For the purpose of this study the definition of "biological model" is broad. It includes statistical mathematical models, in vitro cellular models, and laboratory animals. A goal of this study is to find novel, undeveloped models that could serve a broader segment of the research community if their development were supported.
What biological models and unique technologies do you use in your research (mathematical, cellular, microelectrodes, and so on)?
What new technologies or practices need to be developed for the full realization of the potential of existing models (such as miniaturization of instruments or catheters)?
How could the National Institutes of Health (NIH) facilitate the development of a new or underutilized biological model in your field? (A specific example of how the development of a current model could have been accelerated would be a helpful response.)
If you feel that valuable biological models in your field have been lost, what are they and what led to their loss?
The National Research Council (NRC) has been asked to recommend a rapid, cost-effective method of ranking the importance of proposed biological models. These recommendations will assist the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in setting priorities for the funding of development and support of biological models.
Do you feel that new biological models are discovered accidentally, that it is impossible to predict what can develop into a good model? Or, on the basis of experience with biological models, do you think that it is possible to predict the usefulness of a model? Please keep in mind that a biological model can be useful to a large segment of the biomedical research community or vitally important to a narrow segment of researchers.
What indicators would you expect an undeveloped or new biological model to have for it to be potentially useful to the biomedical community?