Francis Collins, MD, PhD, the new director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), last week held an open forum with constituents, which was attended by Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The forum presented Dr. Collins with an opportunity to discuss five priority areas where he wants NIH to “push the ball”: applying genomics and other “high throughput technologies” to understanding fundamental biology and uncovering disease causes; translating basic scientific discoveries into new and better treatments, i.e. bridging the “yawning gap” between research and drugs; putting science to work to benefit health care reform; “reinvigorating and empowering” biomedical research; and global health.

A video of the forum is on the NIH Web site.  The AASM will send to Dr. Collins priorities identified for sleep medicine and sleep research.