We’ve had a lot of inquiries in response to our initial posting as to potential impact of the
impending NCRR dissolution and the following reorganization at NIH on the Tetrahymena Stock
Here are our concerns.
Although there is purportedly no immediate plan to dismantle any existing part of NCRR (as stated
in http://www.nih.gov/blog/feedback/Stakeholders_transcript.pdf ), nonetheless there is cause for
concern regarding the future of the Stock Center resources now under the umbrella of the Division
of Comparative Medicine within NCRR, e.g. will those resources become part of the proposed
National Center for Advancing Translational Science, or handed off as orphans to other NIH
divisions and left with an unknown future.
Exactly what is going to happen to essential Stock Resource programs like the Tetrahymena Stock
Center is not at all clear. Removing these programs from NCRR may lead to underfunding and even
eventual loss of the programs themselves, since dependable core support is required for resources
such as these. They cannot be maintained with variable, inconsistent user fees or intermittent
funding by federal agencies that do not share NCRRs willingness to maintain such facilities long
While there is still time for input from those most directly affected, we are asking for your
comments to make sure that those administering the redistribution of NCRR programs understand
that the potential loss or devaluation of resource centers like the Tetrahymena Stock Center will
seriously hinder future research. We hope that researchers with a vested interest in the
Tetrahymena Stock Center will make it clear that our Stock Center (and all genetic Stock Resource
Centers) either needs to be incorporated appropriately into the new National Center for Advancing
Translational Medicine, or be positioned in a suitable new organizational home that appreciates
and understands the importance of the resource.
We need to insure that the importance of the Tetrahymena Stock Center program to the
broader biomedical research community is made abundantly clear to those deciding the ultimate
fate of the program. Those using and supporting the Stock Center resource provided by NCRR are
best suited to make it clear that the Stock Center is an essential resource for the propagation and
development of an important model system, and that its future needs to be carefully considered,
not left as a chance outcome of a much larger reorganization.
Genetic Stock Resources like the Tetrahymena Stock Center take years to develop. If these
resources are parceled out piecemeal to other less suitable centers or institutes that may not put
as high a value on the important role of they play in translational research, their future is in
jeopardy. We are asking our colleagues to make the importance of the Tetrahymena Stock Center
abundantly clear to those that will ultimately determine the fate of the resource.
Again we apologize for the ridiculously short notice, but this reorganization is moving ahead at
seemingly warp speed and the comment period ends today.