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NAEC Meeting Minutes - February 10, 2000

Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health

National Eye Institute

February 10, 2000

The National Advisory Eye Council (NAEC) convened for its ninety-fourth meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 10, 2000, in Conference Room H, Executive Plaza North, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Rockville, Maryland. The Director of the National Eye Institute (NEI), Carl Kupfer, M.D., presided as Chair of the Council. The meeting was open to the public from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., followed by the closed session review of grant applications until adjournment at 4:00 p.m. Attachment A provides a roster of Council members.

Council members present:

  • Dr. Anthony J. Adams
  • Dr. Dean Bok
  • Dr. Constance Cepko
  • Ms. Patricia A. Cleary
  • Dr. Martha C. Constantine-Paton
  • Dr. M. Rosario Hernandez
  • Lt. Col. William J. Flynn (Ex Officio)
  • Dr. Gordon E. Legge
  • Dr. Anthony B. Nesburn
  • Dr. P. Sarita Soni
  • Dr. Larry J. Takemoto
  • Dr. Marco A. Zarbin (Ex Officio)

Council members absent:

  • Mr. Sanford Cloud, Jr.
  • Mr. Richard T. Hellner

NEI Staff Present:

  • Ms. Margie Baritz
  • Dr. Ralph J. Helmsen
  • Dr. Mary Frances Cotch
  • Ms. Rosemary Janiszewski
  • Mr. William W. Darby
  • Dr. Carl Kupfer
  • Mr. Michael Davis
  • Dr. Natalie Kurinij
  • Ms. Lois M. DeNinno
  • Dr. Ellen S. Liberman
  • Ms. Linda Dingle
  • Dr. Andrew P. Mariani
  • Dr. Peter A. Dudley
  • Dr. Jack A. McLaughlin
  • Ms. Judith A. Duff
  • Dr. Loré Anne McNicol
  • Ms. Lois Eggers
  • Ms. Kathleen L. Moy
  • Mr. Donald F. Everett
  • Dr. Michael D. Oberdorfer
  • Dr. Richard S. Fisher
  • Ms. Karen Robinson Smith
  • Ms. Carol Fivozinsky
  • Ms. Judy Stein
  • Dr. Maria Y. Giovanni
  • Mr. John Whitaker

Other NIH Staff Present:

  • Dr. Luigi Giacometti, CSR
  • Dr. Carole L. Jelsema, CSR
  • Dr. Ruth L. Kirschstein, OD
  • Dr. Anne E. Schaffner, CSR

Food and Drug Administration Staff Present:

  • Dr. A. Ralph Rosenthal

The following members of the general public were present at the open session:

  • Ms. Joanne Angle, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • Dr. Israel A. Goldberg, Health Research Associates
  • Dr. Paul A. O’Brien, Health Research Associates
  • Ms. Lois Schoenbrun, American Academy of Optometry
  • Dr. John Whitener, American Optometric Association
  • Dr. Elaine Young, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International

Open Portion of the Meeting

I. Call to Order and Opening Remarks

Dr. Carl Kupfer called the meeting to order and welcomed the Council members and guests.

II. Announcements and Introductions

Dr. Kupfer announced that Dr. Loré Anne McNicol has been appointed Director of the Division of Extramural Research (DER). She has been with the NEI for ten years as the Corneal Diseases Program Director and Director of the Vision Research Program.

Dr. Kupfer introduced Mr. William W. Darby, the new NEI Grants Management Officer. Mr. Darby received a BS in Business Management and Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, worked in private business, then joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). As the NHLBI Grants Management Officer, he was responsible for leading the fiscal and administrative management of a $1 billion grants and contracts program, and he has had considerable experience in the development of trans-NIH automation and management information systems.

Dr. Kupfer introduced Dr. Ronald Geller, Director of the NIH, Office of the Director, Office of Extramural Programs (OEP). The OEP coordinates extramural program policies on issues such as research training, small business programs, peer review, and staff training.

Dr. Kupfer introduced three new Advisory Council members: Drs. Constantine-Paton, Legge, and Soni.

Martha Constantine-Paton, Ph.D., is Professor, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is an internationally recognized authority on developmental neurobiology and the sensory physiology of vision and audition. She is a distinguished scientist, having received, among many honors, the MERIT award from NEI and the Schutze Memorial Lecturer Award from Columbia University. Dr. Constantine-Paton was a member of the NIH Visual Sciences B Study Section, and served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She was a member of the Strabismus, Amblyopia and Visual Processing Panel for Vision Research—A National Plan: 1999-2003.

