NIH Funding Cuts

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the new proposed federal budget cuts over $5.5 billion from the NIH (the National Institutes of Health). According to some estimates, that is almost a 20% The NIH is the core funding body for science in the US and the source that has allowed for much of the American Renaissance in the science to take place. NIH institutes carry out essential research in all aspects of human disease and NIH grants support the work in thousands of groups located at America’s top universities. The work supported by these grants has shaped the way we understand diseases that were a complete mystery just a decade ago. And understanding these diseases has completely revolutionized the way we treat patients in the clinic and has added countless years onto the lifespan of people not only in America, but throughout the entire world.

Like most budget cuts throughout the world, these cuts are coming to us packaged as a “major reorganization” that will “focus resources”. Presumably the $5.4 billions saved on medical research will end up paying for some of the $54 billion increase in defense spending that is also proposed in the budget. I believe these facts speak for themselves.

On a completely unrelated note, here are 5 things that NIH funded research has produced over the past couple of years:

3-D printed blood vessels made with living cells (green and purple)

20170314-3d-printer.jpg

Stem Cell transplant induces multiple sclerosis remission

20170214-ms_0.jpg

New gene-editing techniques allows for blind rats to partially regain their vision

20161206-gene-editing

Engineering vocal cord tissue – to hopefully bee used in those who have lost their voice

201512047-voice (1)

A gene therapy treatment restored blood clotting and transformed the disease from severe to mild.

20141208-hemophilia.jpg

20% of 5 ideas is 1 idea. Which one would you get rid of?

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