April 30, 2010
WASHINGTON – As the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services held a hearing today to discuss the National Institutes of Health (NIH) FY2011 budget, a coalition of leading research institutions, patient and health advocates and private industry companies applauded the appropriators’ attention to the life-saving public health issue.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH, was the lead witness in Wednesday’s hearing, highlighting the impressive research advancements over the years through NIH funding, as well as the need to remain steadfast in “the research marathon.”
“Whatever the disease, be it depression, diabetes, or something much rarer, NIH’s emphasis in FY 2011 and beyond will be on translating basic discoveries into new diagnostic and treatment advances in the clinic,” said Collins. Later he stressed, “It is crucial to keep in mind that investing in NIH not only improves America’s health and strengthens our nation’s biomedical research potential, it empowers the entire U.S. economy.”
The United for Medical Research (UMR) coalition advocates for sustained, high levels of NIH biomedical funding critical to ensuring new scientific discoveries to ultimately reduce the burden of disease and death and promote economic growth across the country.
“NIH investments have led to breakthroughs in medical research, such as the mapping of the human genome,” said Gregory T. Lucier, UMR spokesperson and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Life Technologies. “But science cannot progress in cycles of boom or bust; rather it requires reliable and robust financial investment. We urge Congress to provide significant funding increases to the NIH to empower the nation’s army of scientists to find the next generation of treatments and cures.”