NIH director’s possible exit plan: Back to the lab

first_imgFrancis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the past 7 years, expects to go back to full-time research for a while if he’s not asked to stay on by President-elect Donald Trump, the physician-geneticist said this week. And he expressed unhappiness with Congress’s plan to freeze NIH spending at current levels well into next year, dubbing it “crap.”Like other presidential appointees, Collins must submit by 7 December a letter of resignation that says he will resign as of 20 January, Collins told Scientific American earlier this week. After that, “I have no idea … my mind is pretty open. … It’s not really up to me.” But he said he expects to continue to run the lab he has had at NIH for 23 years “come what may.” Collins declined to comment to reporters yesterday on whether he has been talking to the Trump transition team, but said that if he were asked to stay on, “I guess I’d have to see if that actually happened and what the conditions were.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) He told ScienceInsider that if he doesn’t remain NIH director, it’s “absolutely possible” that he would go back to full-time research “at least for a while. It’s sort of like a sabbatical.” He said that he has had “no ability to do any negotiation about possible future roles” in the public or private sectors because of federal conflict of interest rules. “So when people say, ‘You must have a plan on what you’re going to do next,’ and I say ‘I don’t,’ they should believe it because I don’t.”Collins’s NIH lab, which studies the genetics of diabetes and aging, now has about 10 members, including four postdocs. Collins says he could conceivably stay on permanently at NIH: “It is a wonderful place and my lab is very well situated.” He added, however, that in anticipation of a possible move, he has not taken any new trainees into his lab for the past couple years.  Collins, 66, previously took a break after stepping down in 2008 as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, where he led the Human Genome Project. After writing a book about personalized medicine, he became NIH director in August 2009.His predecessor, Elias Zerhouni, also took some time off after resigning shortly before the 2008 presidential election. But Harold Varmus, NIH director in the late 1990s, moved directly from that position to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 1999.Collins has been sending a message of reassurance to NIH staff and the research community since Trump’s upset victory on 8 November. He said yesterday that he’s “not really concerned” about the fate of President Obama’s initiatives in precision medicine and brain research. “Congress has been continually positive about medical research, it’s one of their highest priorities, and its not a partisan issue. … That kind of support which has already led to the launch of the Precision Medicine Initiative and the BRAIN [Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies] initiative … gives me great confidence that despite various transitions, this kind of effort is going to continue to be a priority for the United States.”Collins did express concern, however, about the news yesterday that Congress intends to pass a stopgap funding measure keeping NIH’s current budget at the 2016 level until 31 March. The Senate and House of Representatives had been considering 2017 spending bills that would give the $32 billion agency between a $1.25 billion and $2 billion increase next year. A continuing resolution (CR), as it’s called, would be “an extremely unfortunate and painful outcome for biomedical research” because it would force NIH to spend its final 2017 budget in just 6 months. That could make it difficult to spend the money “in the most innovative way,” he told an audience at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C.“There’s an acronym here which is: A CR Attenuates Progress. That would be C-R-A-P in case you haven’t figured that out,” Collins said to laughter.last_img read more

‘That was vintage Juve Pogba’

first_imgManchester United ‘That was vintage Juve Pogba’ – Henry lauds Man Utd star’s performance against Everton Sacha Pisani 10:14 1/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Paul Pogba, Everton vs Manchester United, 17/18 Getty Images Manchester United Paul Pogba Everton v Manchester United Everton Premier League The former Arsenal forward heaped praise on the French midfielder after his dominant display on Monday Thierry Henry was glowing in his praise for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, who set up both goals in Monday’s 2-0 win at Everton, also hailing the Frenchman’s leadership.Wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of injured full-back Antonio Valencia, Pogba provided assists for Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard at Goodison Park as Jose Mourinho’s side snapped a run of three consecutive draws in the Premier League.Pogba starred on New Year’s Day, at home on the left of a three-man midfield – where the France international established himself during his time at Italian champions Juventus before returning to Manchester in 2016. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “He can play in a lot of positions. I said when he first arrived that, for me, he is not a holding midfielder,” fellow Frenchman Henry told Sky Sports .”He can play in a lot of positions but that is where he is at his best. That was vintage Juve Pogba.”Every time Lingard was making that early run inside, he was occupying that position on the left.”When you go back on your right foot — I used to go on the left myself — you can ping a ball on the other side, you can play that reverse pass, you can play a cute one-two, you can dribble past people. As we saw, he did it all in the second half.”When he plays at that level he is almost unplayable and I think he changed the second half.”He went up to a certain level. That’s what you do as a captain. You say to your team-mates, ‘guys, follow me. I’ll show you the way.'”Great win, good begin of the year, c’mon Uniteeed  @ManUtd #mufc pic.twitter.com/Sdou35FVQ4 — Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) January 1, 2018 “When he plays like that and when he plays on the left, coming in and being kind of free, it’s very difficult to stop him,” Henry added.”Today he acted like a captain. That’s very important too.”Manchester United moved up to second in the table, two points ahead of Chelsea – who are due to play Arsenal on Wednesday – and 12 points adrift of neighbours Manchester City.Pogba and company face a match on Jan. 5, an FA Cup tie against Derby Country to close an insane run of fixtures over the festive period. The club will then have a substantial break before returning to Premier League action on Jan. 15 against Stoke City.last_img read more

