FASEB PRESIDENT MEETS WITH NIH DIRECTOR FRANCIS COLLINS AND OMB STAFF Created by on 08/02/2011
On July 29th, FASEB President Joseph C. LaManna met with NIH Director Francis Collins and Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak to describe FASEB’s efforts to educate the public and policymakers about the importance of the nation’s investment in biomedical research. Acknowledging the difficult funding situation facing NIH, Collins reiterated his support for young scientists and the need to find ways to sustain the next generation of researchers. He asked LaManna about the views of the extramural community and pressed for additional details when the FASEB president described discussions that FASEB has had on ways to optimize the allocation of research funding.
At a subsequent meeting with program staff at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), La Manna expressed his appreciation of the administration’s support for science and the President’s strong statements on behalf of funding for biomedical research. He described the precarious situation of extramural investigators and explained how many scientists were not guaranteed a salary from their institution. Without external grant support, these researchers and the people working in their labs could no longer continue in research. Given that federal funding for FY 2012 is in limbo, much of the discussion focused on ways that existing resources could be optimally used. When LaManna raised the issue of regulatory reform, OMB staff acknowledged that they had already reviewed FASEB’s statement on A-21 regulations (see “FASEB Recommends Changes in Federal Cost Principles for Educational Institutions” elsewhere in this newsletter) and appreciated the Federation’s insightful perspective on these and other issues.