June 16, 2014

Sen. Warren Calls For Increased NIH Funding, Renewed National Commitment To Research

Senator Delivers Remarks at American Cancer Society Research Breakfast in Boston

Text of Senator Warren's Remarks Available Here

BOSTON, MA - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren called for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a renewed national commitment to research, in remarks at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network's New England Research Breakfast in Boston this morning.

In her speech, Senator Warren highlighted how federally funded medical research has helped support groundbreaking research to develop cancer treatments, and discussed the detrimental consequences of reduced NIH funding.

"Historically, bipartisan coalitions in Congress committed themselves to slow but steady increases in the NIH budget," said Senator Warren. "In the late 90s, a bipartisan push resulted in the doubling of NIH funding. But that initiative has failed. Year after year, adjusted for inflation, NIH has been cut back."

The Senator noted that today, five out of six grant applications do not get funded, the highest rejection level in NIH history.

"I look at this reduction in federal support - this abdication of our responsibility to foster groundbreaking medical research - and I wonder: what discoveries have we missed out on because Congress has cut research support over the last decade?" Senator Warren said. "Could one of these promising proposals rejected by the NIH have led to the discovery of a new pathway in cancer, one that could open the door for the next generation cancer treatments?"

"When Congress doubled the NIH budget, it allowed scientists to plant seeds, to water and tend the trees that grew into an orchard of scientific possibility. We are on the edge of accomplishing so much, but by failing to keep up with our investments, Congress won't fund our scientists to pick the fruit... Cancer comes for all our families - and the NIH gives us the weapons to fight back. We need to invest in the NIH."

Read Senator Warren's full remarks here.


(Photo from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID])