“It’s all about competition,” says Walter Koroshetz, M.D., director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, referring to America’s ability to remain a global leader in science. “China’s budget in biomedical research has doubled every five years while the National Institutes of Health budget remained relatively flat. The good news is we have the tremendous ability to bring young people into the field and give them the tools and the knowledge to compete against everyone in the world.”
Koroshetz joined elected officials, business leaders, university presidents from across the state, leaders of biotech companies and nationally-ranked medical centers, and research scientists for the forum, “Medical Research: The Right Prescription for Economic Growth,” co-hosted by Research!America and Northeast Ohio Medical University at the NEOMED Education and Wellness Center in Rootstown, Ohio on June 6. The panel discussed global competitiveness, public-private partnerships and other issues impacting medical research, the economy and public health.
Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley released new public opinion survey data highlighting Ohioans' views on medical and health research. An overwhelming majority of residents say it is important for the state to be a leader in education (89%) and in medical and health research (87%), she said.
The panel was moderated by Susan Dentzer, president and CEO, The Network for Excellence in Health Innovation. Dentzer asked panelists to share what they consider to be the next important step to ensure that biomedical research is able to advance and grow the economy, in both Ohio and nationally.
Competing priorities in Washington affect the level of funding for the federal health agencies, said Sudip Parikh, Ph.D., CP and GM of Health & Analytics, Battelle. Currently, pell grants compete with funding for the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in spending bills. It has to be disconnected in order for us to make smart investments rather than those set by formulas, he added.
Other panelists included Michael Drake, M.D., president, Ohio State University; Joe Kanfer, chairman and CEO, GOJO Industries; Thomas Zenty, CEO, University Hospitals; Lucinda Maine, Ph.D., EVP and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. For a livestream of the forum, click here.