:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-25-2011
This past week the NIH announced that it was tightening its rules on financial conflict of interest for researchers receiving funding from drug and medical device companies. The new rules include the following revised regulations:
- Require investigators to disclose to their institutions all of their significant financial interests related to their institutional responsibilities.
- Lower the monetary threshold at which significant financial interests require disclosure, generally from $10,000 to $5,000.
- Require institutions to report to the PHS awarding component additional information on identified financial conflicts of interest and how they are being managed.
- Require institutions to make certain information accessible to the public concerning identified SFIs held by senior/key personnel.
- Require investigators to complete training related to the regulations and their institution’s financial conflict of interest policy.
According to the Washington Post, there are over 40,000 scientists who currently receive more than $5,000 in annual funding from the drug and medical device industries.
Despite the NIH’s move towards increasing financial transparency, not all watchdog groups are happy with the measure.
To read more on this story see the Washington Post article and the associated press release from the NIH.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-03-2011
Yesterday, we told you about a study that found that family physicians are ill-prepared when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients based on their genomic data. As a follow up to that story, I’d like to bring your attention to a recent post by W. Gregory Feero, MD, PhD on KevinMD which talks about the overwhelming growth of genomic data and how the pace of discovery is far exceeding the capacity of the health care system’s IT infrastructure.
According to Dr. Feero, medical record keeping in the United States is a far cry away from being able to house the hundreds of petabytes of genomic data that will eventually need to be stored in their systems. Furthermore, upgrading to compatible systems are bound to be prohibitively expensive. He also postulates that the falling cost of genome sequencing might make it cheaper to sequence individual data on an as-needed basis as opposed to storing the data en-masse.
For further reading visit Data overload and the pace of genomic science
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-27-2011
Rarely do scientists get an opportunity to influence the funding direction of the largest granting agency in the United States, the National Institute of Health. Yet that is exactly what we are being asked to do in the NIH’s latest request for information.
The NIH is requesting that the scientific community send in its ideas on how best to support or accelerate neuroscience research. Responses should address:
- areas of neuroscience research that could be accelerated by the development of specific research resources or tools
- major opportunities for, and impediments to, advancing neuroscience research
- the 2-3 highest priority tools or resources needed to capitalize on the scientific opportunities and overcome obstacles to progress in neuroscience research
- how NIH Blueprint might best facilitate the development of these tools/resources
Your answers could influence where neuroscience funding is directed over the next couple of years so be sure to checkout the NIH website to add your two cents!
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-13-2011
There was an interesting story in the NY Times the other day which was picked by GenomeWeb’s The Daily Scan regarding a couple of biologists who have turned to non-traditional sources of funding to partially fund their research experiments.
The scientific duo from the Robert J. Bernard Biological Field Station in Claremont, Calif, have raised close to $5,000 from online sales of t-shirts and trading cards which will pay for their lab equipment and travel expenses required to conduct their studies in Mexico. While this level of funding certainly would not be sufficient for even the smallest molecular biology lab, their funding methodology is unique and I believe that they should be commended for their resourcefulness.
As we have mentioned in the past, non-peer reviewed fundraising is not entirely new to the biological research community. In a post written several months ago, we told you how the Kanzius foundation is on its way to raising $250,000 through a Facebook campaign. We also told you about the Search for Research campaign promoted on BenchFly which helps raise money for research using a search engine advertizing strategy.
We all hate writing grants and although non-traditional fundraising efforts will not replace traditional sources of funding any time soon, it is still fun to hear about the different activities people are willing to try in order to fund their research.
What “out of the box” fundraising efforts have you come across?
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-11-2011
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—January 11, 2011—During stops in Buffalo,
Rochester and Syracuse yesterday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
announced a new proposal to make the Research and Development Tax
Credit permanent—a move that would greatly boost jobs and business
growth for Upstate New York bioscience and medical technology
companies. According to Sen. Gillibrand, making the tax credit
permanent would increase private investments and provide stability
and certainty to innovative businesses and institutions. “This is
the kind of idea that can move us forward in creating a stronger
economy and creating the jobs that are so desperately needed,”
Gillibrand said. The senator’s proposal would: > Expand the
current credit by changing the formula to provide greater incentive
for companies to increase investment > Simplify the current
credit, which is highly complicated and confusing. > Make the
new credit permanent, which would provide private companies with
the confidence they need to make significant future investments in
R&D. “R&D is vital for the Bio/Med industry in Upstate New
York,” said Heather Erikson, president of MedTech and co-chair of
the State Medical Technology Alliance. “Supporting more competitive
incentives and investments in these areas, on both a state and
national level, will contribute to our industry’s ability to
develop major scientific and medical breakthroughs that fuel
business growth, create new employment opportunities, and promote
economic vitality.” The bioscience and medical technology industry
relies heavily on higher-paying, knowledge-based jobs. It is one of
the most stable industries in New York State paying employees an
average salary of $70,200 compared to the state’s overall average
wage of $60,400, according to the most recent data from the Empire
State Development Corporation. There are more than 200 Bio/Med
companies located in Upstate New York, 70% of which are
headquartered here. For more information about the Upstate Bio/Med
industry, visit www.medtech.org. ABOUT MEDTECH MedTech is an active
association of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical technology
companies, their suppliers and service providers, and research
universities. We boost the growth and prosperity of our members by
connecting them for collaboration, offering educational programs,
sharing news and information, and advocating for the industry with
government and leaders. Our mission is to develop the
relationships, tools and programs that enable Upstate New York
companies to bring tomorrow’s medical solutions to the healthcare
marketplace. For more information, visit