Created by on 03/20/2013

On March 19, over 40 scientists from 21 states traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s (FASEB) annual Capitol Hill Day. Representatives of FASEB member societies met with more than 70 congressional offices to share personal stories about how federal funding cuts are affecting their research and presented FASEB’s fiscal year 2014 funding recommendations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation, and other research agencies.

Participants framed their discussions by suggesting that Congress view laboratories as small businesses, which lose purchasing power and are forced to lay-off staff as a result of funding cuts. Several also spoke about the importance of having funding to train the next generation of scientists as well as the lack of career opportunities available for younger researchers in the current budget climate. Sequestration is a “clear loss of prior investment” in research and research personnel, stressed Kim Barrett, PhD, President-Elect of the American Physiological Society and Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of California San Diego.

FASEB also released a new sequestration fact sheet illustrating the extent of the cuts to the NIH budget, the effect of these reductions on each state, and the ramifications of the lost opportunities for scientific progress. Members of Congress and their staff expressed appreciation for the fact sheet; specifically, the data showing that sequestration was draining real dollars from their home states and districts. “Capitol Hill Day is part of FASEB’s ongoing efforts to inform members of Congress about the irreparable and long-lasting harm sequestration will do to biomedical research,” stated FASEB President Judith S. Bond, PhD.

(Left to right) FASEB Board Members Dr. Tom Baldwin and Dr. Hudson Freeze with Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) and American Physiological Society President-Elect Dr. Kim Barrett, Genetics Society of America President-Elect Dr. Vicki Chandler, FASEB President Dr. Judith Bond, and Dr. Adam Fagen, Executive Director, Genetics Society of America.

(Left to right) FASEB President-Elect Dr. Margaret K. Offermann, FASEB President Dr. Judith Bond, Representative David Price (D-NC), and FASEB Science Policy Committee member Dr. Susanna Greer.

(Left to right) Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities President Dr. David Friedman, and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN).

(Left to right) FASEB Vice President for Science Policy Dr. Joseph Haywood, American Physiological Society President Dr. Sue Barman, and Teratology Society President Dr. Ed Carney.