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Research Clips

A weekly roundup of research news items curated from the professional development groups within the AAMC’s Scientific Affairs cluster and other sources.

From the Council of Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS)


The NIH announced the 2018–2019 class of its Medical Research Scholars program. Most scholars in the new class are medical students.
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Wired chronicles the NIH's All of US Research Program, highlighting how outreach to African American churches has been a crucial part of its strategy to enroll a majority of participants from traditionally underprivileged backgrounds.
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NEJM features a special article on clinical trial participants' views of the risks and benefits of data sharing.
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NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, is the first author on a JAMA Viewpoint, "Helping to End Addiction Over the Long-term: The Research Plan for the NIH HEAL Initiative," which outlines how the agency plans to structure the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) program. "HEAL's initial research plan reflects only a portion of its ambitious vision. Further investments are currently in an active planning stage. Additional resources will be directed toward gaps in current plans, including prevention research, precision medicine for pain and addiction, and nonpharmacological and integrated models of pain management," writes Dr. Collins and his coauthors, Walter J. Koroshetz, MD, and Nora D. Volkow, MD.
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The AAMC released a statement yesterday in appreciation of the draft House Labor-HHS Appropriations bill that tentatively increases NIH funding by $1.25 billion over FY2018. "The ongoing work of AAMC member medical schools and teaching hospitals supported by the NIH helps our nation meet the health care challenges of today, creates hope for millions of Americans fighting chronic and life-threatening diseases, and drives local and regional economies. Largely as a result of the subcommittee's tireless efforts, Congress has recognized the importance of medical research to the health of all Americans through robust increases in the NIH budget in recent years. As the process moves forward, we hope lawmakers can work toward a final NIH appropriation that more closely matches this trajectory of meaningful growth above inflation," said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD.
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NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, announced cancellation of the Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health (MACH) trial after it was revealed officials had secretly sought $66 million from alcohol companies to fund the research while fundamental questions about the research design were raised, reports the Washington Post. The NIH also published a news release on the matter.
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The NIH must put more resources toward suicide prevention, said an op-ed in the New York Times that looked at strategies for stemming the rising suicide rate. "Any other disease that comes close to killing as many Americans as suicide does, like HIV and heart disease, gets marquee recognition as a public health menace and major federal research funding. As a result, we have seen the rates of death from heart disease and HIV plummet over time. Not so for suicide," writes Richard A. Friedman, MD, a professor of clinical psychiatry and the director of the psychopharmacology clinic at the Weill Cornell Medical College.
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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report this week, "Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine," describing the biases and barriers—particularly sexual harassment—women face in the sciences. In its coverage of the report, STAT notes that sexual harassment is rampant in academic science and medicine, with no evidence that current policies are sufficient to halt the trend. The report covers surveys from two years of research into harassment in higher education, finding that the issue is more common in engineering and medical settings than non-STEM fields, with nearly half of female medical students reporting they were harassed by faculty or staff.
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From Washington Highlights


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council Meeting, and NHLBI Precision Medicine Engagement
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council met June 12 to provide an update on how the NHLBI is collaborating with the All of Us research program. Read More.

VA National Research Advisory Council Discusses Strategic Priorities for Research and Veteran Engagement
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Research Advisory Council (NRAC) met June 6 to provide updates on priorities for veteran research and engagement. Read More.

Subscribe to Washington Highlights for updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

From the Research on Care Community Health Equity subgroup (ROCChe)

Subscribe to the AAMC Health Equity Research Updates for the latest news in health equity research and policy.