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Appendix C: NIDCD’s Trans-NIH and Trans-Agency Activities

For the most up-to-date listing of NIDCD’s trans-NIH activities, see

Trans-NIH Activities

NIH Autism Coordinating Committee (NIH/ACC): Formed by the NIH in 1997 at the request of Congress, the NIH/ACC has been instrumental in planning trans-NIH research initiatives to advance the understanding of autism. The mission is to enhance the quality, pace, and coordination of autism research efforts at the NIH. In addition to program staff from seven ICOs, the NIMH Office of Autism Research Coordination and the NIMH National Database for Autism Research Office participate in NIH/ACC meetings, keeping NIH program offices apprised of their activities and coordinating projects of mutual interest. The NIH/ACC continually monitors the NIH autism research portfolio and the agency's progress toward meeting the goals of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Strategic Plan for ASD Research.

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative: Part of a Presidential goal aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain, the BRAIN Initiative aims to accelerate the development and application of innovative technologies so that researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain. For the first time, investigators will be able to show how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. Long desired by researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, this picture will address major gaps in our current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought.

National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research: The advisory board was established by the Director of NIH to advise the directors of NIH ICOs, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and NICHD's National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research on matters and policies relating to the Center's programs. The Board is comprised of 12 members representing health and scientific disciplines related to medical rehabilitation and six members representing persons with disabilities.

NIH Medical Rehabilitation Coordinating Committee: Established by the NIH Director to comply with Public Law 101–613, the coordinating committee will make recommendations with respect to the content of the Research Plan and the activities of the NIH Clinical Center that are carried out in conjunction with other components of NIH and with other federal government agencies.

The NIH Human Connectome Project: An ambitious effort to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function, the Project aims to acquire and share data about the structural and functional connectivity of the human brain. It will greatly advance the capabilities for imaging and analyzing brain connections, resulting in improved sensitivity, resolution, and utility, thereby accelerating progress in the emerging field of human connectomics.

NIH Neuroprosthesis Group: The program officers and staff in this trans-NIH group share an interest in neural prosthetics and neuroengineering research. The group hosts discussions about funding opportunities, meetings, and ongoing projects.

NIH Obesity Research Task Force: The task force was established to accelerate progress in obesity research across NIH in view of the importance of the obesity epidemic as a public health crisis. The task force has been instrumental in fostering trans-NIH collaboration on obesity research, including basic, clinical, and population studies. The task force also sponsors an NIH seminar series on obesity research topics.

Prevention Research Coordinating Committee: The committee serves as a venue for exchanging information on recent scientific advances in disease prevention; examining the impact of new policies on research; planning new or discussing ongoing initiatives; and highlighting program accomplishments. The trans-NIH, trans-agency committee provides a broad perspective on the current state-of-the-science and actively disseminates information about prevention-related activities sponsored by federal and non-federal organizations to the NIH ICOs.

Trans-NIH Rare Diseases Working Group: The working group aims to develop an integrated NIH-wide plan for research in rare diseases that addresses basic, translational, and clinical aspects aimed at the prevention and cure of rare diseases.

Trans-NIH Zebrafish Coordinating Committee: In 1997, the committee was established in response to the scientific community’s recommendation to promote the use of zebrafish as a model organism for the study of vertebrate development and disease. The committee developed a website to provide information about major NIH-organized zebrafish meetings, funding opportunities for zebrafish genomics and genetic resources, major resources generated from grants funded in response to Trans-NIH zebrafish initiatives, training courses and scientific meetings related to the zebrafish initiatives, and selected reports and publications.

Trans-Agency Efforts

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention: The NIDCD’s collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and HRSA focuses on a bringing together federal agencies that are interested in issues related to screening infants for hearing loss and providing early intervention.

It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing® Public Education Campaign: The NIDCD sponsors It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing®, a national public education campaign to increase awareness among parents of children aged 8 to 12 about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. Our federal partner is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the CDC, and several nonfederal organizations are involved in the campaign also.

Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC): Established in accordance with the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2014, the IACC federal advisory committee is charged with coordinating all efforts with the Department of HHS and across member federal agencies concerning autism spectrum disorder. The committee was established to accelerate progress in autism spectrum disorder biomedical research and services efforts by improving coordination and communication across the federal government and by working in partnership with the autism community.

NIDCD-Supported Epidemiological Studies with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Several CDC studies are supported by NIDCD.

  • NIOSH Audiometric Examinations for Population-Based Surveys: NIDCD provides funding for scientific and technical support as well as quality assurance of three large audiometric examination surveys:
    • The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
    • Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Study–Reykjavik Study (AGES–RS)
    • The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study
  • National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Balance/Dizziness Problem Examinations: NIDCD provides funding for the inclusion of Balance/Dizziness Examinations for a representative sample of U.S. adults aged 18 and older and children aged 3 to 17 in the 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
  • NHIS Hearing Testing: The NIDCD provides funding for a hearing component to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) by sponsoring inclusion of many additional questions on hearing loss and tinnitus.

Department of Education Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: The NIDCD supports hearing screening examinations in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study for the Kindergarten cohort.

Advanced Electrode Microfabrication for Neural Prostheses at the Department of Energy: The NIDCD provides funding support for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop precise and rapid construction micromachining techniques and construct arrays of microelectrodes suitable for recording and stimulating neural tissue. These devices will be specifically optimized for use in the NIDCD mission areas of voice, speech, hearing, and balance.

Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR): NIDCD takes part in this government-wide group that meets monthly to discuss issues related to people with disabilities and to coordinate research in this area.

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Last Updated Date: 
August 8, 2017