National Cancer Institute Director John Niederhuber, M.D., described the institute's plans and priorities for the $1.3 billion it will receive over two years from President Obama's stimulus plan and for a 3 percent increase in its baseline budget. He addressed the American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting 2009. A text copy is available.
Higher RO1 Grant Payline
Using the budget increase for FY 2009, the payline for RO1 grants will rise from last year's 12th percentile (grant must score in top 12 percent to be funded) to the 16th percentile. Coordinated but separate use of stimulus and budget funds will raise it to the 25th percentile.
The payline for young investigators will rise concurrently.
NCI is planning to fund early stage start-up packages to help young faculty members establish their labs. Physician-scientists and Ph.D.s who are committed to translational research will receive the grants.
Three Signature Initiatives
Niederhuber discussed three central projects: expansion of The Cancer Genome Atlas, establishment of a personalized cancer care platform to better move "from data, to function, to target, to therapy," and start up of a network of Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers to explore new approaches by better connecting physical sciences to cancer biology.
A webcast of speech will be posted around 2 p.m. CDT (after the speech).