to our
leaders in the Congress for their generous past support of NIH and health research
during the past 5 years. We also focused on the importance of sustaining the
momentum of progress against disease, which it has been calculated would require
an increase of 8-10% for the coming fiscal year. In addition, we supported significant
growth in the funding of disciplines closely related to biomedical fields, such as
chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, engineering and information technology.
We brought up the financial difficulties being felt by academic health centers and
teaching hospitals, and the need for the Congress to assist these institutions.
Senators Specter and Harkin had proposed significant increases for the NIH beyond
the 2.5% advocated by President Bush, but this issue has not been resolved. The
staff members we met with agreed with our budget proposals, would be happy to
comply, but stated that at this time there was insufficient money available for an
increase beyond those presently proposed increases by the Senate and the House.

Dr. Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation, joined us for a
discussion of activities by the NSF which in so many ways are complementary to
biomedical research. The NSF has been treated more favorably by Congressional
appropriations, (they are hoping for a 9% increase) as many of us in the Caucus
have strongly advocated. Efforts are being made between NSF and NIH to
supplement funding biomedical programs without duplication. She described their
wide interdisciplinary support not only for chemistry, physics, engineering and even
astronomy (better lenses for vision) which relate to human health. Additional
interest has been on microbial and plant biology, virus diseases, super-computers,
imaging, nanoscale development, as well as encouraging minority high school
students to consider careers in science. NSF has a vigorous post-doctoral
fellowship program to encourage training, including molecular biology. NSF grants
are still small compared to NIH grants, and need to be raised to comparable, and
thus more realistic, levels.

At our dinner meeting with Rachel Levinson, Assistant Director Life Sciences, Office
of Science and Technology Policy, (OSTP, the organization that advises President
Bush on scientific matters) we emphasized the need for growth in the NIH budget
for the present and future years beyond that proposed by the President, in order to
sustain health research momentum. However, she felt that for FY2004 this issue
could no longer be modified by the Executive branch. We emphasized that new
science student recruitment would be set back unless our brightest young minds
see that there is a future in scientific careers She mentioned the importance of
coordinating basic with applied research, the need for better coordination between
NIH, CDC, Department of Energy (DoE) and the medical community regarding
vaccination programs, anti-terror activities, and translational research, in which
clinicians should play an increasing role. We discussed the financial difficulties
presently facing our academic health centers and teaching hospitals, for which
governmental support is required. We also brought up the importance of continuing
to attract foreign scientists to the US since they represent such a vital ingredient
for our scientific accomplishments.

Dr. Michael Martin, representing the NIH Center for Scientific Review, brought us
up-to-date on the ongoing reorientation of study sections, for which scientists had
been asked to provide input. The National Academy had prepared a report
suggesting reorganization of scientific review groups. This has been a concern of
many discipline-oriented scientists because the reorganization is more disease
oriented. He mentioned the difficulties of classification of research topics: e.g..
should H. pylori research be characterized under infectious diseases, immunology,
digestion, or genetic susceptibility? He recognized the importance of providing the
roster of participating scientists rather than description of study section functions,
and stressed the need for more senior investigators, women and minorities to
volunteer for service. Many untenured scientists on study sections lack experience
and breadth to deal with topics outside their own areas. Members stressed the
need to review the decision to abolish the physiology study section, and proposed
that the roster of study section members become available for much longer than a
month before the deadline so that applicants can better prepare their applications
before submission. There needs to be a faster system for appeals from
unsuccessful applicants since now it is often quicker to submit a new application.
Dr. Martin noted that for rejected renewal applications extensions with funds and
time are possible directly from the NIH Institutes.

Anthony Mazzaschi, Associate V. P., Biomedical and Health Sciences Research, and
Director of the Council of AAMC’s Academic Societies (CAS), described the
increasing focus by the AAMC on faculty, as previously recommended by the
Caucus. A meeting last October attended by 220 basic science chairs, entitled “The
Evolving Role of the Basic Science Department Chair” was eminently successful.
Another meeting is being planned for 2005. The AAMC has prepared 3 booklets on “
the successful medical school department chair”. New CAS efforts include
improving the quality of basic science departments, promoting successful
collaboration, developing faculty for future leadership roles as chairs and deans,
recruitment of clinicians into research, and easier communication through e-mail
with all chairs and chair organizations. We discussed briefly problems in calculating
“total faculty effort” and compensation for NIH grants, the reorganization of HHS, the
possibility of “outsourcing” to commercial venders of administrative support staff
(A-76), and the recent disclosure about conflict of interests by senior NIH staff which
is concerning Congress.

Caroline Trupp Gil, Office of Legislative and Government Affairs, American Chemical
Society, described their extensive “outreach” Public Affairs program for their
158,000 members. More research funding was being sought for NSF, DoE and
Department of Defense, to encourage recruiting the next generation of scientists.
ACS has been advocating that scientists keep in closer contact with their
Congressional legislators in their own home districts, a message we constantly
heard from all other public affairs specialists.

We are planning to meet again next April just before or after the Experimental
Biology meeting in Washington.

Respectfully submitted

H. George Mandel, Ph.D., Chairman