sequestration

Dear Research Advocate, Glimmers of hope can be found in the dire funding situation we face under sequestration. The continuing resolution (C.R.) funding the government through the end of the fiscal year (September 30) included very small increases for NIH, CDC, NSF and FDA; AHRQ was flat funded. But the fact remains that these increases were overwhelmed by the effect of sequestration, which remains in place and will continue to weigh us down for 10 years unless overturned. Our champions in Congress are speaking out and taking a stand on behalf of research as the budget negotiation proceeds. Reps. McKinley (R-WV) and Markey (D-MA) have co-authored a letter to House appropriators calling for...
The following post is an excerpt from a recent op-ed by Harold L. Paz, MD, CEO of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; senior vice president for health affairs, Penn State; and dean of the Penn State College of Medicine. You can read the full op-ed, published in several regional papers, here . The Penn State College of Medicine is a Research!America member. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is deeply concerned about the impact that sequestration will have on programs that are vital to the health of those we serve, including medical research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As central Pennsylvania’s only academic health center we have a responsibility...
The Rally for Medical Research will be held on Monday, April 8 at 11:00 a.m. in Washington, DC, on the steps of the Carnegie Library. Join Research!America and more than 100 other organizations to call on our nation’€™s policymakers to make lifesaving medical research a higher national priority. With the support of researchers, patients and advocates, the Rally for Medical Research is a tremendous opportunity to send a powerful, coordinated message to Capitol Hill. If you can’€™t make it to DC for the Rally, you can take specific actions on April 8 such as: Send an email to or call congressional offices, Tweet members of Congress with a message or post on the member’€™s Facebook page, Write...
Everyone understands that it’€™s necessary to take a hard look at the federal budget and cut costs. The problem with the sequestration is that it recklessly cuts every category of spending across the board at a time when we should maintain critical investments that will pay for themselves in the long run. One of my roles at the University of Pittsburgh is to advocate for federal investment in biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which administers grants to scientists around the country. About 80 percent of all funding for medical research in American universities comes from the NIH. One quarter of NIH funding is for research that leads directly and quickly to...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress has passed a spending bill for what remains of the current fiscal year, which ends September 30. Preliminary agency funding levels have been reported by Nature . The appropriations process remains important for making up some small amount of the ground lost to sequestration, but as long as sequestration remains the law of the land, annual cuts to NIH, FDA and our nation’€™s other health research agencies are all but assured ; and with it, the insidious ripple effect of damage to grantees, vendors, and the pharma, bio and device industries that partner with researchers to develop the products patients await. That’€™s the bottom line. We must remind our...
As sequestration threatens to obstruct progress in biomedical and health research, members of the research community are continuing to speak out against these across-the-board spending cuts. Research!America Board member Larry Shapiro, MD , dean of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis’€™, shared his concerns in an article from the Associated Press. At Washington University in St. Louis and other research institutions across the country, ’€œautomatic cuts are causing anxiety among young researchers who are wondering what career options they’€™ll have if the current economic climate becomes ’€˜the new normal,’€™’€ according to the article. ’€This is all that’€™s being...
Dear Research Advocate, Today, the Senate is planning to vote on a bipartisan continuing resolution from Sens. Mikulski and Shelby to fund the federal government through the end of the year. The good news is that the bill includes an increase, albeit small ($71 million) in NIH funding; Senator Harkin tried, unsuccessfully, unfortunately, to increase NIH even further, and Senator Durbin worked on an ambitious amendment to add more than $1.5 billion to the NIH budget. We truly appreciate the efforts of all of these champions and the fact that NIH funding was singled out for an increase on a bipartisan basis by the Appropriations Committee. The bad news is that sequestration will wipe out all...
New research from Research!America member Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that a component of bee venom can be safely used to target and kill HIV virus particles while leaving human cells intact. The compound, called melittin, punches holes in the outer protective coat, or ’€œenvelope,’€ of viruses, including HIV. Researchers modified the nanoparticle to protect human cells from the toxin by adding ’€œbumpers’€ to prevent the toxin-laden particles from fusing with cells, yet the smaller virus particles are able to fit between these bumpers and interact with melittin. The lead author on the study, Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD, says that application of this new...
Dear Research Advocate, Yesterday, the House passed a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year that includes this year’€™s cuts from sequestration along with an additional one percent across-the-board cut. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, where we are likely to see higher funding levels than the House version, but with sequestration still in place. Congress seems anxious to avoid the brinksmanship and the government shutdown threats that have characterized past debates. While the less rancorous environment surrounding the CR is a welcome change, the complacency around sequestration is not. As research advocates, we cannot let these cuts stand. Sequestration isn’€™t a...
Just released data from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) details the final amount to be cut from federal research program budgets as sequestration goes into effect. The full details are available on the updated Research!America sequestration fact sheet , though previous projections were relatively accurate as compared to these final numbers. Cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration will be higher than previously expected, with a combined loss of $593 million dollars for FY13. That amount is roughly equivalent to ensuring the safety of new medical and biological products at the FDA and programs that focus on prevention...

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