FY 2013 Request for National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

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Publication date: 
17 February 2012
Number: 
27

The  National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the  National Institutes of Health, celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.  The “Director’s Overview” in its budget document    explains:

“The  mission of National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)  is to improve human health by leading the development and accelerating the  application of biomedical technologies. By focusing on improving health care  through technology, NIBIB invests resources in scientific and technological  opportunities and in the next generation of researchers. NIBIB is at the  forefront of translating scientific advances into engineered medical solutions.  Ultimately, NIBIB seeks to realize innovations that address health care  challenges, reduce disease mortality and morbidity, and enhance quality of  life. To accomplish this goal, NIBIB continues to fund bold and far-reaching  projects that facilitate discovery and translate basic science into new and improved  health care.”

Budget Request:

NIBIB’s  FY 2012 budget is $338.0 million.     The  FY 2013 budget request is $336.9 million, a decline of $1.1 million or 0.3  percent

The  current budget for the National Institutes of Health, $30.860 billion, would  remain constant under the FY 2013 budget request.

NIBIB’s  “Overall Budget Policy” is described as follows:

“NIBIB  funding policies give special consideration to applications that bridge and  integrate the life and physical sciences, and also focus on enhancing support  for new investigators. Funds are included in R&D contracts to support  trans-NIH initiatives, such as the Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences  Opportunity Network (OppNet).”

The  Director’s Overview describes four “themes.”   The first, “Investing in Basic Research,” states:

“NIBIB  supports research at the convergence of engineering, mathematics, and the  physical and life sciences to advance fundamental discoveries and knowledge in  basic biomedical research. Such convergence science approaches are leading to  improved understanding of human physiology in both health and disease, and  answering some of the biologic mysteries required for the design of improved  diagnostics and therapies.”

The  second theme, “Accelerating Discovery through Technology” is described as  follows:

“The  promise of exciting basic discoveries is limited by existing technological  tools with adequate temporal-spatial resolution to examine biological processes  across all physical scales. In FY 2013, NIBIB plans to pursue technology  development that will enable such discoveries. For example, the development of  imaging mass spectroscopy approaches provides tools that could be used to study  complex functions of cells. Research on bioinformatics and computational tools  to collect multi-parametric data in parallel and to analyze large volumes of  data will complement the research on advanced discovery tools.”

The  third theme is “Advancing Translational Science”:

“A  recent example of advancing translational science that could have a broad  impact is the development of a hand-held integrated NMR [nuclear magnetic  resonance], micro-fluidics, nanotechnology and smart phone device to detect and  molecularly characterize cancer at the bedside. Early studies indicate this may  be more accurate at the point-of-care than traditional biopsies that return results  in days. This new technology is currently undergoing further clinical  validation and is described in more detail in the first program portrait.

“NIBIB  also supports the development of imaging techniques for early disease  detection, which can facilitate early treatment and potentially reduce costly  chronic conditions.”

Finally,  “Encouraging New Investigations and New Ideas”:

“NIBIB  is an enthusiastic supporter of new investigators and has a longstanding policy  that provides an additional 5 percentile point advantage to these individuals  when selecting grants for funding. In FY 2011, the number of NIBIB-supported  new investigators was equivalent to 45 percent of the new R01 awards. This  policy encourages and nurtures the next generation of researchers who are  likely to push the innovation boundaries.”