With the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences now a reality, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is focusing on another merger they announced over a year ago. The two institutes focused on addiction are to be combined. As no new institute is created, less Congressional action will be needed, though I could see the annual failure to pass a budget on time delaying the official changeover.
Between now and May 11, the NIH is taking comments on a draft Scientific Strategic Plan for this new institute, tentatively titled the National Institute on Substance Abuse and Addiction Disorders. There will also be a series of public meetings to take feedback on the plan. NIH intends to release the draft plan in 2012, and they plan to have the new, combined institute operational by 2014.