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Sample of Meeting Minutes for a Federal Advisory Committee (FACA)

A Sample of Meeting Minutes for a Federal Advisory Committee (FACA) Meeting

A Sample of Meeting Minutes


January 27, 1992

The National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research was convened for its fourth meeting at 8:30 A.M. on January 27, 1992, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Elke Jordan, Deputy Director of the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR), introduced the ad hoc consultants for this meeting, Dr. Joseph Nadeau and Dr. William Winslade.

In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 92-463, the meeting was open to the public from 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. The meeting was closed to the public for the review, discussion, and evaluation of grant applications.

Council members present:

Dr. David Botstein
Dr. K. Danner Clouser
Dr. Francis Collins
Dr. Jero-me Cox
Dr. Joe W. Gray
Mr. Hiliary Holloway
Dr. Kay R. Jamison
Dr. Donald Lindberg**
Dr. Joseph Nadeau*
Dr. Dorothy Nelkin
Dr. Shirley Tilghman
Dr. William Winslade*

* Ad Hoc Consultant
** Ex Officio

Staff of the National Center for Human Genome Research attending, in addition to Dr. Jordan and Dr. Watson, were:

Jane Ades, Committee Management officer
Midge Bajefsky, Grants Technical Assistant
Dr. David Benton Assistant to the Director for Scientific Data Management
Erin Burgess, Budget Officer
Audrey Burwell, Grants Management Specialist

For the record, it is noted that to avoid a conflict of interest, Council members absent themselves from the meeting when the Council discusses applications from their respective institutions or in which a conflict of interest may occur. Members are asked to sign a statement to this effect. This does not apply to "en bloc" actions.

Dr. Carol Dahl, Scientific Review Administrator, Office of Scientific Review
Linda Engel, Chief, Office of Scientific Review
Leslie Fink, Chief, office of Human Genome Communications
Mary Glynn, Personnel officer
Dr. Bettie Graham, Chief, Research Grants Branch
Dr. Mark Guyer, Assistant Director for Program Coordination
Ivan Hernandez, Grants Management Specialist

Others present for all or a portion of the meeting were:

Dr. Cheryl Corsaro, DRG
Dr. Donna Dean, DRG
Dr. Elise Feingold, NIH Grants Associate
Dr. M. J. Horan, NHLBI
Ms. M. E. Lebsack, Boulder, Colorado


Dr. Watson reported on the "state of genome." He began with a report from the most recent meeting of the Program Advisory Committee. He briefed the Council on three issues that were discussed at the recent PAC meeting:


Dr. Jordan introduced new members of the NCHGR staff. She noted that the Center was pleased to have established a Personnel Office and introduced Mary Glynn and Cheryl Wild. Also introduced were Beverley Shenandoah, Elise Feingold, and Trenise West. In addition, Dr. Jordan introduced two visitors to the meeting, Winnie Stachelberg of OMB and Ms. M. E. Lebsack from Boulder Colorado.

The minutes from the September Council were approved without change. In a discussion of future meeting dates, Dr. Jordan informed the Council that the appropriation for this year included a directive to the Public Health Service to reduce the funds spent on travel. The NCHGR travel budget was reduced by 42 percent and more than one-half of this budget is needed for meetings of the Program Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council. This has necessitated a severe reduction in staff travel and will also mean that there are not sufficient funds to hold an Advisory Council meeting in September. It was proposed that the September meeting be held in October, at the beginning of the next fiscal year. A number of options were assessed by Council members including telephone conference calls and utilizing video conferencing facilities. It was acknowledged that this would hinder the open, public session of the Council. Dr. Botstein offered a resolution that the Council believes that domestic travel by staff is essential, especially travel to Research Centers and large Program Projects. Regular visits to monitor progress and make decisions on the programs are critical. The resolution was unanimously accepted by the Council.

Dr. Jordan asked the Council members to continue to hold all previously agreed upon dates for future Council meetings.

Dr. Jamison represented the NCHGR Advisory Council at the November meeting of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director and provided a report of that meeting to the Advisory Council. She noted that the meeting included a discussion of indirect costs and peer review, but that most of the discussion focused on the NIH's strategic plan. Dr. Jamison expressed disappointment with many aspects of the plan and stated that she thought it would have limited effectiveness. Dr. Jordan reported that the process related to the strategic plan has been modified since the November meeting of the Advisory Committee and the plan developed by NIH staff should be viewed as a framework for discussion with the scientific community.

