FASEB Co-sponsors Rally for Medical ResearchBy: Ellen Kuo
Thursday, September 28, 2023
The Rally for Medical Research was a huge success, with more than 240 participants from 33 states and Washington, DC meeting with more than 200 congressional offices. Mary-Ann Bjornsti, PhD, FASEB President, and Ellen Kuo, Associate Director, FASEB Legislative Affairs, represented the Alabama delegation. They met with the staff of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and Katie Britt (R-AL), as well as Robert Aderholt, Chair of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-TX). Joining them for some of their key meetings were Keith Churchwell, MD, President-elect of the American Heart Association; Willis K. “Rick” Samson, PhD, DSc, FAPS, FAHA, President of the American Physiological Society and President of Saint Louis University School of Medicine; Philip D. Greenberg, MD, President of the American Association for Cancer Research; and Keith Yamamoto, PhD, Chair of the Coalition for the Life Sciences and President of AAAS.
“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) stands as a beacon of scientific excellence and innovation, driving transformative discoveries that revolutionize human health and improve the lives of people worldwide. Through its unwavering commitment to research, collaboration, and cutting-edge advancements, the NIH offers critical support and programs to unravel the complexities of disease, develop groundbreaking treatments, and empower communities. As a vital cornerstone of progress, the NIH paves the way for a brighter, healthier future for all,” Bjornsti said at the rally. Follow #RallyMedRes and #FundNIH for pictures from the event.
In conjunction with the rally, FASEB issued an action alert. A total of 579 messages were sent during the week of the rally. Scientific and biological advocates from states such as Pennsylvania, California, New York, Georgia, and Texas sent emails to congressional offices to reiterate the message that NIH needs to be supported at the highest level possible in fiscal year (FY) 2024, with a floor of at least $49.22 billion which was the Senate recommendation. The larger medical research community had recommended at least $51 billion for FY 2024. Members of Congress were also thanked for providing NIH with an increase of $17 billion over the last eight years and for Congress’ sustained efforts to make funding medical research a national priority.