Gordon E. Legge, Ph.D., is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota. He is an outstanding scientist, known for his research on the psychophysics of visual perception, tactile perception, and cognitive science. Dr. Legge has received numerous honors, including an NEI MERIT award, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Optometric Association, and the Pisart Vision Award from the Lighthouse Inc. Dr. Legge has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and was a member of the Low Vision planning panel for the last two publications of Vision Research—A National Plan.

P. Sarita Soni, O.D., is Professor, Optometry and Visual Sciences, at the Indiana University School of Optometry. She is a highly-regarded clinician scientist and an authority on research aimed at correcting refractive error. Dr. Soni is a diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry and served as President of the American Optometric Foundation. She is prominent in many professional societies.

III. Confidentiality / Avoidance of Conflict of Interest

Dr. Loré Anne McNicol, Director, DER, NEI, and Executive Secretary of the Council, reviewed policies and procedures regarding confidentiality and avoidance of conflict of interest situations. To avoid conflict of interest, members of federal advisory committees must not participate in the discussion of any application or proposal in which they, their spouse, minor child, close professional associate, or organization has a financial interest or affiliation. The Council members signed a statement certifying that they were absent during such discussions.

IV. Consideration of Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes of the October 29, 1999, National Advisory Eye Council meeting were considered and approved as submitted.

V. Future Council Meeting Dates

The following dates were agreed upon for future Council meetings:

February 8-9, 2001
June 7-8, 2001
September 13-14, 2001

VI. Budget Overview

Ms. Carol Fivozinsky, Budget Officer, NEI, summarized the NEI budget for FY 2000. She said that the NEI received a 14% increase over the FY 1999 level. Ms. Fivozinsky noted several specific provisions in the Conference Bill or Report, including delayed obligations (the NEI plans to reach its $86.7 million target by delaying September noncompeting commitments until September 29th) and extramural construction authority of $75 million for the National Center for Research Resources.

Ms. Fivozinsky presented details of the FY2001 President’s budget, which was formally transmitted to Congress on February 7, 2000. It includes a $1 billion increase for NIH, equivalent to a 5.6% increase. Within this budget, NEI is proposed to receive a $24 million (5.3%) increase over FY 2000. For research project grants, there would be a 5.5% increase in funding, equal to $20 million. For both noncompeting and competing grants, average cost increases were limited to 2%–which is below inflation. The budget request restrains the growth of awards and award sizes to control the growth of commitments and to avoid cutting into new initiatives. Thus, NIH is proposing to fund 1300 fewer grants in FY 2001. The scientific areas that NIH is emphasizing within the FY 2001 budget are: Genetic Medicine, Clinical Research, Interdisciplinary Research, and Eliminating Health Disparities.

VI. Extramural Research Program

Dr. Jack A. McLaughlin, Deputy Director, NEI, reviewed the budget for the extramural research program for FY1999. The NEI funded 1004 research project grants in FY 1999, 15 more than it funded in FY 1998. The success rate for FY 1999 competing grants was 39.8%. NEI funded two new Core grants and increased the average level of support for Core grants by 10%. Dr. McLaughlin said that the “Other” research category increased to allow funding of additional career development awards and clinical research projects.

VII. FY 99 RFA Funding

Dr. McNicol summarized the outcomes of the NEI FY 1999 Requests for Applications. She indicated that 52 NEI applications were submitted for eight special initiatives and that nine applications were funded. Other NIH Institutes transferred $1.9 million to the NEI to support seven of the funded projects.

VIII. Salary Cap Issues

Dr. McNicol provided updated information regarding the limitation of salary on NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards. For FY 2000 awards, the legislatively imposed salary limitation is linked to the Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. For the period October 1 through December 31, 1999, the level was $136,700. After January 1, 2000, the level increased to $141,300.

IX. ARVO 2000 Symposium

Dr. Ellen S. Liberman, Lens and Cataract and Glaucoma Program Director described the Symposium on Ocular Development and Eye Diseases that the NEI will sponsor at the ARVO 2000 annual meeting. This symposium intends to communicate the state of knowledge of transcriptional regulation as it relates to ocular development and disease. The five speakers will link basic embryology, genetics, and physiological studies with clinical investigations into the molecular bases of eye diseases.

X. Functional Genomics Resources

Dr. Maria Y. Giovanni, Retinal Diseases Program Director, presented the results the September, 1999, NEI Functional Genomics Workshop. She indicated that the recommendations developed are available on the NEI website, http://www.nei.nih.gov. She described implementation activities that the NEI will pursue in FY 2000. These include administrative supplements to support DNA microarray facilities, cDNA library construction, and web site development.

