NIH Nutrition Research Task Force
The National Institutes of Health Nutrition Research Task Force (NRTF) was established in October 2016 to coordinate and accelerate progress in nutrition research across the NIH. Dr. Christopher Lynch, Director of NIDDK’s Office of Nutrition Research, serves as the Task Force Executive Secretary.
Developing the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan on Nutrition Research
The NRTF is guiding the development of the first NIH-wide 10-year strategic plan for nutrition research. The strategic plan emphasizes cross-cutting, innovative opportunities to advance nutrition research across a wide range of areas, from basic science to experimental design to training.
Accelerating Nutrition Research
The opportunities in the strategic plan complement and enhance ongoing research efforts across NIH to improve health and to prevent or combat diseases and conditions affected by nutrition.
The graph below shows NIH nutrition research funding for fiscal year (FY) 2017.
Figure 1. Estimated NIH Nutrition Research Funding, FY 2017View description of Figure 1
Implementation of the Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research is expected to begin after the final plan is released.
The Task Force is chaired by Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Co-chairs are Dr. Gary Gibbons, Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Dr. Norman Sharpless, Director of the National Cancer Institute; and Dr. Diana W. Bianchi, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Participants on the Task Force represent these and other Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) within NIH.
Figure 2. Proposed NRTF Strategic Planning TimelineView description of Figure 2
Update on NRTF Strategic Planning Activities
- A Writing Group (WG) was formed in Fall 2016. The WG developed a detailed outline that was completed in spring 2017.
- Literature Review: Also in Fall 2016, led by ONR, the NRTF conducted a survey of recent scientific literature to identify research gaps that had been captured by other federal agencies, professional societies, and researchers working across the field of nutrition.
- Online Crowdsourcing Website: In Spring 2017, an online crowdsourcing platform was used to solicit information from members of the public regarding critical gaps and opportunities in nutrition research that could be addressed by research funded by the NIH. Letters inviting participation in the crowdsourcing effort were shared with more than 40 professional societies as well as with all individual researchers who had submitted a nutrition-related grant proposal to the NIH in the past 5 years. The NRTF thanks all the individuals and organizations who took the time to provide their suggestions.
- A Senior Leadership Group was appointed to guide the composition of the draft strategic plan and the implementation of the plan once it is complete.
- External Speakers Have Addressed the NRTF: There have been four meetings of the Task Force since June 2017. During these meetings, the following external speakers have discussed opportunities and gaps in nutrition research.
- Dennis Bier, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Nutrition, and director of the Children's Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine
- Susan T. Mayne, Ph.D., Director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
- Diane O’Brien, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Wildlife/ Institute of Arctic Biology University of Alaska
- Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Department of Nutrition, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
- Nutrition Research Thought Leaders Panel: In June 2017, an external panel of 30 experts across diverse areas of nutrition science were invited to provide input on prioritizing research gaps and opportunities identified in the literature and crowdsourcing effort. Panel members included:
|Panel Member Name||Panel Member Organization|
|Lindsay H. Allen, PhD||United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of California, Davis|
|David B. Allison, PhD||Indiana University|
|Cheryl A.M. Anderson, PhD, MPH, MS||University of California, San Diego|
|Rozalyn M. Anderson, PhD||University Wisconsin|
|David J. Baer, PhD||United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS)|
|Teresa A. Davis, PhD||Baylor College of Medicine|
|Michael K. Georgieff, MD||University of Minnesota|
|Penny Gordon-Larsen, PhD||University North Carolina|
|James R. Hébert, ScD||University South Carolina|
|Frank Hu, M.D., PhD, MPH||Harvard University|
|Dushanka V. Kleinman, DDS, MScD||University of Maryland|
|David M. Klurfeld, Ph.D.||United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS)|
|Nancy F. Krebs, MD, MS||University of Colorado|
|Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA||Johns Hopkins University|
|Danny Manor, PhD||Case Western Reserve University|
|Nilesh Mehta, MD||Harvard University|
|Julie A. Mennella, PhD||Monell Chemical Senses Ctr.|
|Simin N. Meydani, D.V.M., PhD||Tufts University|
|Christopher B. Newgard, PhD||Duke University|
|Diane M. O'Brien, Ph.D.||University of Alaska Fairbanks|
|Karen E. Peterson, DSc||University of Michigan|
|Ross L. Prentice, PhD||Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center|
|W. Sue Ritter, PhD||Washington State University|
|A. Catharine Ross, PhD||Pennsylvania State University|
|Cary R. Savage, PhD||University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Alison Steiber, PhD, RDN||Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics|
|Patrick J. Stover, PhD – Chair||Texas A&M University|
|Linda V Van Horn, PhD, RD||Northwestern University|
|Gary D. Wu, MD||University of Pennsylvania|
|Thomas R. Ziegler, MD||Emory University|
- Thematic Framework: The NRTF reviewed the external input to refine a list of research opportunities and develop a thematic framework for organization of the strategic plan. The current draft highlights seven major themes.
- Public Comment Period on the Draft Strategic Plan: From November 15, 2018 to December 15, 2018, the NRTF invites you to review the draft Strategic Plan and provide comments and suggestions before it is finalized. For more information, please review the Draft Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research and the Request for Information (RFI): Soliciting Input on the Draft Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research.
- Final Plan: Following the public comment period, the draft will undergo revisions and final clearance. The final Strategic Plan is expected in early 2019, after which the implementation process will begin.
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