Speaking Out Against NIH Cuts
Sen. Durbin, researchers protest proposed cuts to National Institutes of Health budgetFebruary 28, 2011 | by Marla Paul
Sen. Dick Durbin at the Feinberg School of Medicine.
Before the press conference at the Lurie Cancer Center, Durbin toured Rosen’s lab to see firsthand the essential research being conducted there.
“Not only would these spending cuts slow or halt important medical research, they would result in significant job losses and a slowdown in local business activity across the state,” Durbin told an audience of scientists and media.
Last year Illinois received $884 million in NIH funding -- $775 million of which went to research centers in the Chicago area – which created or supported nearly 12,000 jobs across the state, Durbin noted.
Rosen said the proposed reduction of NIH support would have catastrophic consequences. He said it would stifle creativity, drive talented researchers from the field and derail “the remarkable momentum witnessed over the last decade.”
“Cancer is a devastating illness, and, though we have made great strides through biomedical research, much work lies ahead,” Rosen said. “The consequence (of the cuts) is a delay in medical breakthroughs that offer hope for our children and future generations.”
Sunjay Kaushal, M.D., an assistant professor of surgery at the Feinberg School and a surgeon at Children’s Memorial Hospital, as well as representatives from other area medical schools also spoke at the press conference.