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Help Shape the Future of Sepsis Research on the National Level

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is changing its priorities to invest in sepsis research in a more targeted and strategic way.

In an important opportunity to help shape the future of sepsis research, NIGMS has issued a request for information related to its new priorities.

The request for information is found here and is due by November 15, 2019.


This request is a response to a report submitted by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council (NAGMSC) Working Group on Sepsis. Former SCCM President Craig M. Coopersmith, MD, FACS, FCCM, participated as a member of the working group.

“Sepsis is a devastating public health problem. Despite significant advances made over the past 20 years in our understanding of the pathophysiology of sepsis, we have been unsuccessful in translating these insights into new therapies we can use at the bedside of our patients. Novel approaches are therefore urgently needed in our battle against the most common killer in our ICUs,” said Dr. Coopersmith.


Among the topics NIGMS is seeking comment on are:

  • The need for repositories of biospecimens and/or clinical samples for sepsis research and the types of material that should be collected and stored.
  • Patient populations that could be useful sources of biospecimens, as well as appropriate control groups, for studies designed to predict and understand sepsis.
  • Challenges associated with the collection, maintenance and distribution of shareable clinical samples for sepsis research.
  • Emerging technologies or methodologies that have the potential to advance sepsis research, but would require specialized biospecimens, collection procedures, and/or storage protocols.
  • Examples of existing biospecimens in repositories already available to the research community
  • Lessons learned from biological material collections for other diseases that might be applied successfully to sepsis research

Underlining the importance of this data collection, Dr. Coopersmith noted that "there is a tremendous opportunity for us to leverage samples taken from septic and control patients in biorepositories that can be used to understand mechanisms of sepsis and potentially help identify novel therapeutics and/or test the efficacy of candidate agents."

With input from Dr. Coopersmith, the work group concluded that NIGMS is well positioned to play a unique role in the study of this condition within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Centers. It recommended that the NIGMS:
  • Significantly expand support of clinical research
  • Broaden collaborations with other institutions to support clinical trial on sepsis
  • Independently sponsor definitive clinical trials only in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Work with the NIH Center for Scientific Review to ensure the availability of reviewer expertise.
  • Engage the Office of the Director to conduct a higher-level review of how NIH can best coordinate efforts across institutes and more fully define NIGMS’ role in that effort to translate tax dollars into cures

"Understanding the most effective methods of biobanking specimens from septic patients – as well as the challenges we face in meeting this goal – has potential far-reaching implications for our ultimate goal of developing effective therapeutics for sepsis," said Dr. Coopersmith.

Additional Resources


Learn more about this significant development during
SCCM's 49th Critical Care Congress!


Take a deeper dive into the NAGMSC Working Group report at the Congress session Federal Government Sepsis Priorities: Working Together to Educate, Innovate, and Optimize Patient Outcomes.*

At #CCC49, you will connect with colleagues, network and collaborate with other critical care experts, and explore new tools, technologies, and processes.

Register Today 


*Program title subject to change

Posted: 10/22/2019 | 0 comments




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