Stories about: NIH

NIH funding snapshots: Your tax dollars at work

2014NIHFundingFunding drives biomedical research, and research drives treatment innovation. Access to funds, particularly National Institute of Health (NIH) awards, is critical to move research forward. The 21st Century Cures Act, which passed the U.S. House on July 10, could give the NIH $8.75 billion more in new grants to disperse over the next five years, the largest increase since the Recovery Act of 2009.

How would those funds be used? Can research find a better way to treat patients? Prevent disease? Disseminate advances in medicine?

In 2014, Boston Children’s led the U.S. in NIH awards. Here’s a look at how a few research teams are leveraging NIH funding to improve care for both children and adults.

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The shutdown may be over, but sequestration still threatens research

shutterstock_127896818The impact on science of this month’s federal government shutdown is still being calculated. But even before the shutdown, research across the U.S. was on rough footing.

Sitting in his office, Randolph Watnick, PhD, points to a stack of file folders and papers on his desk. It’s a good six inches tall. “I usually send out 10 or 11 grant applications in a year,” he says. “This year, I sent out that many by July.”

Watnick, who studies cancer metastasis at Boston Children’s Hospital, is writing so many grants because it’s what he has to do to keep his lab afloat. Like thousands of researchers across the U.S., he is trying to make up for funding losses due to sequestration—the automatic across-the-board federal spending cuts that went into place in March of this year.

In conversations with researchers up and down the academic ladder, the picture that comes together of sequestration’s impact on research is not pretty. And the worst may be yet to come.

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Recovery Act funding boosts science, jobs—but what’s next?

Last week marked the beginning of the end of the biggest boost in federal research funding in U.S. history. September 30 was the deadline for the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies to commit the last stimulus dollars for science allotted by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The looming drop in funding now has researchers and organizations wondering how to keep people in their labs employed and their projects going.

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