Today, I will join 300 of my colleagues from the biomedical research community on Capitol Hill in support of the Rally for Medical Research. Individuals representing countless disease states, including cancer center directors, researchers, advocacy group leaders, survivors and others, will come together to ask Congress to make funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a priority and stop the decline of public funding for science.
Funding to the NIH, which includes the National Cancer Institute, has been stagnant since 2003, and adjusted for inflation, has dropped by over 20 percent. Since sequestration kicked in, cancer centers across the country have been faced with tremendous challenges. Bright, young scientists whose careers just started have left the field, or the U.S. altogether, in pursuit of another career, while many labs have faced the agonizing decision to halt promising research. At a time when labs are on the cusp of breakthrough therapies and precision medicine is changing the landscape of medicine, the federal government must invest more in biomedical research, not less. The partnership between the federal government and our nation’s cancer centers must be strengthened.
Together, we can make an impact. If you cannot be in Washington with us, you can still make a difference. I encourage you to write your legislators by visiting this link: http://rallyformedicalresearch.org/pages/getinvolved.aspx
– Barbara Duffy Stewart, MPH, AACI Executive Director