Fall 2010 • Issue 21


Scientific Management Review Board Vote on Merger

On September 15, 2010, the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) voted 12 to 3 to recommend to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins a structural merger that would abolish NIAAA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and form a new Institute focused on all addictions, including alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling, and compulsive eating. Dr. Collins announced on November 18 that he accepts the recommendation and has asked NIH Principal Deputy Director Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Director Dr. Stephen I. Katz to pull together a task force of experts from within NIH to determine where substance use, abuse, and addiction research programs currently exist across all of NIH’s 27 Institutes and Centers, and make recommendations about what programs should be moved into the proposed new Institute. Dr. Collins’ recommendation will go to DHHS Secretary Dr. Kathleen Sebelius and Congress. If there is no opposition, the proposed changes will take effect at the start of fiscal year 2013, which commences on October 1, 2012.