FASEB President among Those Rallying for Medical Research on Capitol Hill
Created by on 9/26/2013 12:00:00 AM

By Jennifer Zeitzer

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) President Margaret “Kenny” Offermann, MD, PhD, was one of nearly 250 people from more than 150 organizations, patient groups, and research institutions who converged on Capitol Hill on September 18 as part of the Rally for Medical Research Capitol Hill Day. The event was organized by the American Association for Cancer Research and co-sponsored by FASEB and several other organizations. It featured 200 meetings with congressional offices from 40 states to raise awareness with a unified voice about what is at stake for research in the current fiscal climate.
Each of the House and Senate offices visited received a copy of FASEB’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) factsheet for their state. The factsheets were also shared with each of the Capitol Hill Day participants. In meetings with offices from the Georgia congressional delegation, Dr. Offermann provided FASEB’s new sequestration factsheet explaining how NIH could suffer a 37 percent loss in funding – when compared to 2003 levels – if it is subject to the cuts outlined in the House FY 2014 budget.
Urging Congress to invest in NIH for the health and economic security of the nation, Dr. Offermann and her colleagues shared stories about the local impact of flat budgets and sequestration cuts on the biomedical research community. All of the offices Dr. Offermann visited indicated that it is critically important for everyone in the research community to offer elected officials examples of how the budget cuts are undermining the prior investment in NIH and affecting research jobs, especially for younger scientists.
Dr. Offermann’s participation in the Rally for Medical Research Capitol Hill Day was part of the Federation’s ongoing effort to urge Congress to enact a bipartisan plan to replace sequestration that does not rely on additional cuts to discretionary spending. Earlier this month, FASEB hosted a webinar that provided background information on the funding cuts and what members of the research community can do to get involved in advocacy on behalf of NIH.

FASEB President Margaret “Kenny” Offermann, MD, PhD, in Washington for the Rally for Medical Research Capitol Hill Day on September 18, 2013. Photo credit: FASEB.