The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) last week submitted comments to a request for information (RFI) from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) related to their 2016-2020 strategic planning. FASEB encouraged ORIP to continue centralized support for the numerous animal repositories and resource centers.
ORIP provides research infrastructure and related research programs to the NIH community through the Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) and the Division of Construction and Instruments (DCI). The RFI sought feedback on the scope of the programs within DCM and DCI and possible future directions to maximize benefits of animal model research.
FASEB noted that maintaining these centers centrally facilitates consistency among research programs and maximizes the prior investment borne by NIH. FASEB also encouraged ORIP to offer a G20 grant mechanism that would allow institutions to upgrade their facilities to develop and house potential new animal models, such as those resulting from emerging technologies like the CRISP/CAS system of gene editing. In addition, FASEB suggested that ORIP develop standards for the systematic phenotypic characterization of animal models for ensuring reproducibility, and host a workshop on this topic. Finally, FASEB affirmed the essential need of non-human primates in biomedical research and urged ORIP to continue supporting the National Primate Research Centers to the fullest extent possible. ORIP will continue to accept comments on the RFI through March 16, 2015.