Tougher Regulations for Indian Pharma Paves Way for MA Deals

first_imgIndia’s smaller generic drugmakers, struggling to cope with a bruised reputation and tougher regulation in the United States, are under pressure to consider branching out to new, less-profitable markets or sell out to larger rivals.Two years after its most high-profile regulatory setback to date in the United States – Ranbaxy’s $500 million U.S. fine for drug safety violations – India’s $15 billion a year generic drug industry is still rebuilding its image in its biggest market.Many of its top firms are facing sanctions at some of their factories, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tightens checks and its approvals process.Combined with government-mandated price controls on drugs at home, that is piling pressure on smaller players.”If they want to have a presence globally, they have to make investments. If they can’t, then they’ll have to focus on other markets or scale back their ambition outside of India, and that’s probably what will happen,” said Subhanu Saxena, CEO of Cipla, India’s fourth-largest drugmaker by revenue.Ashok Anand, president of Hikal Ltd, a Mumbai-based drugmaker with a market value of $167 million, said some peers were putting themselves on the block.”If they cannot deal with the stricter regulations, they might just prefer to sell out,” he said.Pressure on U.S. sales has been felt across the Indian industry, with all drugmakers hit by delays in FDA approvals as the U.S. safety body overhauls its review process. Growth in U.S. revenue for drugmakers slowed to 14 percent in the year to March 2015, less than half what it was in the year to March 2012, according to brokerage Edelweiss.But for larger players who want to plug gaps or, for the likes of Glenmark and Aurobindo who aim to grow in the United States, this pressure has lowered prices and could pave the way for attractive deals, bankers said.”Now that some of the smaller companies are reeling under intensive regulatory scrutiny and want to cash out on their investments, valuations would be much more realistic,” said the head of India M&A at a large European bank in Mumbai.SPENDING SPREEIndian manufacturers say they have spent millions in high-end testing equipment, improved training and have hired larger teams in quality control since Ranbaxy was fined for manipulating clinical data.Some consultants estimate spending on compliance has more than doubled to reach about 6 to 7 percent of sales for the larger companies.But while the number of U.S. export bans issued to Indian companies fell to eight in 2014 from 21 in 2013, according to FDA data, the agency continues to find manufacturing violations at the plants of some of the biggest drugmakers in the country, an indication of the pervasiveness of the problem.Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Wockhardt, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Cadila Healthcare have all faced FDA rebukes over the past year.Smaller firms Ipca and Aarti Drugs faced FDA bans on their plants this year.These failures – which executives blame on India’s “quick fix” culture and consultants blame on a failure to prioritise compliance – have clouded short-term growth prospects and added to pressure on smaller players, pushing some to look elsewhere.”They can choose to be in lesser-regulated markets, such as Latin America, where there is a lot of demand. But they will have to live with much thinner margins,” said the finance director of a small Indian drugmaker, who did not want to be named. “It’s survival of the fittest.”last_img read more

Wreckage of WWII aircraft carrier found

first_imgWreckage from the USS Lexington, a US aircraft carrier which sank during World War II, has been found in the Coral Sea, a search team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen on 5 March. Photo: AFPWreckage from the USS Lexington, a US aircraft carrier which sank during World War II, has been discovered in the Coral Sea, a search team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced Monday.The wreckage was found Sunday by the team’s research vessel, the R/V Petrel, some 3,000 meters (two miles) below the surface more than 500 miles (800 kilometres) off the eastern coast of Australia.The search team released pictures and video of the Lexington, one of the first ever US aircraft carriers, and some of the planes which went down with the ship.Remarkably preserved aircraft could be seen on the seabed bearing the five-pointed star insignia of the US Army Air Forces on their wings and fuselage.On one aircraft, an emblem of the cartoon character Felix the Cat can be seen along with four miniature Japanese flags presumably depicting “kills.”The search team also released pictures and video of parts of the ship, including a name-plate, and anti-aircraft guns covered in decades of slime.The USS Lexington and another US aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown, fought against three Japanese aircraft carriers from May 4-8, 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first ever between carriers.The badly damaged Lexington, nicknamed “Lady Lex,” was deliberately sunk by another US warship at the conclusion of the battle.More than 200 members of the crew died in the battle but most were rescued by other US vessels before the Lexington sank.Admiral Harry Harris, who heads up the US military’s Pacific Command (PACOM) — and whose father was one of the sailors evacuated — paid tribute to the successful research effort.”As the son of a survivor of the USS Lexington, I offer my congratulations to Paul Allen and the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel for locating the ‘Lady Lex,’ sunk nearly 76 years ago at the Battle of Coral Sea,” Harris said in a statement.”We honor the valor and sacrifice of the ‘Lady Lex’s’ Sailors — and all those Americans who fought in World War II — by continuing to secure the freedoms they won for all of us,” he said.The USS Lexington was carrying 35 aircraft when it went down.The search team said that 11 planes had been found including Douglas TBD-1 Devastators, Douglas SBD-3 Dauntlesses and Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats.”Lexington was on our priority list because she was one of the capital ships that was lost during WWII,” said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Allen.”Based on geography, time of year and other factors, I work with Paul Allen to determine what missions to pursue. We’ve been planning to locate the Lexington for about six months and it came together nicely,” Kraft said in a statement.Search teams led by Allen have discovered the wreckage of a number of historic warships including the USS Indianapolis, a US heavy cruiser which sank in the Philippine Sea in July 1945 after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.last_img read more