As if the NIH didn’t have enough on its plate right now, the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB), authorized by the NIH Reform Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-482), met this past week to discuss whether NIAAA and NIDA should be merged and whether the structure and functionality of the NIH intramural research program and the NIH Clinical Center should be reviewed. The Board, nominated by the Great Zerhouni shortly before announcing his own resignation, unanimously agreed both deserved further study, which of course means meetings and public input and then finally recommendations to the NIH Director and DHHS.
As a reminder,
The NIH Reform Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-482) provides organizational authorities to HHS and NIH officials to:
(1) establish or abolish national research institutes;
(2) reorganize the offices within the Office of the Director, NIH including adding, removing, or transferring the functions of such offices or establishing or terminating such offices; and
(3) reorganize, divisions, centers, or other administrative units within an NIH national research institute or national center including adding, removing, or transferring the functions of such units, or establishing or terminating such units.
The purpose of the Scientific Management Review Board (also referred to as SMRB or Board) is to advise appropriate HHS and NIH officials on the use of these organizational authorities and identify the reasons underlying the recommendations.