January 12, 2000
To: Ruth L. Kirschstein, M.D.
Acting Director, NIH
From: Director, NIDDK
Subject: Transmittal of Current Working Draft of NIDDK Strategic Plan
Attached is the current working draft of the five-year NIDDK Strategic Plan. The strategies outlined in this draft plan speak to the opportunities and challenges facing our Institute. They are the product of the NIDDK's senior scientific management team, working in collaboration with the National Advisory Council, the scientific community at large, lay and professional organizations, and the public.
As requested in the NIH guidance, the NIDDK's draft Strategic Plan is neither a budget nor an advocacy document, nor is it disease specific. Instead, the Plan's scientific orientation targets the most promising cross-cutting research areas in which progress is likely achievable within a five-year time frame. The focus is on the following trans-NIDDK and trans-NIH scientific themes: genes and their impact on disease; cell biology; prevention and treatment of disease; and research infrastructure.
The NIDDK's draft Strategic Plan was developed through scientific Working Groups, one group for each of the Strategic Plan's four themes. The NIDDK senior scientific management served as the "Writing Chairs" and helped to cross-fertilize ideas among the Working Groups. The Working Groups were responsible for identifying and emphasizing the common themes, scientific opportunities, and research challenges across the programs and divisions of the NIDDK. The process also included obtaining public input, and making the Plan understandable to the Congress and lay audiences so as to foster wide distribution. For example, the NIDDK also held a major meeting for public comment on the process and draft document on October 18, 1999.
I would like to emphasize that this document is still in draft form and will be circulated to our National Advisory Council for review in February. We will continue to revise the document as we receive comments. We may also further expand on certain topics through the use of sidebars, as well as through use of additional text boxes to illustrate our defined scientific concepts.
Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.