Underscores administration's commitment to biomedical research
President Obama, along with Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius, visited the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently to call attention to $5 billion in research grants that has been awarded in recent weeks to more than 12,000 projects around the country.
The funding represents approximately half of the $10.4 billion allocated to the NIH in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to further research.
Obama toured the NIH campus, briefly visiting one of the labs at the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Urologic Oncology Branch, and later addressed several hundred NIH scientists, praising their work and predicting the great strides in scientific discovery that will result from the stimulus funds. The president specifically highlighted The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project, which will receive $175 million to study the genetic foundations of at least 20 cancers by collecting and analyzing 20,000 tumor tissue samples.
Following the speech, the AACR convened a panel to discuss the implications of the announcement and the challenges ahead. "The stimulus funding is indeed a windfall for the research community and it is very much appreciated, but we look to the administration to deliver on its promise to provide increased investment in biomedical research over the long term. Only in this way can we ensure that the United States remains the world's leader in scientific breakthroughs and discovery," said Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., president of the AACR.
Read more from the October 2009 Edition of the AACR Cancer Policy Monitor: