Contents:

  • PSAB Sponsors Funding Breakfast at asm2014
  • ASM Submits Congressional Testimony on FY 2015 Research and Public Health Funding
  • FY 2015 Budget Update
  • ASM Supports Closing the Innovation Gap
  • Coalition Letter Supporting Countermeasure Funding
  • ASM Signs onto Letter Urging Support for Antibiotic Resistance Initiative
  • ASM Supports Agriculture Research
  • ASM Staff Attends High Throughput FDA Workshop
  • APHL Proposes Changes to the Laboratory Response Network
  • Progress Report on the Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance
  • ASM Participates in MERS-CoV CDC Telebriefing
  • ASM Sponsors Medical Laboratory Professionals Week
  • ASM Participates in CDC Telebriefing on Foodborne Infections
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee Announce “Cures” Initiative
  • Workload Report Released by the NSF’s National Science Board (NSB)
  • Frontiers in Innovation, Science, and Technology Act of 2014 (H.R. 4186)
  • Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter
  • CSWM Communicator
  • PSAB Special Interest Sessions at asm2014
  • PSAB Booth at asm2014

 

PSAB Sponsors Funding Breakfast at asm2014
During the asm2014 meeting in Boston, the Public and Scientific Affairs Board will be sponsoring an event, “Federal Funding Opportunities Breakfast.” The breakfast will be held on Monday, May 19 in the Convention Center, Meeting Room 102A. The breakfast will feature speakers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the Department of Energy, Office of Science and the National Science Foundation, who will highlight funding opportunities available for microbiologists. The breakfast is open to all asm2014 attendees. A continental breakfast will be provided. If you are interested in attending the breakfast, please e-mail publicaffairs@asmusa.org.  For more information go to:  http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/93-policy/92912-ffb.

ASM Submits Congressional Testimony on FY 2015 Research and Public Health Funding
In March, ASM submitted written testimony to the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees on FY 2015 funding for federal research and public health programs impacting microbiology. The statements included recommendations for; the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA) Research, Department of Energy, Office of Science (DOE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Science Foundation (NSF). The statements have been compiled into a booklet titled: “Federal Funding for FY 2015: Biomedical and Life Sciences Research” and is available on the PSAB public affairs webpage at: http://www.asm.org/ResearchFunding.

FY 2015 Budget Update
On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee approved their FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) spending bill to fund the National Science Foundation (NSF) among other agencies. The bill would fund the NSF with $7.4 billion in FY 2015, or $237 million above the FY 2014 level. Research and related activities would be funded at $5.9 billion, or $170 million above the FY 2014 level. This is 3.3. percent above FY 2014 and $154 million, 2.1 percent above the President’s request. The office of Public Affairs has developed a chart highlighting funding levels and proposed funding levels for the federal agencies of importance to microbiology and the ASM membership. Updated throughout the federal budget process, the chart can be found on the PSAB public affairs webpage: http://www.asm.org/images/PSAB/FY15ChartPresidentsBudget-Final.pdf.

ASM Supports Closing the Innovation Gap
In April, the ASM joined more than 50 scientific societies, organizations and universities in endorsing written testimony submitted to the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing titled; “Driving Innovation Through Federal Investments.” The testimony highlighted the widening gap of federal funding for research and development (R&D) from the level of investment needed to ensure that the United States remains globally competitive. Known as the innovation deficit, this lack of adequate and sustainable funding has significant consequences for the US economy and human health. The testimony urged Congress and the President to stop sequestration, stabilize the national debt and reduce budget deficits, while also investing in research and development and education to generate economic growth. More information on the innovation deficit can be found on the ASM public policy webpage at: http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/93-policy/92942-id-5-14

Coalition Letter Supporting Countermeasure Funding
The ASM has endorsed the Informal Coalition on Biodefense and Emergency Health Preparedness letter to the House and Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittees regarding FY 2014 appropriations supporting programs critical to the Nation’s preparedness against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats. To read the letter go to: http://www.asm.org/images/PSAB/FY2015LHHS-AppropsLetter.pdf.

ASM Signs onto Letter Urging Support for Antibiotic Resistance Initiative
ASM joined 26 other organizations in signing a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee on Labor, HHS and Education. The letter urged them to appropriate the $30 million included in the Fiscal Year 2015 President’s Budget Request for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Detect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance Initiative. The initiative is part of a CDC strategy to achieve measurable results in combating the public health crisis of rapidly rising antibiotic resistance. To read the letter go to: http://www.asm.org/images/PSAB/CDCDetectProtect.pdf.

ASM Supports Agriculture Research
In April, ASM met with congressional staff in the offices of Congressman Robert B. Aderholt (AL-4), chair of the house appropriations subcommittee on agriculture; Congressman Thomas Rooney (FL-17), member of the House appropriations subcommittee on agriculture; and Senator Tim Johnson (SD) member of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on agriculture. The meetings were focused on the importance of agricultural research at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in FY 2015, and funding for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the USDA’s premier competitive grants program. For more information on AFRI visit: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/funding/afri/afri.html.

ASM Staff Attends High Throughput FDA Workshop
On April 1, ASM staff attended the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) public Workshop entitled: “Advancing Regulatory Science for High Throughput Sequencing Devices for Microbial Identification and Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance Markers.” The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the clinical and public health applications and performance validation of the high throughput sequencing (HTS) devices. Also discussed were the criteria for establishing reference databases to be used for human specimens or clinical isolates for the identification of pathogenic microbes and detection of antimicrobial resistance genes. The archived webcast, agenda, and meeting materials are available at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/NewsEvents/WorkshopsConferences/ucm386967.htm.

APHL Proposes Changes to the Laboratory Response Network
The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to modify the Laboratory Response Network for Biological Threats Preparedness (LRN-B). CDC engaged APHL, selected public health laboratories, and other strategic partners to determine the best network configuration to sustain the LRN-B while enhancing its capability to detect emerging infectious threats. The feedback collected led to a new proposal to reconfigure the LRN-B Reference Laboratories into one of three tiers, based on their capacity. You can see the proposed changes and provide your feedback by going to http://clinmicro.asm.org/images/docs/Dear_State_and_Local_Public_Health_Laboratory_Directors.pdf.

Progress Report on the Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the European Commission released today the first progress report of the Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR). The report renews the commitment of U.S. and European Union (EU) health authorities to pursue specific goals in their joint battle against antimicrobial resistance, a complex, dynamic and multi-faceted concern not bound by borders. The report also summarizes the advancements made during the first TATFAR implementation period of 2011-2013. The full report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/tatfar/report.html.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also released the report, “Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014.” This WHO report, produced in collaboration with Member States and other partners, provides for the first time, as accurate a picture as is presently possible of the magnitude of Antimicrobial Resistance and the current state of surveillance globally. To read the report go to: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/112642/1/9789241564748_eng.pdf?ua=1.

ASM Participates in MERS-CoV CDC Telebriefing
ASM staff participated in a May 12 CDC telebriefing which announced a second imported case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in the United States.   Discussing the case were CDC Director Tom Frieden, Anne Schuchat, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and John H. Armstrong, Florida’s State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. The case of MERS-CoV was confirmed in a health care provider who works in Saudi Arabia and traveled to the Orlando area by the Florida public health laboratory using MERS Coronavirus test kits developed by CDC. To see the full transcript of the call, go to http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/t0512-US-MERS.html.

ASM Sponsors Medical Laboratory Professionals Week
ASM kicked off a celebration of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) April 20- 26 with a message from ASM President Jeff Miller. This annual event honors the more than 300,000 medical laboratory professionals around the country who perform and interpret more than 10 billion laboratory tests in the US every year, often unseen by the general public. To see more of our MLPW activities, please go to http://www.asm.org/index.php/component/content/article/90-news-room/media-info-programs/1568-help-us-celebrate-national-medical-laboratory-professionals-week.

ASM Participates in CDC Telebriefing on Foodborne Infections
Stephen Ostroff, Acting Chief Scientist, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and PSAB Public Health Committee Chair, Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director, CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, and David Goldman, Assistant Administrator, Office of Public Health Science, U.S.D.A., Food Safety and Inspection Service participated in an April 17 CDC media briefing in advance of the Trends in Foodborne Illness in the United States, 2006-2013 report release. This annual report card lets CDC, its partners, and policy makers know how much progress has made in reaching national goals for reducing foodborne illness. To read the report, go to http://www.cdc.gov/foodnet/data/trends/trends-2013.html.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Announce “Cures” Initiative
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) announced the launch of 21st Century Cures, a new initiative that aims to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in the United States. The committee seeks to broadly collaborate with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other agencies, as well as the nation’s patients and scientific pioneers in academia and industry. The committee’s extensive effort will include white papers, roundtables, and hearings, as well as the solicitation of input from interested parties, large and small. To learn more about the initiative go to: https://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/path-21st-century-cures.

Workload Report Released by the NSF’s National Science Board (NSB)
Excessive regulations are consuming scientists' time and wasting taxpayer dollars, says a report released today by the National Science Board (NSB), the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation and advisor to Congress and the President. Thousands of federally funded scientists responded to NSB's request to identify requirements they believe unnecessarily increase their administrative workload. The responses raised concerns related to financial management, grant proposal preparation, reporting, personnel management, and institutional review boards and animal care and use committees (IRBs and IACUCs). To read the report go to: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsb1418/nsb1418.pdf?WT.mc_id=USNSF_124.

Frontiers in Innovation, Science, and Technology Act of 2014 (H.R. 4186)
The House Subcommittee on Research and Technology voted to send H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014 to the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The bill authorizes NSF funding in the current year and in FY 2015, and would make changes in the foundation’s operations. H.R. 4186 also authorizes federal STEM education programs; the Office of Science and Technology Policy; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Networking and Information Technology Research and Development. To read the National Science Board’s statement on H.R. 4186 to to: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=131218.

Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter
The May issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter has been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities. To read the newsletter, go to: https://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/135-policy/documents/newsletters/minority-microbiology-mentor-newsletter/92945-mmm-5-14.

CSWM Communicator
The Spring 2014 issue of the CSWM Communicator has been published by the Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology. It features highlights of the committee's activities at this year asm2014 meeting in Boston, MA. To read the newsletter go to: https://www.asm.org/images/CSWMNewsletterSpring-2014.pdf.

PSAB Special Interest Sessions at asm2014

Women Microbiologists in Developing Economies: The Obstacles and the Opportunities
Sunday. May 18, 4:45 – 6:30 PM
Meeting Room 253B

Microbial Interactions in a Changing Climate
Sunday. May 18, 4:45 – 6:30 PM
Meeting Room 259A

Drug Resistance in Populations with Health Disparities
Sunday. May 18, 4:45 – 6:30 PM
Meeting Room 254A

Navigating the 21st Century Workplace: Key Drivers for the Laboratory Industry and Profession
Monday, May 19, 4:45 – 6:30 PM
Meeting Room 254A

For more information about the asm2014 meeting in Boston, MA, May 17 - 20, 2014 go to:  http://gm.asm.org/.

PSAB Booth at asm2014
Learn about ASM’s policy activities and how they impact you. Let PSAB know what issues are important to you and find out how you can communicate with Congress using the ASM’s Legislative Action Center.

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