A recent op-ed in The New York Times written by Newt Gingrich, discussed the importance of doubling the National Institute of Health budget.
Gingrich explains that a bipartisan decision in 1994 led to
the doubling of the budget for the N.I.H. in order to finance funding for basic scientific and medical research.
However, since that the funding for the institute has remained flat.
According to Gingrich, “the N.I.H. budget (about $30 billion last year) has effectively been reduced by more than 20 percent since then. As 92 percent of the N.I.H. budget goes directly to research, one result is that
the institutes awarded 12.5 percent fewer grants last year than in 2003. Grant applications, over the same period, increased by almost 50 percent.”
Dr. Jose Cavazos, the director of the M.D./Ph.D. program, explains that one of the biggest challenges we face as a nation is the discouragement among the young pool of applicants into training programs.
“Everywhere they turn, they hear “doomsday” scenarios for funding of scientific investigation,” Dr. Cavazos said. “We are at risk of losing a generation of clinician-scientists if they don’t see a great future for a career bridging science and medicine. Investing in biomedical research saves lives and improves the quality of life for all human beings.”