NIH Research Plan Aims to Prevent and Treat Obesity
Last week, NIH released the 2011 Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research. The plan recommends four overarching research priorities:
- Discover key processes that regulate body weight and influence behavior
- Understand the factors that contribute to obesity and its consequences
- Design and test new interventions for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- Evaluate promising strategies for obesity prevention and treatment in real-world settings and diverse populations
The plan was developed—with input from external scientists, health professionals, and the public—by the NIH Obesity Research Task Force, which includes experts from NCI; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
“Obesity has many causes and contributing factors, and this plan is a bold blueprint that will encourage the research community to examine the epidemic of obesity from diverse angles, from our genes to the environment we live in,” said NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins. “Through the scientific opportunities outlined in the Strategic Plan, researchers can work together toward the goals of preventing and treating obesity, to help people lead healthier lives.”
Learn more about obesity research at NIH at www.obesityresearch.nih.gov.
Research institutions at 27 sites across North America have been selected as part of the new Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN). The CITN will conduct multicenter research on agents that boost patients’ own immune systems to fight their cancer. By coordinating the efforts of academia, industry, and philanthropic foundations, the CITN is charged with accelerating the development of promising agents that have already been discovered but are not currently used to treat patients with cancer.
An open competition was held for institutions to apply for member site status in the CITN, and immunotherapy experts evaluated candidates on the experience, participation, and collaboration of the investigators and their institutions in immunotherapy trials and their ability to provide laboratory expertise in tumor immunology to support the trials.
The member institutions and their principal investigators are:
- Baylor Research Institute – Dr. Karolina Palucka
- Case Western Reserve University – Dr. Pierre Triozzi
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Dr. Stephen Hodi
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center – Dr. Marc Ernstoff
- Duke University Medical Center – Dr. Kim Lyerly
- Emory University – Dr. Edmund Waller
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center – Dr. John A. Thompson
- H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center – Dr. Scott J. Antonia
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center – Dr. Jedd D. Wolchok
- New York University Cancer Institute – Dr. Nina Bhardwaj
- Ohio State University – Dr. William E. Carson
- Providence Cancer Center – Dr. Walter J. Urba
- Roswell Park Cancer Institute – Dr. Kunle Odunsi
- Rush University Cancer Center – Dr. Howard Kaufman
- Stanford University – Dr. Ronald Levy
- University of California, San Diego – Dr. Thomas J. Kipps
- University of California, San Francisco – Dr. Lawrence Fong
- University of Chicago – Dr. Thomas Gajewski
- University of Miami – Dr. Joseph D. Rosenblatt
- University of Minnesota – Dr. Jeffrey S. Miller
- University of Pennsylvania – Dr. Carl June
- University of Pittsburgh – Dr. Robert L. Ferris
- University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center – Dr. Laurence J. N. Cooper
- University of Toronto, Ontario Cancer Institute – Dr. Pamela Ohashi
- University of Virginia – Dr. Craig Slingluff
- University of Wisconsin – Dr. Paul M. Sondel
- Yale University – Dr. Mario Sznol
In September 2010, funding was awarded to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle to serve as the network’s Central Operations and Statistical Center (COSC). Directed by principal investigator Dr. Martin A. Cheever and co-investigators Drs. Mary L. Disis and Kim Margolin, the COSC will provide overall leadership and infrastructure for the CITN. The network will be managed in concert with the NIH/NIAID-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), also based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The NCI’s Cancer Trials Support Unit will operate the data coordination effort for CITN.
An initial meeting of CITN investigators is scheduled for May 9–10 in Bethesda, MD, to discuss the operations of the CITN and to introduce the first concepts to be studied by this new cancer immunotherapy program.
The ninth annual telephone workshop series, “Living With, Through, and Beyond Cancer,” begins this spring. This four-part series offers cancer survivors, their families and friends, and health care professionals practical information to help them cope with concerns and issues that arise after treatment ends.
The series is presented by CancerCare, in collaboration with NCI, LIVESTRONG, the American Cancer Society, the Intercultural Cancer Council, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.
Part I, which takes place on April 12, is titled “Chemobrain: The Impact of Cancer Treatments on Memory, Thinking, and Attention.” Faculty for this program include Dr. Lillian Nail of Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Tim Ahles of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Dr. Patricia Ganz of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The workshops are free, and no telephone charges apply. To register, visit the CancerCare Web site. All workshops will take place on Tuesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT. The remaining three workshops will be held on the following dates: