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In the broader field of sports medicine research, the NIAMS has successfully increased the support for research grants in the past five years.
To date there have been 70 grant applications received in response to the Program Announcement on Musculoskeletal Fitness and Sports Medicine, of which 28 were funded. Both basic and clinical science projects cover a wide range of topics from tendon injury healing to clinical studies comparing reconstruction surgery for anterior cruciate ligaments. The most recent special effort of the NIAMS in the sports area was support of a workshop and book on sports-induced inflammation.
Question. Particular concerns have been raised of late regarding the use by athletes of anabolic steroids. Has the Institute supported any studies examining the effects of these steriods by young athletes?
Answer. The NIAMS has not supported research projects on anabolic steriods. We have had very few meritorious applications to consider. Clinical studies of anabolic steroid use are hindered by the reluctance of users to reveal their use and participate in well designed investigations. We would welcome meritorious applications for research in this important field.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH RESOURCES
STATEMENT OF DR. ROBERT A. WHITNEY, DIRECTOR
Senator HARKIN. Again my apologies for the delay due to a vote.
Dr. Whitney, we have your budget request for $320 million. I notice you have the distinction of being the only center or institute that is requesting a cut below your 1991 appropriations. In spite of this cut, I notice that your clinical research, research technology, and animal sciences programs all would grow at rates above inflation.
Dr. Whitney, welcome again. Please proceed with your state
Dr. WHITNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to present the President's request for the fiscal year 1992 appropriation for the National Center for Research Resources.
Our three largest research centers programs, the General Clinical Research Centers, the Biomedical Research Technology Centers, and the Regional Primate Research Centers, as a group, comprise the largest national contribution of resources specifically identified for use in biomedical research. This request includes funding to continue support for these centers.
Like all of the programs in NCRR, these three resource centers programs provide effective mechanisms for containing research costs because they offer economies of scale and sharing of resources not otherwise available. The resources which the NCŘR has developed and now supports are too expensive to be provided within a single research project or even by a cluster of individual projects.
In addition to supporting the major resource centers for NIH and PHS-funded investigators, the NCRR continually develops new resources hastening the progress of research. For example, developing a wide spectrum of new models of human disease processes is a principal focus of the NCRR's new research project grant activity.
Much of the 1991 increase in the biological models and materials research program was in support of research project grants. The 1992 request would continue that program and also continue the development of mammalian models in the Regional Primate Research Centers and Laboratory Animal Sciences Centers and computer-based models in the Biomedical Research Technology Centers.
The research capabilities of institutions with predominantly minority enrollment will be developed further through the research centers in minority institutions program and construction of new research facilities at historically black colleges and universities and similar minority institutions through the $15 million requested in 1992 for research facilities improvement.
PREPARED STATEMENT Of special note, the NCRR will continue to help develop one of the Nation's most important areas of investment in the future, future biomedical researchers. NCRR will continue to increase support for minority high school students and their science teachers to experience the excitement of the hands-on research environment.
Woven together, these programs strengthen and enhance the environments in which research advancements can take place.
The total 1992 budget request for NCRR is $320,975,000. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. [The statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF DR. ROBERT A. WHITNEY
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
I am pleased to present the
Fiscal Year 1992 budget request for the National Center for Research Resources
Many of the breakthroughs and research advancements described during
these hearings were made possible by or came about as a direct outgrowth of
the resources and infrastructure developed and provided by the NCRR.
The interrelated network of resource centers supported by the NCRR meets
the needs of biomedical researchers across the spectrum of requirements, from
clinical research to biomedical technology to animal models.
NCRR's centers are resource centers, they are the backbone that keeps the
research enterprise, carried on through research project grants, research
centers, and other research awards, upright and moving forward.
represent approximately one-third of NIH's budget for research centers.
Our three largest research centers programs--the General clinical
Research Centers (GCRCs), the Biomedical Research Technology Centers, and the
Regional Primate Research Centers--as a group, comprise the largest national
collection of resources specifically identified for use in biomedical
Our GCRCs are home for more than 4,500 research studies and
projects funded by all the NIH components across the entire range of
For example, investigators at the GCRCs have been
pivotal in the development of the technology for kidney, liver, bone marrow,
and heart transplants as well as those for other org
transplant was performed in the early 1960's at the University of Colorado
The co-recipient of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology, Dr.
E. Donnall Thomas, did some of his pioneering work in bone marrow
transplantation at the University of Washington GCRC.
breaking research on transplantation of pancreatic islet cells is ongoing at
the University of Miami GCRC.
AIDS research is being supported at ever
increasing levels, both pediatric and adult, and both inpatient and
We are proud of the planning that allowed us to have the clinical
research infrastructure in place for use in AIDS clinical trials--the GCRCS
host studies from many of the AIDS Clinical Trials Groups funded by the NIAID
as well as AIDS studies funded by other NIH institutes.
Some of the really exciting developments in research are now occurring in structural and molecular biology.
The ability to picture the structure of
crystals and the construction of cells and their component parts has contrib
uted greatly to the progress of drug and vaccine development, and to identify.
ing the location of genetic material.
For example, analysis of the structure
of the AIDS virus receptor protein, CD4, was accomplished by X-ray diffraction
The Biomedical Research Technology Centers are the locus of cutting.
edge developments in high-tech instrumentation, such as synchrotron beam
lines, magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, and state-of-the-art
computers, which have enabled the advances in these areas and are opening the
doors to even greater progress.
Availability of appropriate models for the study of human disease is
another important requirement met by the NCRR.
While the Biomedical Research
Technology Program supports work in computer-based modelling, the Regional
Primate Research Centers, the Laboratory Animal Sciences Centers, and the
Biological Models and Materials Research Centers all provide living models
specially developed for use in particular areas of biomedical research, from
non-human primates to the cells of humans and of nonmammalian organisms.
example, researchers have identified three defective genes in a mutant strain
of the roundworm, C. elegans, that are involved with cell death; a toxic
product of at least one of these genes leads to the degeneration of nerve
cells in this nematode.
The mutant strain which contains the defective genes
has been deposited in the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center.
This Center, a
repository which contains over 1400 strains of nematode, has already
distributed this mutant to several other investigators interested in studying
Since humans and the roundworm share many of the
same neurotransmitters and neurological genes and proteins, C. elegans can
serve as a useful analogy to the human brain and provide a means to understand
some of the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases.
extremely important contribution of these centers, the discovery of the
susceptibility of macaque monkeys to Simian Immunodeficiency Virus and to one
form, of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, will enable researchers to use these
animals in the development of AIDS vaccines and therapies.
Like all of the programs in the NCRR, these resource center programs
provide effective mechanisms for containing research costs because they offer