publication date: Feb. 28, 2014


By Matthew Bin Han Ong

The contractor running the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research received nearly $300 million from NCI in the 2013 fiscal year, and is slated for an increase, officials said at a recent advisory committee meeting.

The lab, located on the 68-acre research and development campus in Frederick, Md., is one of 39 Federally Funded Research and Development Centers. FFRDCs are programs that receive 70 percent or more of their financial support from the federal government.

The FFRDC includes the Advanced Technology Research Facility, a 330,000-square-foot complex with a biopharmaceutical development wing.

“People just didn’t know what Frederick was,” said NCI Director Harold Varmus at an NCI-Frederick Advisory Committee meeting Feb. 4. “And part of this is—I hate the word—‘transparency,’ and of course, transparency requires first, some understanding of what we’re dealing with.”

Varmus’s changes in the Frederick program include reshaping this little-understood outpost of the institute into a national lab in February 2012, and creating the advisory committee to guide its programs.

“We aren’t creating resources here, we are trying to reuse resources in a sort of very sensible way to foster the best use of NCI’s money,” he said.

The institute’s revamping of Frederick comes at a time when many of the institute’s programs are facing financial difficulties, and many have sustained budget cuts. For example, the NCI National Clinical Trials Network has lowered patient enrollment to 17,500 patients, and groups that make up the new network were told trials that enroll 1,000 patients or more will require additional scrutiny.

Continue reading 40-09 Intramural Research
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