While many of us were getting a jump on the holiday weekend, President Obama signed the FY12 omnibus appropriations bill on Friday, Dec. 23. The bill set the FY12 funding levels for government agencies covered by the remaining nine appropriations bills, which included the National Institutes of Health. The bill also establishes a new NIH center, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences with a budget of $575 million for FY12.
Even now that NCATS has its official seal of approval, many in the research community are still wary of how the reorganization process will proceed. Specifically, there is concern over the future of those programs that were housed in the National Center for Research Resources, which was eliminated with the establishment of NCATS.
In a memo sent out to the NIH staff, NIH director, Francis Collins, outlined the NCATS temporary leaders: the acting director will be Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health and the acting deputy director will be Kathy Hudson, NIH deputy director for science, outreach, and policy. NIH began soliciting for the first NCATS director in the fall.
The ASBMB Office of Public Affairs will continue to monitor the NCATS reorganization process and keep you informed with the latest information.