Specifics for our interview at NCCIH:
Time: May 19th, 10 a.m. to noon
Place: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892-2182
Who will attend: Craig Hopp, Ph.D., Program Director, Division of Extramural Research, NCCIH; John Williamson, Ph.D., Branch Chief, Basic and Mechanistic Research in Complementary and Integrative Health, Division of Extramural Research, NCCIH; Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., Director of NCCIH; Barbara Gerrantana, Ph.D., Program Director, Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry, NIGMS; plus others.
Agenda: Four 20-minute presentations and roundtable discussion by representatives of our research community, which we refer to as the Medicinal Plant Consortium (MPC). The first presentation will relay a story of how our basic science understandings have translated into success(es) for botanical/nutraceutical utilization presented by Joe Noel, Salk Institute. Three illustrative vignettes capturing community-wide technologies/capabilities creating new knowledge bases and opening new exploratory vistas will follow: Computational/Informatics by Robin Buell, Michigan State University; Analytics by Basil Nikolau, Iowa State University; and Systems/Synthetic Biology by Dan Voytas, University of Minnesota. Our presenters will be accompanied by additional MPC Ambassadors: Toni Kutchan, Danforth Plant Science Center; Elli Wurtzel, The City University of New York; Ed Eisenstein, University of Maryland; Joe Chappell, University of Kentucky.
Outcomes: Our visit will be followed by the submission of a 2-page white paper that we hope NCCIH would find useful for their strategic planning process. The white paper would be due probably the first of June 2015.
Can you endorse our activities? We have been asking members of our research community to endorse these activities by providing some indication of their support. The easiest way is a simple email response indicating your level of support and interest in this effort. If you care to add a few words about your research area, that too would be helpful to communicate to the NIH officials. We would also appreciate receiving the names of others who should be contacted concerning this effort.
Provide inputs: We are also soliciting from you content to be captured in our oral presentations would be appreciated – a slide or even a citation to something in the literature – anything that you think supports our position that strong, fundamental research paves the way for plant sciences to impact human health. You may send it directly to Joe Chappell who will forward it to the appropriate presenter. A note such as overarching, computational, analytics, or systems biology would be helpful as well.
The desired outcome of seeing new funding mechanisms for plant science will take time and continuous prodding from a unified research community. Hence, your continued engagement and support is essential. We understand how busy everyone is and will do our best to limit our emails and solicitations, but your agreement to support this effort is essential now. Please let us know if we can count on you as part of the MPC team.
Joe Chappell and Ed Eisenstein