Science That Changes Lives

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director

You only have to glance at the mainstream news – never mind the scientific press – to know that the 21st century is biomedical science’s most exciting time ever. Seminal advances made during the last century such as deciphering the structure of DNA, determining the molecular basis of cancer, and developing the first vaccines have combined with innovations in the early part of this century, including the sequencing of the human genome and capturing the potential of induced pluripotent stem cells, to create an incredibly dramatic scientific landscape. Today, we stand on the precipice of understanding, treating, and (in some cases) even eliminating many of the most devastating diseases known to humankind.

For us to realize this vision, and for our research to change lives, we must innovate and stretch our ideas into new and exciting realms. We must continue investing in basic science and then tap into the resulting discoveries to catalyze translational and clinical studies. We must continue to challenge each other, share perspectives, and explore creative solutions. We must also strongly commit to a different yet equally important kind of investment – training the next generation of researchers to think critically, approach challenges with rigor, and to know when to persist and when to change course.

Dr. Michael Gottesman, Deputy Director for Intramural Research

We are pleased to launch a new blog from the Intramural Research Program at the NIH, a program known for its broad approach to scientific investigation, where freedom of our scientists to self-assemble across many different administrative structures catalyzes creativity. The IRP creates a nurturing and tolerant environment dedicated to training the next generation of scientific leaders, while employing a robust quadrennial review process to assure excellence of the scientific programs.

This forum was established as a means for our scientists to share insights, ideas, and information from within our intramural program. Our researchers, like others who dedicate their lives to science, want to make a difference and are driven by the desire to understand problems at the deepest level.

The NIH investment in the IRP has resulted in enormous impact. We take great pride in what has already been accomplished here, and we have great expectations for the scientists currently in our program – as well as our future leaders – who will continue to drive our research forward in support of science that changes lives.