First In-Person Rally for Medical Research Since Pandemic Takes PlaceBy: Ellen Kuo
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
On September 14, FASEB Immediate Past President Patricia L. Morris, MS, PhD, took part in a nearly 300-advocate strong Rally for Medical Research, seeking at least $49 billion for the base budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a final fiscal year (FY) 2023 spending bill. She also urged completion of the appropriation process as soon as possible to prevent delays in grant funding for the new FY.
This was the first in-person rally since the start of COVID-19, with nearly every congressional office taking in-person meetings with representatives from 125 scientific and patient advocacy groups across the country. They came with their experiences working as NIH-funded researchers on one or more of the 500,000 grants provided each year. In FY 2021, these grants supported approximately 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 universities and organizations in every state, more than 552,000 jobs, and over $94 billion in economic activity across the United States.
During the evening rally reception, Morris introduced former NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and expressed FASEB’s appreciation for his efforts in communicating the value of NIH’s life-saving research to Congress. Its work has contributed to every one of the 356 new drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2010 and 2019. Collins’ legacy in the biomedical research enterprise will endure as NIH continues to work on improving diversity and inclusion in its workforce, attracting and retaining early-career researchers in the pipeline, combating harassment, and ensuring research integrity.
Morris also expressed appreciation for the wisdom of members of Congress who understood that increased long-term investments in NIH over the last seven years were essential.
To view social media posts from the rally, search #RallyMedRes, @RallyforNIH, and #FundNIH.