XI. Low Vision Education Program

Ms. Judith Stein, NEI Associate Director for Health Education and Communication, described the launch of the NEI Low Vision Education Program on October 19, 1999, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The Program includes a multimedia public service campaign and a traveling exhibit that will be displayed in shopping malls around the country. The Program will also provide communities nationwide with materials and technical support to increase awareness of local low vision services and resources.

XII. Presentation by Acting Director, NIH

Dr. Ruth L. Kirschstein, Acting Director, NIH, described her activities since assuming leadership of the NIH. She indicated that the roadmap for scientific development is in place and that Congress has been generous in increasing the NIH budget. Dr. Kirschstein reviewed NIH plans for the construction of a Integrated Neurosciences Research Center. This Center will include intramural researchers from the NEI as well as four other neuroscience Institutes, and would be based on an open laboratory concept; with increased emphasis on clinical research; and expanded activities to address health disparities.

XIII. Review of Council Operating Procedures

Mr. William W. Darby, Grants Management Officer, NEI, reviewed the formal guidelines for Council operations which cover procedures for the Council Review of grant and cooperative agreement applications, and for staff negotiations and administrative actions concerning projects recommended previously by the Council. Following a brief discussion, Council voted unanimously to approve the procedures as presented. The approved Council Operating Procedures are presented in Attachment B.

Closed Portion of the Meeting

The next portion of the meeting was closed to the public in accordance with the determination that it was concerned with matters exempt from mandatory disclosure under Sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5, U.S. Code and Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2).

XIV. Review of Research and Training Applications

The Council considered 303 research and training applications requesting $394.1 million in total all year costs. The Council recommended 299 applications with a total all year cost of $378.9 million. Council members absented themselves from the meeting during discussion of and voting on applications from their own institutions, or other applications in which there was a potential conflict of interest, real or apparent. Members signed a statement to this effect.

XV. Adjournment

Dr. Kupfer adjourned the meeting at 4:16 p.m. on February 10, 2000.

XVI. Certification

I hereby certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the foregoing minutes and attachment(s) are accurate and complete.

Loré Anne McNicol, Ph.D.
Executive Secretary
National Advisory Eye Council
Director, Division of Extramural Research
National Eye Institute

Carl Kupfer, M.D.
National Advisory Eye Council
National Eye Institute

These minutes will be submitted for the approval of the Council at the June 8, 2000, meeting. Any corrections or notations will be incorporated into the minutes of that meeting. A complete, printed copy of the Council minutes, including attachments, may be obtained from:

Ms. Lois M. DeNinno
National Eye Institute
Executive Plaza South, Suite 350
6120 Executive Blvd MSC 7164
Bethesda, MD 20892-7164
Telephone: (301) 496-9110
FAX: (301) 402-0528
e-mail: lmd@nei.nih.gov


Attachment A

National Advisory Eye Council

National Eye Institute

(Terms end 11/30 of the designated year)

Anthony J. Adams, O.D., Ph.D. (00)
Dean and Professor of Vision Science and Optometry
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2020
Dean Bok, Ph.D. (02)
Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1763
Constance Cepko, Ph.D. (01)
Professor of Genetics
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02115
Patricia A. Cleary, M.S (02)
Senior Research Staff Scientist
The George Washington University
Rockville, MD 20852
Martha C. Constantine-Paton, Ph.D. (03)
Professor of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139
Sanford Cloud, Jr. (01)
President and CEO
The National Conference for Community and Justice
New York, NY 10016
Richard T. Hellner (00)
President and CEO
Prevent Blindness America
Schaumburg, IL 60173

M. Rosario Hernandez, D.D.S. (02)
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Washington University
St. Louis, MO 63110

Gordon E. Legge, Ph.D. (03)
McKnight Distinguished University Professor of Psychology
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0344
Anthony B. Nesburn, M.D. (00)
Director, Ophthalmic Research Laboratories
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA 90048
P. Sarita Soni, O.D. (03)
Professor of Optometry and Visual Science
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405
Larry J. Takemoto, Ph.D. (02)
Professor of Biology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Department of Veterans Affairs Representative
Marco Z. Zarbin, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Ophthalmology
UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Newark, NJ 07103

Department of Defense Representative

Lt. Col. William J. Flynn, USAF, MC, M.D.
Department of Ophthalmology
Wilford Hall Medical Center
Lackland Air Force Base, TX 78236

Ex Officio Members
Donna E. Shalala, Ph.D.
Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20201
Carl Kupfer, M.D. (Chair)
National Eye Institute
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ruth L. Kirschstein, M.D.
Acting Director
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892

Executive Secretary

Loré Anne McNicol, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Extramural Research
National Eye Institute
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892