November 23, 2010 - ASM Sends Recommendations to the President on FY 2012 Funding

The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania, Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to express our appreciation for your strong support for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and to urge increased funding for the NIH in your proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget.  As your Administration establishes federal budget priorities for the next fiscal year, we recommend that NIH funding be increased to $35 billion to ensure research progress that contributes so much to the nation’s health and economic recovery.

The NIH is the single largest source of funding for biomedical research and supports research by its own 6,000 scientists and by over 300,000 researchers at over 3,000 institutions, including medical schools, universities, and hospitals. NIH funded research stimulates medical innovations, local economies and the technical workforce needed to sustain the nation’s high technology competitiveness.  NIH dollars spent under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) enhanced the US research enterprise, purchased commercial products like software, instruments and reagents, stimulating technology based industries and services and saved many research related jobs. Without increased funding to sustain the nation’s investment in NIH, many of the country’s research institutions will risk losing gifted scientists and high technology jobs.

Reduced support for NIH means that many socially beneficial research projects cannot be undertaken at a time of unprecedented scientific opportunities. Discovery of new treatments, cures and preventions for chronic and infectious diseases will be slowed.  A level of funding of $35 billion for NIH would fund important basic and translational research projects, maintaining scientific progress created by dramatic new research opportunities.

To continue research progress to improve human health and stimulate the economy, we ask that you continue your commitment to science and to the NIH in the FY 2012 budget. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Bonnie L. Bassler, President, ASM
Robert Koltoer, Chair, Public and Scientific Affairs Board

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