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National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Medical Research, Science Funding Spared Under Budget Deal — But More Battles Ahead

Washington, DC, May 2, 2017 —Joel Achenbach, Ben Guarino, Sarah Kaplan and Darryl Fears report in The Washington Post that the lights will stay on in the federal government, and also in the countless laboratories and universities that depend on federal funding for scientific and medical research.

That’s one upshot of the bipartisan budget deal congressional negotiators reached late Sunday.

The bill, clocking in at more than 1,600 pages, is likely to pass both houses of Congress and be signed into law by President Trump this week.  It covers funding through September. Continue reading

Rebuffing Trump’s Call for Cuts, Congress Boosts NIH Funding by $2 Billion

Washington, DC, May 1, 2017 — Lev Facher reports in STAT that the National Institutes of Health will get a $2 billion funding boost over the next five months, under a bipartisan spending deal reached late Sunday night in Congress.

The agreement marks a sharp rejection of President Trump’s proposal to cut $1.2 billion from the medical research agency in the current fiscal year.

The deal does not address funding for 2018, when Trump has called for a slashing the NIH’s budget by about a fifth, or $5.8 billion. Continue reading

Study: NIH Budget Cuts Could Translate to Less Innovation and Fewer Patents

Washington, DC, April 17, 2017 — Melissa Healy reports in The Los Angeles Times that, from research on stem cells and DNA sequencing to experiments with fruit flies and surveys of human behavior, projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aim to make Americans healthier.

A new analysis finds that NIH-funded research also fuels the kinds of innovations that drive the U.S. economy.

Between 1990 and 2012, close to 1 in 10 projects made possible by an NIH grant resulted in a patent, usually for a university or a hospital. Continue reading

American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute Publish Annual Report to the Nation: Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline

Bethesda, MD, April 11, 2017 — Overall cancer death rates continue to decrease in men, women, and children for all major racial and ethnic groups, according to the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975 – 2014.

The Report to the Nation is released each year in a collaborative effort by the American Cancer Society; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), both parts of the Department of Health and Human Services; and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).

The latest report, which was published on March 31, finds that death rates during the period 2010-2014 decreased for 11 of the 16 most common types of cancer in men and for 13 of the 18 most common types of cancer in women, including lung, colorectal, female breast, and prostate cancers. Continue reading

Trump’s Plan to Cut NIH Funding for Biomedical Research Hits Opposition in Congress

Washington, DC, April 5, 2017 — Robert Pear reports in The New York Times that a proposal by President Trump to cut federal spending for biomedical research by 18 percent — just months after Congress approved bipartisan legislation to increase such spending — has run into a buzz saw on Capitol Hill, with Republicans and Democrats calling it misguided.

Mr. Trump is asking Congress to provide $25.9 billion for the National Institutes of Health for the fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1.  That represents a cut of $5.8 billion, or 18 percent, from the agency’s current spending level of $31.7 billion.

A week after making that proposal, Mr. Trump told Congress that he wanted to cut spending at the N.I.H. by $1.2 billion in the current fiscal year, mostly by reducing research grants. Continue reading

HHS Secretary Defends Proposed Cuts at NIH; GOP and Democrats Skeptical

HHS Secretary Tom Price

Washington, DC, March 31, 2017 — Lev Facher reports on STAT that Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price on March 29 defended the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to medical research, saying that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget is plagued by unnecessary expenses.

The remarks came a day after reports that the administration had proposed an additional $1.2 billion cut to the NIH for the current fiscal year, on top of a suggested $5.8 billion cut for 2018.

Continue reading

White House Proposes NIH Cuts for Medical Research This Year

Washington, DC, March 29, 2017 — Anna Edney reports in Bloomberg that President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed cutting $1.23 billion this fiscal year from research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to a White House document sent to congressional appropriators.

The reduction is part of $18 billion in cuts that the administration wants in fiscal 2017, which ends in October.

Most of the proposed reductions at NIH would come from research grants, with $50 million specifically taken from a program meant to support biomedical research in states that typically get less agency money. Continue reading

Speaker Ryan Anticipates Changes to Trump’s Proposed NIH Budget Cuts

Speaker Paul Ryan

Washington, DC, March 22, 2017 — Rebecca Savransky reports in The Hill that U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on March 19 that he expects to see some changes made on Capitol Hill to President Trump’s federal budget proposal, which calls for nearly $6 billion in cuts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Speaker Ryan said NIH is “something that’s particularly popular in Congress.”

“We just passed the Cures Act, just this last December, to increase spending in the NIH, because we really think we’re kind of getting close to some breakthrough discoveries on cancer and other diseases,” Ryan said. Continue reading

Trump’s Budget Proposes 18 Percent Cut for NIH; $26 Billion Lowest in 15 Years

President Donald Trump

Washington, DC, March 16, 2017 — Thomas M. Burton reports in The Wall Street Journal that funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s premier medical research funding agency, would be cut by 18 percent, or $5.8 billion, from levels enacted for fiscal 2017, under the Trump administration budget.

The NIH’s budget would total just under $26 billion, the lowest level in 15 years.

The Trump administration’s plan appears to put it on a collision course with leaders of both parties in Congress. Continue reading

NIH to Expand Critical Catalog for Genomics Research to Aid Research in Health, Diseases

Bethesda, MD, February 10, 2017 — The National Institutes of Health plans to expand its Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project, a genomics resource used by many scientists to study human health and disease.

Funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH, the ENCODE Project is generating a catalog of all the genes and regulatory elements — the parts of the genome that control whether genes are active or not — in humans and select model organisms.

With four years of additional support, NHGRI builds on a long-standing commitment to developing freely available genomics resources for use by the scientific community. Continue reading