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The NIH Roadmap

The NIH Roadmap

History and Purpose

Soon after becoming the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in May 2002, Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. convened a series of meetings to chart a “roadmap” for medical research in the 21st century. The purpose was to identify major opportunities and gaps in biomedical research that no single institute at NIH could tackle alone but that the agency as a whole must address to make the biggest impact on the progress of medical research. The opportunities for discoveries have never been greater, but the complexity of biology remains a daunting challenge. NIH is uniquely positioned to catalyze changes that must be made to transform our new scientific knowledge into tangible benefits for people

Developed with input from meetings with more than 300 nationally recognized leaders in academia, industry, government, and the public, the NIH Roadmap provides a framework of the priorities the NIH as a whole must address in order to optimize its entire research portfolio. It lays out a vision for a more efficient and productive system of medical research. It identifies the most compelling opportunities in three main areas:

1.     new pathways to discovery,

2.     research teams of the future, and

3.     re-engineering the clinical research enterprise.

At the core of re-engineering is the call to develop new partnerships of research with organized patient communities, community-based health care providers, and academic researchers. This also includes the need to build better integrated networks of academic centers linked to a qualified body of community-based physicians who care for sufficiently large groups of patients interested in working with researchers to quickly develop and test new interventions.

Columbia University Proposal

Columbia University Proposal

In December 2003, a Broad Agency Announcement RM-04-23 entitled “Re-Engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise: Feasibility of Integrating and Expanding Clinical Research Networks” was issued inviting applications to address one long range goal of Re-Engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise: to make the sharing of data among a broad community of clinical researchers a standard practice, by fostering clinical research networks that are based on common or inter-operable infrastructure elements (e.g., informatics, governance, common language, training activities) and that conduct research both in academic and clinical care settings. The deadline for applications was March 5, 2004.

Columbia University Health Sciences responded to the Broad Agency Announcement RM-04-23 with a proposal that had the following primary aims:

  1. Establish a flexible information infrastructure for clinical research, designed to enhance information flow, promote data sharing and reduce redundant effort;
  2. Develop a behavioral model of information technology use in clinical research, based on empirical study of information needs of users, barriers to technology use, and strategies for improving use; and
  3. Promote research quality and encourage best practices through training, information technology for clinical trials, and collaborative technology to improve communication and cohesion.

On September 23, Columbia University Health Sciences was notified that they were awarded one of the 12 contracts issued under BAA-RM-04-23 and that the contract period would start on September 30, 2004.


Read the NIH Overview

View Powerpoint summary of Columbia University Proposal.

Read the entire Columbia University Proposal.

Last updated 02/04/2007

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