Although NIH has been issuing salary caps to recipients of federal research grants for over 20 years, this is the first year that the levels of the caps have been reduced. It is now restricted to Executive Level II of the Federal Pay Scale. Implementation of the lower level is effective with FY2012 awards where the initial Issue Date of the award is on/after 12/23/2011. For FY2012 awards issued on/before December 22, 2011, the salary limitation remains at Executive Level 1, $199,700.
By now it is clear that the big funding compromise the congressional supercommittee hoped to hammer out together has failed to come into being, meaning that automatic, across-the-board spending cuts for federal discretionary programs will go into effect. The probable result for the NIH's portion: cuts between 5-10% each year for the next 10 years. Will the President try and intercede? He says No. Are people happy with Congress' performance after this bipartisan failure? Decidedly not: NPR reported over the weekend that Congress' approval rating is at an all-time-low of 9%. Students, researchers, professional and industry organizations, and universities with vital bioscience programs especially are continuing to be very vocal about the pending funding cuts. We wait to see if and where the axe will fall exactly, though complacency is not the order of the day. Everyone seems to agree that the US needs to maintain its edge internationally as a leader in science and technology, but how to do that while reducing the deficit is a problem still without an equitable solution.
The NIH has just announced that the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) consortium of seven US medical research institutions has received an additional $25M in funding for Phase II of a series of projects to study how genetic information in patients' medical records can be used to improve their care. As genome sequencing becomes increasingly affordable and more widely done, translational research is needed to show physicians how they might respond to indicators of genetic predisposition to disease in their treatment programs. The eMERGE network was formed in 2007 "to develop, disseminate, and apply approaches to research that combine DNA biorepositories with electronic medical record (EMR) systems for large-scale, high-throughput genetic research," according to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) branch of the NIH.
Tags: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Northeast, Vanderbilt University, University of Washington, WA, Northwest, Translational Research, New York, MSSM, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Genomics, NY, NIH, Seattle, Biomedical Research Funding, Nashville TN, 2011
Recognizing a strong opportunity for productive public-private partnership in bioscience research to benefit public health, NIH has awarded a 5-year, $5.2M grant to Boulder, Colorado-based diagnostics firm MBio to produce a reasonably-priced, no-lab-required assay system for accurate identification of the influenza virus. Their winning project proposal includes this description:
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has recently announced the reformation of the federal Research & Development expenditure website to make data more transparent and easy to navigate. This new online tool now allows the public to monitor national progress in technology and research innovation.
An important subfield of molecular biology has come into its own with improvements in technology and major NIH funding. The field is glycobiology, and the NHLBI's new “Program of Excellence in Glycosciences” (PEG) is providing $18M over 7 years to researchers at UCSD's Glycobiology Research and Training Center (GRTC) to advance the emerging science.
A recent ruling by a federal appeals court will allow the Obama Administration to continue funding embryonic stem cell research. The ruling reversed a previous injunction by a district court judge which would have frozen federal funding for stem cell science research. This new ruling ends months of uncertainty for numerous scientists who rely on federal funding for their stem cell research.
Despite fears of massive cuts to vital Life Science and Bioscience research funding, the National Institutes of Health emerged relatively unscathed from the recent budget negotiations on Capitol Hill.
Despite calls to for massive cuts in the federal science funding budget, President Obama has remained committed to an increase in new biotechnology research funding for federal institutions such as the NIH, NSF, CDC, and FDA.