The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science (NAS) on Tuesday (July 29) recommended that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) make major, comprehensive organizational changes. The culmination of a year of discussion and study, their report titled, "Enhancing the Vitality of the National Institutes of Health: Organizational Change to Meet New Challenges," was drafted at the request of Congress amid concerns that the growing size of the NIH has made the organization too unwieldy to address new biomedical research challenges.

The NAS committee chose not to recommend a large-scale consolidation of institutes and centers in order to improve NIH's efficiency. "We think that the basic structure of the NIH is not unreasonable," committee Chair Harold Shapiro told The Scientist. Shapiro, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, told attendees at a briefing in Washington, D.C.,...

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