Sepsis is a serious condition that affects about 1.7 million people and causes about 270,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Because it involves multiple organ systems, it is also one of the clinical research areas supported by NIGMS. Despite decades of research, sepsis remains a poorly understood condition with limited diagnostic tools or therapeutic interventions.
Nearly a year ago, we established a working group of our Advisory Council to advise us on how best to advance sepsis research. At last week’s Council meeting, Dr. John Younger and Dr. Monica Kraft, co-chairs of the working group, presented the group’s recommendations:
1. NIGMS should significantly expand its support of clinical research related to sepsis.
2. NIGMS should broaden its collaborations with other institutes to support clinical trials in sepsis.
3. NIGMS should independently sponsor definitive clinical trials only in extraordinary circumstances.
4. NIGMS should work with the Center for Scientific Review to ensure the availability of reviewer expertise.
5. NIGMS leadership should engage the Office of the Director to conduct a higher-level review of how NIH can best coordinate efforts across institutes and more fully define NIGMS’ role in that effort in order to translate tax dollars into cures.
Details of the recommendations can be found in the final report [PDF]. You can also watch the videocast of the Council presentation. We are grateful for the guidance these recommendations provide and are making plans to begin implementing them.