Dr. Jordan next directed the Council's attention to the information under the Program Activities Tab:

Scientific Report Card: Dr. Benton was commended for his work in developing this "report card," a measure of progress made on each chromosome, as of January 1992, in mapping the human genome. Dr. Jordan underscored its value in assessing the genome program and guiding it. She noted that it would be useful for a general audience, including the Congress and NCHGR staff, to measure progress. A discussion followed of strategies for disseminating the report card. Dr. Jordan stated that the Center is considering sending the scientific report card and the index marker maps to all grantees. It was considered that they could be issued as a supplement to the genome Newsletter. Dr. Watson reported that he had been discussing the creation of an electronic journal with Dr. Lindberg, Director, NLM, and proposed that this information could be included in such a journal. Dr. Watson assured the Council that he was seeking broad participation of the scientific community in formulating this journal and noted that it would include human data, as well as data on mouse and other model organisms.

Dr. Gray stated that it would be very useful to have information on the names of researchers working on particular chromosomes, including telephone numbers. He noted that information was slow in getting into the Genome Data Base. Dr. Watson requested that Dr. Benton give a report at the next meeting of the Advisory Council on what is in the Genome Data Base. He stated that it is important that problems be shared quickly with those responsible for GDB so that they can be resolved. Dr. Collins noted that it would be very useful to have a listing of all researchers in the genome field. Dr. Guyer reported that we did have lists of attendees at the chromosome-specific workshops. Dr. Watson observed that it is important that information from these workshops be shared in a timely way and that the NCHGR needs to have a staff person attend to ensure that this happens. Dr. Guyer informed the Council that HUGO is aware of and has addressed this very issue.

Report on Index Marker Maps: Dr. Guyer reported that maps have been assembled for about 1/3 of the chromosomes and additional markers have been isolated and are being mapped. Dr. Guyer shared with the Advisory Council that Dr. Helen Donis-Keller of Washington University has volunteered to coordinate an to assemble genetic maps of all chromosomes, based on currently available data, in a standard format and publish them with a deadline for submission of the manuscript of June 1992. Dr. Guyer invited the Council to offer suggestions on what would be useful for this publication. Dr. Watson asserted that it is vital that there be one spot in the Untied States where this information is readily available. Several Council members cited the example of Dr. Eric Lander and his model efforts in making mouse genome data available, including his work with a private company to distribute markers. Dr. Guyer noted that all markers on the human list are publicly available. Dr. Watson requested Grants Paid in FY 91: Dr. Jordan observed that the NCHGR is working on improving its own administrative and scientific databases. A list of all awards made in FY 91 was distributed.


Dr. Jordan commended Dr. Guyer and Joyce Rudick for setting up the NCHGR's scientific data base. Dr. Guyer noted that the tables presented were one way of organizing the data in the scientific data base and he solicited input from the Council on what would be useful. Dr. Botstein stated that he found the tables very useful in looking at the "big picture." Dr. Collins requested similar data for the Department of Energy, tracking dollars and research supported by chromosome. NCHGR staff agreed to see if this information could be secured from the DOE.


Dr. Jordan reviewed the budget tables presented to the Council including the FY 92 Appropriation. Dr. Collins expressed concern about the plateau in training. Dr. Jordan stated that this is a phenomenon in all parts of the NIH. She reported that the Center has shifted its focus to career awards. Dr. Collins noted that training programs will always lag behind research and he was concerned that our options are limited by the budget. Dr. Jordan concurred that they were limited.


Dr. Cox requested information on the report of the Joint Informatics Task Force of the Program Advisory Committee. Dr. Jordan stated that the report of this Task Force, including the disbanding of the Task Force, was approved at the January meeting of the Program Advisory Committee. The report will be edited and published. Dr. Benton reviewed the essence of the report and it was agreed that copies of the report will be distributed to Council members when it is in final form.


Dr. Jordan read the Conflict of Interest statement and reminded the Council members that all review materials furnished to Council members are privileged information. Conflicts involving institutional affiliations already had been identified. Members were asked to absent themselves also during discussions of any applications in which there was a personal or professional conflict that was not readily apparent.


Council reviewed 78 applications requesting $14,328,402. The applications included: 15 regular research grants, 12 applications in response to requests for applications, 9 pilot projects, 1 program project, 18 ethics grants, 6 center grants, 7 conference grants, 8 small business innovative research grants, and 2 academic research enhancement awards. A total of 50 applications requesting $7,842,178 were recommended for approval.


The meeting adjourned at 5:00 P.M.

I hereby certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.

Elke Jordie, Ph.D.
Executive Secretary
National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research

James Watson, Ph.D.
National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research

These minutes will be formally considered by the Council at its next meeting, and any corrections or notations will be incorporated in the minutes of that meeting.


Committee Management Secretariat