Action Plan for Liver Disease Research - Guiding Principles
The Action Plan for Liver Disease Research should be a succinct, direct and unbiased set of recommendations for advancing knowledge about the liver and liver diseases that is directed at decreasing the burden of liver disease in the United States. The Action Plan should provide a series of achievable goals for liver disease related research. These should include both primary goals that would directly affect patients with liver disease as well as secondary goals that would materially advance knowledge necessary to achieve the primary goals of decreasing the burden of liver disease.
Five major principles will guide the development of the Action Plan for Liver Disease Research. These principles are axiomatic but have been found reliable in guiding initiatives in biomedical research.
- Stress basic research. Important, fundamental advances in management and prevention of liver disease will come primarily from fundamental advances in knowledge of liver function and liver diseases.
- Strive to translate rapidly findings from basic research to practical means of diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure of liver diseases. Findings from basic research should be applied to clinical issues (bench-to-bedside research) in a timely and reasoned manner. The great increase in knowledge in biology and medicine triggered by advances in cell and molecular biology and the human genome project needs to be applied to diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure of human diseases. Translation is a major focus of the NIH Roadmap and should be the central and major focus of this research Action Plan. (For more information on the NIH Roadmap, click here.)
- Ensure that the clinical advances made in research are disseminated to the medical community and patients with liver disease. If basic and clinical research provide avenues for prevention or control of liver disease, these need to be fully applied in clinical medicine.
- Use all mechanisms and sources of support of research and promote cooperation and coordination. No single means of NIH research support (R01s, P01s, U01s, center grants, intramural funding, training grants and awards, small business innovative research grants) is adequate or ideal for all situations or types of research. Indeed, all sources funding should be pursued in support of advances in liver disease research: these include FDA awards, Veterans Affairs grants, academic society funding, private grant support and funding and industry awards and support. Coordination of approaches and collaborations should be encouraged.
- Emphasize training and career development. The future of liver disease research is directly dependent upon attracting bright and committed investigators into the field. The growing complexity of medical science and methodologies has made research training and career development more challenging and prolonged. All avenues should be pursued to ensure the adequacy of training new investigators in liver disease research.
In developing an Action Plan for Liver Disease Research, several other issues should be considered in each area of research focus:
- Potential for interactions or collaborations with trans-NIH initiatives in advancing basic and clinical research particularly in conjunction with the "NIH Roadmap," a "roadmap" charting the course of NIH-supported biomedical research into the future
- Potential for collaborations with other Federal Agencies, private foundations, and industry. Of particular importance are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA).
- Possible role for collaborations or support of foreign investigators in areas where opportunities are excellent and expertise is available.
- Possible role for lay groups in promoting the research agenda and improvement of support, treatment and prevention of liver disease.
Page last updated: April 19, 2010