Georgetown University Medical Center Researchers Applaud Proposed NIH Funding

Posted in News Release

WASHINGTON (Dec. 16, 2015) – The proposed increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health in the 2016 federal spending bill is “a very encouraging” step towards restoring America’s priority for biomedical research and improved human health, says the leader of Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). The House is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at GUMC and Executive Dean of Georgetown’s School of Medicine, welcomes the proposed NIH funding increase.

“At Georgetown University Medical Center, we conduct the full range of investigation – from basic biomedical research to translational studies and community-based work focused on health disparities. This proposed budget increase for the NIH will make a tangible difference in our researchers’ ability to continue to address the important health problems our nation faces.”

In addition to Healton, Georgetown researchers in the area of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, antibiotic resistance and basic scientific research also tipped their hats to Congress, but cautioned that a single budget year increase would fall short of progress. 

General biomedical research
Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc 
Dean for Research

“The proposed increase in the NIH budget will begin to reverse the downward trend in funding that has profoundly constrained the nation’s biomedical research enterprise, our international competitiveness and, most importantly, our ability to improve human health.

“It is most welcome and we hope that this critical investment, and the bipartisan support that brought it to the fore, continues for many years to come.”

Alzheimer’s disease
R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD
Director, Memory Disorders Program

“Alzheimer’s research has been the most underfunded of all major diseases, given its increasing prevalence and economic impact in the U.S.

“The additional NIH research funding is desperately needed to find new treatment and prevention strategies, and to validate new biomarkers of impending disease. We have seen too many good scientific ideas go unfunded, which are opportunities delayed if not lost.

“With additional research support, progress will be less stymied and we can better retain highly trained and talented research investigators and clinicians. The status quo was not an option – we are losing the war on Alzheimer’s.”

Louis M. Weiner, MD
Director, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

“It is so important to see this proposed increase in support of life saving cancer research.

“Dollars spent in biomedical research – and particularly cancer research – is directly associated with a decrease in the number of people who die from cancer. Therefore, the health of America is directly related to our investment in research. 

“An increase in NIH funding will boost progress and restore the pace of discoveries.”

Antibiotic resistance
Jesse L. Goodman, MD, MPH
Director, Center on Medical Product Access, Safety and Stewardship

“It is gratifying that Congress and the White House have begun to recognize the critical need for a dramatic increase in actions to stem the global tide of antimicrobial resistance.

“We all need to work together, treating our precious antibiotics with care by reducing their unnecessary use while finding better ways to monitor, prevent and, when needed, treat the so-called ‘superbugs’ that threaten to undo the gains of modern medicine and public health.”

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.